Tracing Leaves Fine Motor Activity

Explore leaves with tracing and matching in this fun nature activity. This open-ended kids activity provides exciting learning opportunities with leaves in natural surroundings.

Preschool math with leaves

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Take a walk through your neighborhood to observe the trees and leaves.

  • How many different kinds of leaves and trees can you see?
  • Is there wildlife visible in and around the trees?
  • Can you smell the leaves and other plants around you?

Exploring and discovering in nature with kids is important for the development of early learning skills. Hands-on activities like leaf-tracing and leaf-matching extend the benefits of experiencing nature.

Collect a few leaves in different colors, shapes or sizes. Then engage fine motor, sensory and cognitive skills with this simple nature and math activity. 


Kids nature activity with leaves


This activity was inspired by a transparent plastic place mat I purchased.

The mat was decorated with a variety of green leaves. We took the mat outside and collected leaves from the trees growing nearby.

We were able to match many of the leaves we collected to the leaves on the mat. We also found a few leaves not represented on the place mat.

Leaf matching activity

This matching activity combines nature and math in a fun hands-on way.

Kids can learn to identify leaves by their names, as well as by shape and texture. 


Tracing and matching leaves preschool math


Step 1. Trace leaves onto poster board.

Step 2. After tracing, protect the leaves with contact paper so they can be used over and over without drying out. 

Related: Leaf Experiment - Observe how leaves change when they dry out.

Step 3. Label each leaf outline on the chart with a permanent marker.


 Leaf shapes tracing and sorting prek activity


Step 4. Match each leaf to its outline.

  • Name the leaf. Trace the outline with a finger.

Nature activities with trees and leaves provide a closer association with nature while engaging developmental skills such as fine motor and sensory. 

This is a fun activity to do with early learners at home or in the classroom. Add this activity to a nature study or science center at home or in the classroom for hands-on exploration.

A nature walk through the park, a nearby neighborhood, or even your own back yard offers so many things to observe.

What do you see in the trees?


Outdoor Play on Pinterest 

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