Today, we’re sharing an example of a preschool/early elementary lesson plan full of fall activities for kids that put all of the sensory systems to use. Because when kids are moving, touching, listening, smelling, tasting…using their whole bodies…they are fully engaged, and interested. And this means they’re learning!
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What better way to jump into fall than by learning about leaves? Each of the activities below is designed to target a different sensory system (or multiple sensory systems at once) while also setting the stage for teachers, therapists, and parents to teach kids about the seasons and fall leaves! Check out the activities below and download the free printable lesson plan!
Fall Leaves Sensory Motor Lesson Plan
-How do leaves change in the fall?
-Learning about different types of trees
-How do leaves grow?
Movement Activities (Vestibular and Proprioceptive Systems)
-Read the book: Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, leading the kids in the following movements to accompany the book: pretending to rake the leaves, jumping into the leaves, give yourself a hug to keep warm, rake faster, reach up high to pretend to pick apples, bend low to pretend to place them in a bucket, pretend to carry a heavy pumpkin.
-Challenge kids to try tree pose to work on balance
-Climb a real tree outside!
-Paint leaves and press them on paper to make prints
-Spread glue on a paper leaf template. Crumble up dried leaves and sprinkle the pieces over the glue to decorate the leaf.
-Fill a sensory table or large plastic bin with dried leaves, colored leaves, and green leaves for kids to explore.
-Go for a walk outside to observe the leaves. What colors do you see? Compare and contrast the leaves you find.
-Print leaf identification cards and have kids match real leaves to them.
-Collect leaves on your walk and then have kids sort them by color, size, type, or shape
Oral Motor Activities
-Leaf blowing – use a straw to blow leaves across a table. Make predictions about which will go further – a dried leaf or a new, green leaf?
-Taste different edible “leaves” – lettuce, cabbage, spinach, etc. Try cooking/meal preparation activities that involve measurement and recipe writing.
-Make leaf shaped cookies and decorate them with colored icing
-Smell the difference between dried leaves and new leaves
-Explore other fall scents (pumpkin, caramel, campfire, etc)
-What does it sound like to walk on fall leaves? Stomp on them, step on them, shuffle through them and then describe the sounds (crunchy, loud).
-Crumble dry leaves and green leaves in your hands and compare the two sounds
Learn more about sensory processing! Check out our book, Sensory Processing 101!