Create a fun and engaging water sensory activity for your toddler or preschooler this fall using DIY leaf stones!
We regularly visit our local beach to find great skipping and throwing stones to skip across or toss into the lake.
On our last trip to the beach I collected a few stones to use in some sort of activity for them. At the time I didn’t quite know what it would be but as September rolled around I realized the perfect thing to put on the rocks – leaves!
Where we live the leaves won’t change colour until late October which is well into Fall. I wanted to take advantage of the mild September weather to play outside but also wanted to incorporate Fall colours and natural resources like leaves. The rocks made the perfect canvas and sensory resource!
How To Make Fall Leaf Rocks
I am the first to admit that I am no artist! I am creative and love art activities and creating but I am not the best at it. If you are like me, don’t let that stop you from making things for your kids! Believe me they will love what every you create for them!
I was able to make these leaves and they turned out to be sooo amazing! When my kids saw them they actually said wow!
To make the leaves I used an outline that I found on Pinterest by Dawn Nicole Designs. Her leaf drawings are beautiful and easy to copy.
I first drew an outlined the leaf using a black sharpie and then coloured in the rest of the leaf using a sharpie in a different fall colour.
The sharpie held up very well on the rocks in the water! So they will be able to play with them all Fall.
Another Way to Create Fall Leaf Rocks
You can also use liquid chalk markers to create the rock leaves. I actually wanted to try both so I drew the leaves in the sharpie and then drew over the sharpie in the liquid chalk marker in order to make the colour more vibrant. This is total not necessary and I actually would recommend doing it this way. Either use sharpie or liquid chalk markers not both.
I knew the liquid chalk marker would wash off in the water but it turned it a light fall colour which was fun for the kids.
If you are going to use liquid chalk markers, seal your drawing with clear nail polish and let it fully dry before putting them in water.
Water Sensory Activity: Rock Soup
I used my IKEA Flisat table for this activity as we were playing outside. I added water to the sensory bins and gave my kids (5 years old and 18 month old twins) our outdoor kitchen tools like slotted spoons, spoons, a spatula, a soup laden, mini jugs, large bowls and a sauce pan.
Then I let my kids add the rock leaves into the water, scoop them out, toss them back in, and collect them again over and over again. They were absolutely in love and played happily for almost 45 minutes!
I can’t wait to go back to the beach to collect more stones to make more leaves!!
Skill Development Opportunities
This activity is great for Language and Vocabulary Development, Hand-Eye Coordination, Fine Motor Skills, Problem Solving, Emotional Development, Visual Perception, Cognitive Development, Imaginative and Sensory Play.
This activity is ideal for 15 month old babies to 6 year olds.
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- Large Sensory Bin or IKEA FLISAT sensory table
- Flat rocks
- Jugs, cups, bowls and other plastic containers
- Kitchen tools like slotted spoons, spoons, spatula, soup laden, mini jugs, large bowls, sauce pan
- Sharpies in Fall colours like orange, red, yellow, brown, green and black