Fall Leaf Shadow Matching

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. 

Great way to talk about the changing leaves this Fall with a free printable Leaf Shadow Matching activity. Features pictures of real leaves in a variety of colors.

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. 

Memory Game:
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!

Visual Discrimination Matching Pack


Viviana is a blogging mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a kindergartner, sharing ideas and resources for early education. She specializes in unique, hands-on printable activities that are educational, fun and inspire creativity in young minds.


  1. having trouble downloading the printable. Any hints?

    1. I'm sorry you are having trouble. If you email me at [email protected] I can email it to you.

  2. Love your freebies! :) Thank you for adding this post to Tots at Play: L is for Leaves linky. You're welcome to add any of your newly published posts or those from archives to any of our existing (or future) Tots at Play linkies. Now I'm off to schedule this and to promote it a bit around the net. :) Thank you again!

  3. Hello! Could you please provide me also the names of each leafs? I would like to translate them into Hungarian, but I must be sure that about them... :) Many thanks! Judit