These 7 simple, easy-prep fall fine motor activities are perfect for toddlers, preschoolers kindergartners and beyond. Fall themed activities are popular at home as well as in the classroom, and these work in both places. We will touch on cutting skills, use those hands for paper punches and paste too. Affiliate links for easy supply shopping are included in this post.
Fall is around the corner and while the weather certainly is not reflecting that where I am, it is time to break out the fall art projects.
You know what I mean. You've got your pumpkins, your scarecrows, your leaves and apple trees, the good ole cornucopia, etc.
I figured it would be fun to mix up the fine motor skills involved so my daughter could work on cutting and pasting as well as using paper punches.
We love doing fall themed fine motor activities and crafts, and again, these ones can be done with toddlers and preschoolers as well as kindergartners and beyond.
Combining scissor skills, paper punches, glue sticks and even some fall leaves we found on the ground, you can have fun AND develop fine motor skills.
We keep tons of Cut, Punch and Paste Materials Handy Year Round:
- Seasonal Shapes Paper Punches (Like this set of paper punches, but there are tons of shaped paper punches to choose from)
- Large Round Paper Punches ( We like this set because it says the size right on it)
- Kid Scissors (These blunt tipped scissors have been our faves over the years)
- Glue Sticks. We buy them by the box full because we are always looking for one.
- Construction paper (This pack has lasted us quite a long time)
This was originally shared in 2013. My kids are older now but they still love to use all of these materials and craft on a regular basis. 🙂
Fall Themed Fine Motor Skills Activities
Apple Themed Fine Motor Projects
The first sign that fall is upon us in the Midwest is when people start talking about Apple Picking. Apples are not only plentiful this time of year but of course they are also a symbol associated with the Back to School season. Here are two apple themed fine motor crafts.
The first one is a simple tree trunk and tree leaves body that your child can help cut, then she uses the paper punch to punch red circles for the apples. A green strip of paper for the grass offered my daughter great cutting practice as she is not quite at a level to follow the long lines of the trunk or the curvy ones on the tree leaves. All that's left is to paste the tree together and then paste the apples onto the tree. I've also seen people tracing the child's hand in brown for the trunk, which my daughter would have enjoyed if I had thought of it!
Apple Themed Counting Game
The second apple craft we actually turned into a basic but fun counting game when we were done.
We had a red paper plate in our party supply stash, so we used that as our apple but you could also cut one from paper. We cut out the stem, leaf and a wavy worm. We punched out 12 black holes and pasted them onto the apple, along with the stem and leaf.
To play the game we simply rolled two dice, counted the dots and then moved the worm around to pretend to eat that many holes in the apple.
If you don't have a large paper punch you could easily substitute balls of play dough.
Leaf Themed Fine Motor Activities and Crafts
The next symbol of fall for us is a colored leaf…the very first yellow leaf is all it takes for people to start thinking of crisp, cool air and shooshing leaves on the ground. We did a couple different fall leaf art projects using our new fine motor skills system of Cut, Punch, Paste.
The first one was completely inspired by a post about paper punching on leaves. The weather isn't cool just yet here and the leaves are mostly still green. I used a small leaf punch I picked up at Michael's for $1.50. My daughter cut strips of brown paper and we used one for the trunk. Then we punched leaves out of actual leaves, but you could easily do paper and you could also easily use a circle punch. The punch we used is small, so we made this tree mini. It was pretty tricky with our fingers getting gluey and trying to pick up and place the tiny leaves. Also the next day some of the leaves crumpled, dried and/or fell off, so just note that this is not a project to be displayed for a long time.
DIY Fall Leaf Puzzle – L is for Leaf
When we were punching out shapes for one of the above projects I noticed my daughter putting the punched paper back in the holes they came from and I thought, wow, she just invented a puzzled! So we made a couple easy straight lines to cut out an L for leaf, then punched out leaves from the L. I left the resulting leaves on the table and Ladybug got to placing them. She was a little tired of crafting at this point and she requested no more pictures of her. Fair enough!
Easy Paper Plate Fall Scarecrow Craft
No one in my neighborhood really had gardens when I was growing up but everyone always had goofy, crafty looking scarecrows in their yard. I realize now that this is probably because they had kids and that's what we learn about in the fall. My daughter kept saying we were making a snowman as we made this one, until we added the hair of course. I like this kind of project because using just two straight lines of cutting in a piece of paper folded in half, my daughter can see how a new shape is made (the hat). I knew I wanted us to make a scarecrow with our Cut, Punch Paste projects and saw this cute paper plate scarecrow from No Time For Flashcards and thought it would be fun to use the paper plate. You could also just use paper and make that part of the cutting.
Construction Paper Jack-O-Lantern
Next we went for the obvious Halloween symbol. We had to turn a pumpkin into a Jack-o-lantern. This was also a fun opportunity for my daughter to draw on paper with chalk, which is just a little different from the norm, so that was fun.
I folded the orange paper in half and drew the half pumpkin shape for her. We cut out the black strips of paper for the triangle teeth and then I showed her that if we drew chalk lines on the paper in a zig zag format, when we cut on the lines it would make triangle teeth! Use a paper punch or more triangles for the eyes and nose.
Fall Harvest Cornucopia Craft
Last but not least we made a cornucopia. I just drew the basket part free hand, nothing masterful. Then we talked about harvesting food and carrying it in the basket, so we had to make the food.
I showed Ladybug how you could cut half circles and they look just like bananas, which she seemed to be very excited about. We had a bunch of scrap colors so I just asked her what kinds of food we could make to put in it, so that was fun too.
I hope you liked these easy, fun art projects that help develop those ever-important fine motor skills. If you are looking for more cutting practice ideas, check out my cutting practice shrinky dink doll and this itsy bitsy spider web cutting activity. If you need still more, check out my Fine Motor Fun Pinterest board.
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