Going on a leaf hunt in preschool

Every leaf that falls in your environment has the potential for great learning!

We have leaves falling down around our house by the bucketful right now so I am making sure my students get outside to explore them while we can. We started off circle time today by exploring the progression of leaves as they change colors. For the purpose of discussion, I brought in some real leaves from my yard and set them out in order of how they change colors – from green to orange to red to brown…

Then each child was given a clipboard with a checklist of leaves they were to go outside and find.

The checklist is my way of getting the children to slow down and look at the details in their world.

After the children found each leaf on their checklist, they brought them back over to me and set them on a piece of paper. Then they were off to find the next leaf on their checklist…

After the children finished gathering all their leaves and marking them off of their checklists, we then glued the checklist and the leaves to our paper. Not every child found every leaf on their check lists but every child LOVED the experience of looking for their leaves and having their own checklist on a clipboard.  They were all so intentional in their hunt for leaves…

Here is a little better look at the checklist I made  (To download the pdf – click here!) 

And here is a look at our fall leaf collages…

Available on Amazon

By |2018-11-03T21:10:37+00:00October 11th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. lexie October 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    This is so cute! You wouldn’t be making this a printable would you? Pretty please 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 12, 2011 at 12:15 am - Reply

      How can I say no to your very sweet request? I will add the checklist as a printable tomorrow Lexie!

  2. minimarta October 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Love this idea!!!! :)))

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 12, 2011 at 12:15 am - Reply

      Thank you:)

  3. OneMommy October 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Cute activity! I bet they had fun doing it, too! My kids love doing scavenger hunts like that.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 12, 2011 at 12:16 am - Reply

      They loved it! Anything outdoors is always fun for them but they really loved carrying around those clipboards!!

  4. Jill October 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    This looks perfect, I have been looking for a good scavenger hunt for my kids. I am looking forward to printing it when it is a printable- thank you!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      I have now added the printable in the post:)

  5. Vicki Blacken October 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    What a fun way to combine a leaf hunt with the special, grown up experience of using a check list and clipboard. I’ll bet they all told their families all about leaves that evening. It looks like you had a beautiful, sunny fall day too! Thanks so much for sharing your cute check list with the rest of us.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      You are very welcome:)

  6. lexie October 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks! Your website really helped me through my first year teaching. I’m so glad I found you!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      That is so nice to hear Lexie!

  7. Lindsey October 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    This is such a great lesson. I’m using this and your leaf puppets for part of my lessons this week. Thanks for including the PDF of the checklist, that helps a ton!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 1, 2011 at 12:31 am - Reply

      You are welcome:)

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