Fall Preschool Theme
Entire fall preschool theme. Art projects and crafts, songs, fingerplays, books, games and more. Complete lesson plan.
FALL GROUP TIME INFORMATION
Fall (also called autumn) officially arrives on September 22, in various parts of the U.S. the temperatures are getting colder, and we see leaves in hues of red, yellow and orange on trees falling to the ground. In other parts where temperatures are warmer, we can only imagine the fall colors.
Color changes in leaves are the result of a combination of occurrences: loss of chlorophyll due to the shorter days and chemical changes triggered by cooler weather. Deciduous trees (trees that shed leaves) need a lot of light to produce chlorophyll, giving the leaves their green color.
As fall comes, the days get shorter leaving the trees with fewer hours of sunlight to produce chlorophyll. Without this chlorophyll, the green fades and colors of red, orange yellow and brown begin to appear. These colors have always been present in the leaf, but they have been covered up by chlorophyll.
FALL SONGS AND FINGERPLAYS
Ten Red Apples…
Ten red apples growing on a tree,
(Hold hands up high.)
Five for you and five for me.
(Shake one hand, then the other.)
Help me shake the tree just so,
(Shake whole body.)
And ten red apples down below.
(Lower hands while flitting fingers.)
One, two, three, four, five,
(Count fingers one one hand.)
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
(Count fingers on opposite hand.)
I’m a Little Scarecrow…
(I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little scarecrow,
Raggedy and worn.
I wear a hat,
And a shirt that’s torn.
When the crows come,
I wave and shout,
“Away from my garden —-
Get on out!”
Tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low”
There’s a wide eyed owl
with a pointed nose.
Two pointed ears and
talons for toes.
It sits in a tree
and looks at you.
Flaps its wings
and says who who.
(Are You Sleeping)
Jackie Jack Frost – Jackie Jack Frost
Climbs the trees; climbs the trees
Little Jackie Jack Frost; Little Jackie Jack Frost
Paints the leaves; paints the leaves.
Red and yellow – red and yellow
Orange and brown; orange and brown
Painting all the fall leaves; painting all the fall leaves
In the town; in the town.
Little Jackie Jack Frost pinched my nose.
Little Jackie Jack Frost pinched my toes.
But I ran in the house and shut the door,
And he couldn’t pinch my nose anymore.
(Ring around the Rosie)
Autumn Winds begin to blow
Colored leaves fall fast and slow
Whirling Twirling all around
Till at last they touch the ground
(Cut out different colored leaves Sway like a tree throughout the song and drop leaves Pickup leaves by color.)
Ten Little Indians
1 little 2 little, 3 little leaves,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little leaves,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little leaves,
blow them all away. WHOOF!
The Leaves Of The Trees…
Wheels on the Bus
The leaves on the trees turn orange and red, orange and red, orange and red, the leaves on the trees turn orange and red all through the fall.
The leaves of the trees come tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down; the leaves on the trees come tumbling down all through the fall.
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish,
swish, swish; the leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish, all through the
I like to make a pile of leaves,
and jump and tumble around.
I like to hear the dry leaves;
they make such a crunchy sound.
FALL ART PROJECTS
Leaf Spatter Paint…
Use lid from box that is approximately 9” x 12′ x 2”. Cut rectangle from the top leaving 1 1/2” border. Invert lid. Place wire screen over opening. Tape screen to boarder with strapping tape. Arrange leaves on paper. Place lid over arrangement. Dip toothbrush into thin layer of paint and brush across screen. When dry, remove leaves.
Marble paint white pre-cut leaves in appropriate Fall colors. Place the pre-cut leaves in a four sided shallow box and using various colors of paint dipped marbles have the children roll the marbles on the leaves.
Finger Painting The Leaves…
Draw tree w/branches on brown paper. Children”finger dot” red, yellow and orange paint on the bare branches.
See post HERE.
Go on a Fall Walk. Have children collect leaves, nuts, etc. Take back to Center or school. You could glue the leaves, paint with sticks, and compare leaves, sticks. Talk about the different kinds of leaves you have collected on your walk.
See post HERE.
Cornstarch, baking soda, water, saucepan, waxed paper, nature objects such as leaves, twigs and flowers: In a saucepan, mix together 1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups baking soda, and 1 1/4 cups water. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Cool, and then flatten mixture between sheets of waxed paper. Let the children lay leaves, twigs, flowers or other nature objects on top of the cornstarch mixture and press them down firmly. Then have them remove the objects to see the detailed impressions they made.
Fall Window Painting…
Paint a fall scene on your window. Use the following recipe and the paint is easily removed. Give each child a window to decorate. Recipe HERE.
Stained Glass Leaves…
Frame your colorful leaves between two pieces of wax paper. You can view this art project here.
Acorn Tissue Paper…
Use the acorn outline pattern to glue tissue paper to fill in the shape. Get pattern and directions HERE.
The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Be the first player to fill your log with acorns and win the game It is a simple, fun and interactive game that works on all areas of development, from fine motor skills to social skills. I would highly suggest using this game for color recognition, turn-taking and motor coordination.
16 Rubbing Plates – Leaves
Set of 16 plates. They are light and flexible and work great with crayons, color pencils and embossing stylus.
Sort and classify apples by 5 attributes including size color and through physical features each may have such as stem, leaf and worm. Includes 27 apples and Activity Guide featuring suggested uses of Venn Diagrams for higher order thinking skills.
