Are you looking for a free and beautiful sensory tray for practicing prewriting skills? Children will love cutting, tearing and crumbling a rainbow of leaves for this activity! Once its ready, they can practice writing their letters and other prewriting strokes in the leaf confetti. This writing tray is just as much fun to create as it is to use!
There are many reasons why I love this activity! I especially love it because the leaf pieces will last through the entire fall season and beyond. You can still trace in the leaves once they are dried and they still look beautiful!
I also love this activity because there is so much fine motor work going on here. From the leaf cutting to writing letters in the leaves, there are multiple opportunities to develop those small hand muscles.
And if you are looking for another way to use these leaf bits, check out low-prep fall keepsake printable #8. I know you will love this idea as well!
- Tray- We repurposed a Melissa and Doug play dough container for this activity
- Optional- Branches, stones, clothespins and sensory tray writing prompts
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Here’s What We Did:
First, we collected leaves from our yard and brought them inside. We searched for a variety of colors and types of leaves and identified them as we went.
Leo LOVES using scissors so this was definitely his prefer method for making the leaf bits. I cut some of the wider pieces in half to make them more manageable for Leo to cut.
Leo also teared and crumbled (the dry) the leaves to make smaller pieces.
We had a lot of leaves to get through! It took us about 30 minutes to cut all of our leaves. Leo really liked this process and already wants to cut more leaves tomorrow!
Time to Use The Sensory Tray!
First, I let Leo make random lines in the sensory tray. He made straight lines, circles, spirals, and drew pictures like smiley faces before I brought out the writing prompt cards. I showed him how to run his finger multiple times in the same spot to brush all the leaves out of the way.
Next, I got out the clothespins and set up my writing prompt hack. You can clip them on your writing tray and place your writing prompts in the top part. It works really well!
Leo made the letters and I showed him how to fill in the letters with the rocks. He loved this!
He also tried using the branch instead of his finger to make the letters. This was a fun way to mix things up a bit.
We had so much fun incorporating nature into this prewriting activity!
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I hope you give this simple sensory tray a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.
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