Getting this fall leaves bucket list has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now. Here in western Pennsylvania, fall leaves are just about at their peak colors. They are just starting to fall, and that means there are lots of colorful, crunchy leaves to explore and play in! As occupational therapists, we know the power of play. That means we know the power of using fall leaves as a tool to build strength, balance, sensory experiences, heavy work, and movement! Leaf activities are just part of Fall and all that the season brings in the way of fall fun! Use the free printable for occupational therapy home programs, or just a cheap fall bucket list of fall activities!
Fall Leaves Printable
A lot of the leaf activities on this printable are activities that I’ve shared previously on this website. You can find the links to these ideas here, so you can read more about the “why” behind these activities and to understand the different ways to build development in kids.
This fall leaves printable is a tic tac toe printable page. Use it to encourage movement, sensory exploration, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. The images are small and just outlines, so kids can color in the pictures as they complete each activity, making it a great way to build fine motor strength, coordination, and pencil control.
Each fall leaf activity uses just leaves from outside, but if fall leaves aren’t available in your area, colored paper leaves work just as well.
Fall leaf tic tac toe activities encourage movement, so use this as a great occupational therapy home program or even one to use in OT teletherapy.
Fall Leaf Activities
Here are the fall leaf activities described on on this leaf printable. If you need more descriptions or a better understanding of how these fall leaf activities help kids build skills, be sure to save this page so you can come back to it.
Leaves for Scissor Skills– Improves scissor accuracy, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordintion, fine motor precision.
Leaf collage art– Use real leaves to make a craft that builds bilateral coordination, heavy work proprioceptive input, and scissor skills.
Fall Proprioception Activities– Jumping in piles of leaves, raking leaves, and carrying a load of leaves in a bucket, wheelbarrow, or arms adds calming heavy work for the proprioceptive sense!
Fall Vestibular Activities– Run, dive, jump, swoop! Catching fall leaves provides input to the vestibular sense. These activities can be organizing and help kids regulate behaviors, emotions, and their sensory system.
Leaf Balance Beam- Do you know the power of a balance beam? The best news is that you don’t need fancy expensive equipment to replicate those benefits! Use leaves to make a homemade balance beam with all of the skill-building!
Leaf Hole Punch Activity– Grab a hole puncher and a handful of leaves. Those fine motor skills are about to grow! This activity builds eye-hand coordination, hand strength, arch development, separation of the sides of the hand, visual motor skills, and more.
Leaf Matching Activity– There are a lot of ways to develop visual processing skills like matching leaves during the Fall season.
Leaf Activities For therapy
Pre-Writing Lines: Pre-writing activity with real leaves– Use real leaves to work on eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, and pre-writing lines with hands on fine motor work.
Bilateral Coordination: Leaf Craft- Use real leaves to make a craft that builds bilateral coordination, heavy work proprioceptive input, and scissor skills.
Craft for Older Kids: Sewing Skills Craft– Use a needle and thread, wire, lacing cord to thread around leaf shapes. We used plastic canvas, but you could use cardboard, cereal boxes, or even laminated paper.
Hand Strength- Leaf Ten Frames– Use a hole puncher with leaves to work on hand strength and hands-on math.
Sensory Play- Nature Water Table– Use a bin, water table, or bowl to explore Fall’s colors and textures and challenge the senses.
Tactile Sensory Activity- Sensory Painting– Use leaves, corn husks, and grasses for sensory painting. Then, practice handwashing!
Heavy Work Activity- Play Dough Press– Use natural materials and play dough to add heavy work for the hands. This is a great visual perception activity, too.
Eye-Hand Coordination and Problem Solving– Fall Tree Crafts– build eye-hand coordination and problem solving with a sensory experience to make these fall trees.
Scissor Skills Activity- Fall leaves scissor activity– Use leaves to work on line awareness, bilateral coordination, and visual motor skills.
MORE Sensory Processing Activities for Fall
Leaf Auditory Processing Activity– Use leaves to work on listening skills, auditory discrimination, and auditory challenges.
Fall Leaf Printable
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For more fall leaf activities, try some of these:
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.