Apple Board Game…
Cut out a leafless apple tree out of brown construction paper, laminate for durability. Cut out round apples out of red construction paper. Number index cards 1 to 5. Have the children take turns picking index cards and placing correct number of apples on the tree.
Apple Smile Snacks…
This simple snack is a fun way to celebrate dental health week, an apple theme or just to get a little smile out of your preschoolers. You will need mini marshmallows, red apples and strawberry yogurt to create it. You will also need a few plastic knives, napkins, a spoon and a few bowls to spoon the yogurt into. See Here.
Provide the children with a variety of shelled nuts. Have them sort them into groups light colored, dark colored, add magnifying glasses in the sensory table.
What Are Spores?…
Collect a variety of ferns. All ferns have spores but they may look a little different from fern to fern variety. During late summer and early fall, ferns will have brown dots on them (these are the spores). It is a good time to talk about spores. Set out magnifying lens.
Mr. Pumpkin Head…
Place a pumpkin on a table, surrounded by washable markers, a damp sponge, and accessories such as hats, eyeglasses, sunglasses, scarves, wigs, etc. Have the children draw faces and dress up Mr. Pumpkin Head, and have them use the damp sponge to erase their work after it’s done.
Apple Alphabet Upper to Lowercase Letter Match…
Create and use this fall center activity during the months of September, October and November to help teach letter recognition. The apple matching game reinforces uppercase and lowercase alphabet letters. Download and print patterns here.
One to One Counting Games…
This game works well as a one on one game or in a group setting. Each child takes their turn rolling a die and places the correct number of pom poms onto the dots of the pattern that the die shows. This helps children with fine motor skills and counting one to one number recognition skills. Find Patterns Here.
Clay Leaf Prints…
Use a rolling pin to flatten clay or drying type dough. Lay a leaf on the clay & roll over it. Remove the leaf & let the clay dry. Paint the clay with fall colors of tempera.
On a bulletin board decorated to resemble a forest, pin up pictures of animals. Some should be of forest animals, and the rest should be animals that do not belong in the forest. The children’s task will be to take down the pictures of the animals that do not belong. Another way to make use of these materials is to leave the forest bulletin board blank and to ask the children to select and pin up only the forest animals.
Pumpkin Matching Game…
Click here for directions and to get the free printable patterns.
Measuring with Cornmeal…
Pour yellow cornmeal into a plastic dishpan and provide a set of measuring cups. Let the children take turns experimenting with measuring. They will soon discover that it takes four quarter-cups or two half-cups to fill the one cup container.
Big Stick, Little Stick…
Collect sticks of different lengths and thickness. Trim off or sand down any sharp edges or rough spots. Help the children to compare the dimensions of the sticks. Which are taller, shorter; longer, shorter; thick, thin; thinner, wider; tall, taller, tallest, etc?
Large To Small…
Collect a large and small leaves from trees. Press the leaves between two large books to flatten them. Protect the leaves by preserving them in wax or by placing them between two sheets of clear adhesive paper and trimming to within ¼-inch of the leaf. Place the larger leaves on the table. Place the smaller leaves in a box. Ask the child to select a leaf from the box and match it to its partner on the table.
Draw pictures of different animal tracks on index cards. Make two cards with each type of track. Mix the cards up and ask the children to find the pairs of matching tracks. The children can also play “Concentration” with the cards.
Use a glue stick to glue leaves plucked from 4-6 different trees on to a poster board. Cover with clear contact paper. Sandwich leaves of the same size and variety between two pieces of clear contact paper. Trim around each leaves leaving an o “sealed edge. Set the board and leaves on a tray. The children match the leaves.
Stepping On Stones…
Make stepping stones from heavy brown construction paper, cardboard, or sturdy paper plates. Number the stepping stones 1 through 10. Tape the stepping stones in a pattern on the floor in numerical order. They should be far enough apart so that the children must jump from stone to stone. The children should read aloud the number of each stone as they jump on it.
Nutty Basket Match…
Paint the numerals 0 through 10 on the front of 10 small baskets. Give the child a large basket, filled with acorns or peanuts. The child must place the appropriate number of nuts in each numbered basket.
BOOKS ON FALL
Busy Little Squirrel
The Little Busy Squirrel is a simple tale about a squirrel getting ready for winter. He collects acorns, berries and corn as the animals ask him to spend time with him. But he’s too busy!’ The story has nice word repetition (think of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle”) and wonderful illustrations. We enjoyed finding the bugs amid the pictures and talking about the different animals.
Fall Is Not Easy
Fall is a tough time of year for a lot of us. Kids have to go back to school, teachers and football players have to go back to work, and parents have to look for new places to hide holiday presents. But perhaps fall is hardest of all on trees. After all, they have to change their entire appearance every year! This book is the rhyming story of a tree’s humorous struggles to change its colors for fall. And it’s a perfect introduction to the seasons for young children.
Fall Mixed Up
A young boy gets the fall months mixed up calling them Septober and Octember. So naturally fall happenings get mixed up. Apples turn orange. Pumpkins turn red. Squirrels fly south. This book is sure to make children laugh and I can just hear them screaming “no, bears hibernate, not geese?” The pictures work perfectly with the words in this wonderful fall read aloud book.