Simple Fall Tree Learning Activities For Preschoolers
Our next fall blog post is a fun felt activity from Lily at Craft, Learn & Play. While this is a fall focused activity, it is easily converted into a year round fun activity. Make sure to take some pictures of your completed felt tree.
Nature walk at the time ground is covered with fallen leaves is one of our favorite fall activities. And one thing we never get bored with is playing in a fallen leaves. Walking slowly while dragging our feet, scuffing and kicking, jumping in to the pile, with crunching and shooting, accompanied by laugh of joy. We call it dance with pumpkin colored leaves.
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Fall brings so much fun and lots of inspiration to our preschool learning activities. Beside fun outdoor activities we try to bring nature in to our home. We do fall crafts, decorations and fall inspired nature learning activities. Once all leaves are gone and days become cooler, when rainy days knock on the doors, we entertain ourselves inside playing and learning.
Changing seasons are usually our greatest inspiration and new opportunity to learn through play as my daughter grows bigger.
We have several activities and tools that we upgrade every season as she grows and is much more skilled. Our favorite includes seasonal nature crafts and art activities with leaves, building small world plays, felt board stories inspired by books she love or our never ending story retelling activities. This fall my daughter started preschool and is very excited to learn letters and be able to read her favorite books on her own one day. It means, it is time to include simple alphabet learning activities in our everyday play.
DIY wall board for creative learning and play
Here comes the idea of a felt wall board that is perfect for homeschooling and interactive learning lessons. What I love about it, you can use it all year round, for many, many activities. Once it is up, it will serve you on everyday basis and kids really love it. I made huge felt board on canvas to be home to a felt tree this fall season. For your reference here is the list of materials I used for this project. Although there is no specific instructions, as process is pretty much flexible, you may refer to this list if you wish do exact the same project.
- Canvas 30” x 48”(alternatives are plywood or cardboard)
- Ivory felt for background in a size of canvas plus additional 2 inches for overlap (more if you use thick canvas)
- Green felt for grass
- Timble tacks (or staples)
I took huge canvas that was supposed to be our DIY living room wall art (which was never got done and now is getting pushed around the house). Instead of using canvas you may cover plywood or even cardboard in neutral color felt and mount it to the wall. Or you may stick felt piece directly on to wall with self-adhesive spray or glue dots.
This wall board is pretty much as our ‘little’ felt board which I made, believe it or not, in just 5 minutes, long time ago and it still works great. That little felt board became a home to many felt board stories including our favorite, Brown bear, Brown bear what do you see.
This is fairly creative project that will depend on your interpretation, creativity and mainly materials you already have on hand.
Making a fall tree with felt alphabet leaves
Here is how to make felt tree and alphabet leaves. For tree I used brown felt purchased by yard and for leafs I used felt sheets in soft fall colours.
- Brown felt for tree
- Felt sheets in autumn colours for leaves
- Fabric puff paint
- Letter stencils
- Hot glue gun
- Freezer paper (for leaf transfer and cutting) – optional
Place brown piece of felt on to board and roughly mark tree with white tailors chalk (goes down easily with rubbing). Cut the tree and its branches, add few extra branches to extend if needed. Glue extended branches with hot glue. Place felt tree on to felt board and pat it with hands from bottom towards the end branches, just to stretch felt a bit and fix it to the background. Use hot glue gun to glue tree to the board. Just one drop on top of each branch is enough so they don’t fall down while playing.
Next cut 26 felt leaves in mixed fall colours.
The easiest way I discovered (without using cutting machine which would be 5 minute work) is using freezer paper.
Draw 5 leaf outlines on a freezer paper. Temporarily stick each freezer paper leaf on a felt using iron. Press with hot iron for a few seconds, be sure to cover felt piece with a light cotton fabric because hot iron will melt and stick to felt.
Cut the leaves following paper outline. Each ‘freezer paper leaf’ can be used more than once, because it stays sticky and you can fix it with iron for several times. If you use felt in your craft projects you may wanna check out Best Way to Cut Felt: Simple Secret That Will Be Game Changer.
Make one alphabet letter per each felt leaf.
I used puff paint and letter stencils. You may use markers if you want but be aware that marker will probably transfer to the other side of the felt and become confusing to child. Other option is to cut out letters from felt and glue them but that is much more work.
Do the same thing and make alphabet on tree branches.
Optional ideas to make:
- More leaves with numbers on it
- Apples with numbers or letters to spell child’s name
- Pumpkins with numbers or letters to spell child’s name
- Change seasons with green leaves, flowers, fruits, snowflakes…
- Themed world with felt objects like plants or animals, buildings…
- Landscapes, like woodland, city, country, coastline…
- Characters and scenes from favorite stories and books
So, how do we play and learn with our felt board wall?
We do alphabet and counting activities, we also practice letter and number matching by placing leaves and pumpkins on a felt board.
If you want to add some structure or challenges here are some ideas:
- Talk about autumn and seasons
- Talk about Why do leaves changes color
- Sort leafs by colour
- Ask child to sort pumpkins from bigger to smaller and opposite
- Print out alphabet, or take an alphabet board book and ask your child if he can arrange leafs in alphabet order
Hope you are gonna have long and fun fall, filled with learning activities and that our learning wall board inspired you. And don’t forget to go outside and have a magic dance with a pumpkin colored leaves.
Meet Lily –
Creative mom of two and content creator at craftlearnandplay.com where I help busy moms have more quality and creative time with their kids. My passion for DIY turned in to a passion to design toys and sew quiet books for children so they can spend more screen free time learning through creative play.