I have been a little obsessed with fall leaves these past couple of weeks. I love the vibrant colors, shapes and textures of leaves that I have been finding. They have been utilized well for our fall activities. This gross motor activity tree was a ball, and one that we kept up for a while. It was easy to make and the PERFECT activity to keep this little one occupied for quite a while!
What you will need (LINKS):
To begin, I built my BEAUTIFUL fall tree to the best of my ability using brown paper bags! The double sided tape made it so much easier to hang everything, verses having to fold tape. Next, Roll out your contact paper and cut out your tree top. Tape it to the wall, with the sticky side of the contact paper out.
I used 4 paper bags for the base and then cut two paper bags into four pieces and twisted them into our branches. Tape your branches to the contact paper after you peel off the top layer. Spread out your leaves on the floor and welcome your toddler. I always try to set up activities while she is napping or busy in order to peacefully get it done! I know you guys understand!
What is a gross motor activity?
A gross motor activity is one that requires your child to use large movements using their arms, legs or entire body! Jumping, reaching, bending and running are all examples of the gross motor skills. In occupational therapy we do these kinds of activities to help kids develop their gross motor skills by developing muscle strength, balance, coordination and endurance, along with postural control.
I love doing gross motor activities with Aliza for a couple of reason. One, because she is an extremely active toddler and is constantly on the go. These type of activities require a lot of movement which she loves. I love to put all of her energy into beneficial activities. Two, her DiGeorge Syndrome has presented some low tone in her muscles. If you were to see her running around with other kids, you would never notice but because I am a therapist and I do see her everyday, I notice it. Thankfully, it is not severe but her legs definitely benefit from some muscle strengthening!
Using her legs to bend and reach during this activity helps develop her leg muscles! The contact paper had enough space to put leaves towards the bottom but was also tall enough that she had to stand on her toes to reach to the top! Along with working on her leg muscles it required balance and coordination skills. You GO girl !
Although this is a gross motor activity, it does also require fine motor skills by picking up the leaves and placing them on the contact paper. The contact paper is sticky, but your leaves may need a little extra push to stay on. It was also fun to put them up and see them fall down. Aliza loved it and it made it feel like fall…just for a little 🙂
During this activity we also worked on color recognition along with sorting. Each time she picked up a leaf she would name the color, or I would ask her to find a specific color leaf and she would find it and stick it to the tree.
Once most of the leaves are on the tree it looks so beautiful! Aliza stepped back a few times to just admire the colors and would say “TADA” because she created a piece of art! Overall this activity was great. It was extremely beneficial, but most importantly she had so much fun. I love seeing her laugh and play, learn and explore. These are definitely the moments I sit there admiring the growth of my little one.
If you have just stumbled upon our page, stay a while and see what we have been doing! Check out some of my favorite fall crafts including:
- Fall leaf suncatchers
- No Mess pumpkin painting
- Q-Tip fall tree painting
- Mason jar fall leaf luminaries
- Paper plate fall wreaths
September has come and gone and October is near! Keep FALLowing along as we continue to post our seasonal crafts. I can’t wait for you guys to see what spooky crafts we have up our sleeves! Don’t forget to subscribe, comment and share all your favorite activities!
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