Fall is a great time to do learning activities with leaves.
Our Leaf Hunt Alphabet Game for Toddlers is a fantastic way to work on learning letters. You can practice name recognition and letter sounds, too.
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Leaf Hunt Alphabet Game for Toddlers
Supplies Needed for the Leaf Themed Alphabet Learning
Leaves – collect real leaves, use silk leaves, or cut paper leaves
Chalk markers or permanent marker
Bucket or container
Drawing board (We used an Etch a Sketch Freestyle. A dry erase or chalk board would work well, too.)
How to Set Up the Leaf Hunt Alphabet Game
Head outside and collect some fallen leaves. We were able to collect magnolia tree leaves and tulip tree leaves after a storm had blown them out of the trees. Real leaves do become brittle and can crumble after a while. Larger leaves tend to do better. You can also preserve the leaves. Instead of real leaves, you can use silk leaves from the floral or craft department or you cut leaves from paper. If you want to save the paper leaves, you might want to laminate them or cover them with contact paper.
Write letters on the leaves. I used a chalk marker to write on real leaves. We’ve found that a chalk marker is fun for drawing on leaves as well. The chalk marker is erasable. If you change your mind, just wipe it off. Permanent markers would be fine substitute.
I drew uppercase and lowercase letters on our leaves. You could just start with uppercase letters or even just choose a selection of letters if your child is just starting to learn the alphabet. Sometimes too many letters can be overwhelming.
Spread the leaves out in the grass or on your floor.
How to Play
There are a few different ways we played this leaf game. The goal is to get kids moving and learning letters.
Game 1: Read the Letter
For this game, simply have your child pick up a leaf and bring it to you. Ask her what letter is on the leaf.
You can also work on letter sounds. “That’s the letter B. B says /b/.”
Continue picking up leaves and saying the names (and sounds) of the letters.
You can add a bucket to your learning game if you wish. Have your child carry the bucket and place a leaf inside. Then, bring it to you and tell you what letter is on it.
Game 2: Find the Letter
For this game, you’ll need a drawing board. We use an Etch a Sketch Freestyle. A dry erase board or a chalk board would work equally as well. You could also use alphabet cards or letters written on paper squares. We were doing the activity outside, so I wanted something that wouldn’t blow away.
Ask your child to say a letter. Write the letter on the drawing board. (Alternatively, you can just choose the letter.)
Have your child find that letter in the leaves. Bring the letter back.
Practice saying the name of the letter and the letter’s sound.
You can also work on uppercase and lowercase letters. Write both cases of the letter on the board and ask your child to find them in the leaves.
Game 3: Spell Your Name
Your child’s name is one of the first words he or she will be able to read. They get so excited when they recognize the word as theirs.
For this game, write your child’s name down on the drawing board. (You can even ask your child to spell it for you.)
Have your child hunt for the letters in his name.
My son found the letters in his name, but he didn’t find them in order. When he had all of the letters, I had him put the letters in the correct order under the drawing board.
More Leaf Themed Activities for Toddlers
Leaf Name Sticky Wall – work on name recognition with a contact paper sticky wall
Go Leaf Collecting– make a bag to collect your nature finds
Leaf Shape Collage – work on fine motor skills and learn shapes
Do you want to do more activities with your family?
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