leaf activities preschool learning
Arts & Crafts,  Creative Play,  Imaginative Play,  Nature Play,  Outdoor Play

Nature Play: Leaf Activities Preschoolers Will Love to Make and Do

Are you running low on simple activities?

Do you wish you had a load of activities you could do without having to get together a lot of stuff?

Do you love to get outside with your little ones and into nature?

Then this is the blog post for you – nature play at it’s best!

I have for you some really simple leaf activities for kids that require little or no set up and are so much fun! 

Leaf Buddies & Passports

leaf activities preschool free printable

I was inspired by Mummy and the Bears and her Leaf Adoption Activity for this super cute activity – we decided that our leaves would be going on holiday as we can’t right now, so we made them some passports of their very own and sent them on their way!

How To Make Leaf Buddies

  1. Collect leaves – This was almost as much fun as playing with our new leaf buddies. We went on a walk around the local area and tried to find as many different leaves as we could (I didn’t actually tell the kids why we were collecting them as I wanted it to be a surprise but they loved looking out for different shapes and sizes of leaves!


  2. Turn your leaves into characters – As you know I have a slight obsession with googly eyes and so this bit was so much fun for me! I used a glue gun to stick the eyes on and just got a marker pen to draw on some mouths, trying to show a few different emotions too.


  3. Create your passport – I have created a free simple printable that folds into a passport here for you to download and use as you wish. We chose names, ages, and then drew pictures of our leaves for the passport photo. For younger children you can discuss the next bit and fill it in for them – Where has your leaf buddy been? (This one is great for imagination, encourage your child to think of places that your leaf may have been) And then Where would your leaf like to go? (This is a great way to discuss with your child activities that they like to do, and also places they would like to go and explore)


  4.  Post your Leaves – This is an added extra, but a great way to extend this activity would be to send the leaves in the post on a journey to friends and family along with their passports (I would add that not all leaves would last the journey as we discovered and so it may be wise to laminate the leaves first!)

Leaf Passport Printable

Leaf activity preschool free printable

So there you have it, a super simple but super cute leaf buddies activity for kids!

Playdough Activities With Leaves

leaf activities for toddlers

Play dough is a no-brainer when it comes to simple play. It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s a great for sensory play and it also develops fine motor skills – it’s a must have! This leaf activity is SO simple, and great for little ones!

How to Make a Playdough Tree

  1. Draw a simple tree trunk – Onto a piece of card colour your tree trunk – don’t worry it doesn’t have to be anything complicated just a brown trunk!

  2. Play Dough Base – Get some green play dough (although any colour works fine as it is mostly covered) and roll into a ball, then squish flat to make a base for your leaves to stick to

  3. Stick on your leaves – You could use a combination of leaves as we have or you could stick to one type and do a few different trees – it really doesn’t matter! Keep going until the play doh is covered

And there you have another super simple toddler leaf activity that can be set up in a matter of minutes!

Leaf Paint and Peel

leaf activities painting

We have done tape resit painting before and so we were inspired to have a go at trying it with some stuck down leaves – it turned out to be really effective!

How To Make Our Leaf Painting

  1. Stick leaves down – We used some small pieces of white tack for this as anything stronger may have torn the paper – you could try rolling masking tape to make it double-sided but you may find that the leaf is too far from the paper allowing the paint to run underneath


  2. Sponge Paint – We used a sponge paintbrush, but you could use an actual washing up sponge for this activity or a makeup sponge – dabbing the paint all over the paper creates a lovely effect and it also means that less paint gets underneath the actual leaves (paint WILL get under the leaves but it all adds to the abstract art!)


  3. Peel leaves off – Normally I would suggest leaving the paint to dry, but we didn’t for this activity as I wanted to see how it had turned out straight away, and it didn’t seem to have any effect on the paint

You can have lots of fun experimenting with this one – we accidentally got a bit too much water on one of our sponges when changing colour and it ran all the way under the leaf and so we decided to leave the leaf stuck on and only peeled it off when it was completely dry and we were left with this pretty fun effect:

leaf print paint

DIY Nature Scavenger Hunt For Kids - Leaves

leaf activities preschool learning fun

We love scavenger hunts in our house and when you can do it with nature it’s even better because you don’t even have to go and hide anything! This super simple leaf hunt is great for taking on a nature walk – or even doing in your back garden!

How To Make a DIY Scavenger Hunt for Kids

  1. Collect some leaves – The easiest way to put this together is to walk the route you plan to do the scavenger hunt on so that you know you’ll be able to actually find the leaves on the sheet! We took a bucket and collected lots of leaves for all the above activities in one go

  2. Choose your leaves – When selecting leaves to use be sure to pick ones that are very different in shape, size and colour (especially for younger children) Place each leaf on the laminated sheet and draw a box next to each leaf for you to be able to write the number in with a felt tip pen later

  3. Laminate – This is optional (if you plan to do the scavenger hunt the same day you collect the leaves then you could simple use some clear tape and stick the leaves down and count how many you find – but if you do the same walk often and want to be able to reuse the sheet again and again then laminating is a great way to do this

And there you have another super simple activity that should keep your little ones busy and engaged for at least 5 minutes!

Recap of all the Super Easy Leaf Activities for Kids

One haul of leaves and a few simple extras and you have 4 quick and easy activities all ready to go!

  1. Leaf Buddies and Their Passports – Have fun creating some super cute leaf buddies and sending them on an imaginary holiday!

  2. Play dough Trees – Enjoy some sensory fun sticking leaves into play doh and making your own leafy tree!

  3. Leaf Paint and Peel – Get crafty with this super effective painting activity that you and the kids will love!

  4. Leafy Scavenger Hunt – Create your own leaf scavenger hunt to keep little ones active and engaged  on walks or simply walking around the back garden!

I hope you have as much fun as we have with these leafy activities for kids! Don’t forget to share any of your activities either directly by email or over on Instagram I love seeing what you get up to!


Louisa | Mum’s Creative Cupboard

leaf activities preschool ideas