Feeling the texture of fall

We have been exploring fall with an emphasis on the changing colors of leaves around our preschool but this time, we used our hands to explore the leaves and not just our eyes…

Each child chose a leaf from our collection of leaves on the table and set it on a square of cardboard (I cut up the cardboard squares from an old box). The children used their hands to determine which side of the leaf had veins that you could feel the best (usually the back of the leaf) and placed that side of the leaf facing up…

Then the children placed a sheet of foil over their leaf…

At this point, I want to tell you that it would be better if you have the children go ahead and wrap their foil all the way around their cardboard so the foil doesn’t slide around as the children rub their hands on the foil.  Some of my students wrapped their foil all the way around the cardboard and some didn’t – but in the future, I would have them all wrap the foil first.  Once the foil was on top of the leaves with the edges wrapped around the back of the cardboard, then it is time to rub the foil or smooth out the foil over the leaf until the veins of the leaf can be seen…

The children did a wonderful job rubbing the foil so the imprint of the leaves would show. For some of the children, we started over and wrapped their foil around their cardboard squares so the foil and the leaf would not slide around as the children rubbed over the leaf. It was hard to get a photo of the leaf imprints in the foil but the children were very interested in this entire process and loved it when their leaf veins begin to appear…

This activity was a part of a five senses unit we are also doing so our focus for this process was more on touch and feeling with our hands than on what we could see but we were able to see the imprint of our leaves as well…

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By |2012-10-19T06:00:08+00:00October 19th, 2012|

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. Mary October 19, 2012 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this activity of incorporating the Sense of Seeing, and the Sense of Feeling. Great idea! Best,[email protected]

  2. Emma @sciencesparks October 20, 2012 at 2:47 am - Reply

    What fun. i’m going to try this with my 2 year old. Thank you. x

  3. Hula October 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    As an extension or last step you could have the children paint over the tinfoil and let it dry to further reveal the leaf shape and lines. Or maybe use the tinfoil leaf as a printing plate and after painting it, place a sheet of paper over it to produce a leaf print… Or a crayon rubbing over it. I’d have to try these ideas to see if they work well, but I love your initial idea and will definitely try it with my preschooler.

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