Are you looking for a free and beautiful sensory writing tray? 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:
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.
I also showed him how to tear and crumble (the dry) the leaves to make smaller pieces.
I helped Leo because we had a lot of leaves to get through! I also helped chop up the leaves in the tray into even smaller pieces because the smaller the better for writing trays. 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!
Ok, there is a lot going on down here so let me walk you through it. I should also mention that this is an old picture, but at this point of the activity Leo was in no mood for the camera so I figured I would just use this since we had the exact same set up.
First I let Leo make random lines in the 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!
Pin this activity to save it for later!
I hope you give this simple fall activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.
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