This month the leaves have started turning colors in the neighborhood and in our backyard. I explained to Little Bee that these are the signs of fall and that winter is coming soon. This was the perfect time to share a Montessori inspired leaf unit with Little Bee. He enjoyed learning about the autumn leaf colors, the parts of a leaf, sensory play, language, practical life leaf lacing and leaf hand-print art.
Practical Life – Leaf Lacing
These bright leaf printables are from the Living Life and Learning blog. I printed them out, laminated the printable, cut each leaf out, and then punched holes around the edges. Little Bee enjoyed lacing the leaves with his own style – in and out, skip a few holes, add another leaf, and swing them like a pendulum. He has lots of fun being a 2 year old. 🙂
Pre-Reading – Leaf Matching Work
Matching activities help a child with pre-reading skills because it builds concentration and similar shape recognition. These beautiful autumn leaf printables are a bit of a challenge because they have subtile color differences. The child really has to look closely to find the correct match. I presented the cards to Little Bee and told him that this is a matching work. He studied the cards carefully and then placed the pairs together.
Leaf Nature Bowl
Little Bee loves to dig his hands into nature sensory bowls. I filled this bowl up with popcorn kernels, small sticks, pinecones, acorns, leaves, and bark. Little Bee used his hands and small strawberry huller to explore the items in the bowl. Please visit, Montessori Inspired Autumn Sensory Play for pouring work and counting activities.
Leaf Sensory and Art
Little Bee always enjoys getting the finger paints out and creating messy art! I set out a paint tray of autumn colors and a stack of leaves for him to explore. It was simple and it was fun!
Little Bee also enjoyed taking his sensory nature bowl and placing the items into a tub of water. Before he placed an item into the water, I asked him if he thought that item would sink or float. He thought this game was great fun and learned that large leaves float on top of the water. Please visit, Autumn Sink or Float for more activities.
Parts of a Leaf – Montessori Puzzle
Little Bee and I both love the Montessori puzzles. The puzzles are beautiful, intricate, and challenging. I created a booklet out of the Nomenclature Parts of a Leaf cards and then we matched the cards to the parts of the puzzle.
Letter “l” Language Work
A simple and fun way to learn the phonetic sounds of letters is by presenting a language mystery bag to the child. Inside this letter “l” mystery bag, I placed a leaf, lion, lizard, ladybug, and lego. Little Bee gets super excited when I bring out a new language mystery bag for him to explore. As he removes each item from the bag, I tell him the name of the object and emphasize the beginning “l” sound.
Color Sorting Leaves with Transfer Work
Color sorting and transfer work helps to develop both the hand and the mind. I set up a leaf transfer activity for Little Bee using wooden tongs, cloth leaves, and colored paper for matching work. The wooden tongs are fabulous for developing the fine motor muscles of the hand. Sorting (colors) and sequencing work are wonderful for developing pre-math skills. For more information about how sorting and learning colors is helpful for a child’s developmental skills – visit Fun Color Learning Activities for Toddlers.
Family Handprint Autumn Art
The last activity in this unit study is a family handprint Autumn art. We used finger paints to create this masterpiece on canvas. First of all, David (daddy) and I painted our hands and forearms with brown paint. Then we interchanged our hands and pressed them down firmly onto the canvas. (*Note: If there are any spots that are not brown with paint – simply color the spots in with your finger and the brown paint.) After our brown handprints were complete, I set it aside to completely dry.
The remainder of the canvas art work was dedicated to Little Bee. I helped him make yellow, orange, and red handprints for the autumn leaves on the trees. Then he made a few green lines for grass and blue dots for sky with his fingers. Ta da! Our masterpiece was complete!
Thank you for your visit! You may also enjoy our other autumn activities ~