Fall is just around the corner and I've started talking to my girls about the changing leaves. I got the idea to make a quick activity that involves matching different types of leaves to their shadows. This shadow matching activity is great for visual discrimination practice, and can spark discussions about nature and science.
Why do leaves change color in the Fall?
The green color in leaves is made from chlorophyll, which is a substance that trees use to make their food. Trees need the sun to make chlorophyll. Since Fall days have less sunlight, trees take a break and stop producing it. The green color fades away revealing the different colors underneath.
Some colors, like yellow and orange, were always there but covered by the green chlorophyll. Other colors, like red, are only made in the Fall from different chemical reactions. Nature is amazing, isn't it?
Different Ways to use this Printable
Shadow Matching Game:
Match the colored leaf cards to their shadows. This can be laminated for toddlers, or can be done as a cut and paste activity for preschoolers.
Print off two copies of the colored leaf cards and play the classic game.
Matching Game with Real Leaves:
Go on a nature walk and collect real leaves, and match them to the colored leaf cards.
For more visual discrimination activities for all seasons, take a look at this set of 20 printable matching activities for ages 1 to 4 - click here!