DIY Leaf Sensory Activity

Fall is here and that means cool weather, leaf piles and vibrant colors! A fun, easy and interactive way to get children up close and personal with fall foliage, is to create leaf sensory bags!

This process only takes a few minutes and truly engages the senses. Here’s how to make them…

What you’ll need: 

  • Ziploc bags (any size will do, but gallon size is recommended!)
  • Cooking oil
  • Liquid watercolors
  • Leaves (from your very own yard or local park)
  • Glitter
  • Sequins

What to do: 

  • Check for any holes or tears in your sealable bag. Make sure it is sturdy and can be sealed without any issues.
  • Pour in some cooking oil. The amount of oil needed depends on the size of the bag you choose. The bigger the bag, the more oil required. You want to add enough so the leaves can move easily inside but not so much that the sides are too full.
  • Add a few of your hand picked leaves.
  • In a bowl, mix a few teaspoons of water and drops of liquid watercolor together. You can create several different autumnal colors, such as yellow, green, red and orange!
  • In small increments, add the mixture into your bag. Because water does not blend with oil, you will see multicolored bubbles magically appear.
  • Get creative! Adding in different colored glitter and sequins of different shapes and sizes will give your bag lots of dimension.
  • Last but not least, seal your bag! Carefully let out as much air as possible. If you don’t, your bag could pop as it is being played with and explored. That’s a mess you definitely don’t want to clean!
  • Tape the bag down onto a flat surface and have fun interacting with your homemade leaf sensory bag.

Leaf sensory bags are a wonderful way for children to engage with nature in their own backyards. They are also a great way to start a conversation about their senses. What does the bag look like? How does it feel? What does it smell like? The best part is that these bags can be made in each season using different materials, such as flowers and grass in the spring and green leaves in the summer.

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