Leaf Songs for Early Childhood
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Have you ever used fallen leaves to inspire music experiences with your students? It's a great way to get them moving and engaging in nature play! I've collected a few leaf songs, creative movement ideas, and art connections that have become early childhood favorites. Check them out below!
The Leaves by Arvida Steen
Respond to music through movement using “The Leaves” written by Arvida Steen (Exploring Orff, p. 109). This simple melody uses the full diatonic scale, first descending and then ascending.
All the leaves are falling down
Falling softly to the ground
Now the wind will lift them high
Lift them gently to the sky
Sing multiple times for the students. With each repetition, use guiding questions to inspire playful learning.
What is the song about?
What is happening to the leaves?
What is making the leaves move?
Can your body rise and fall like the leaves in the song?
Steen, A. (1992). Exploring Orff: A teacher’s guide. New York: Schott Music Corporation.
Leaves in the Wind
I love using the musical story, “Leaves in the Wind” (click for a sample) to inspire creative movement. Using a scarf or other lightweight movement prop, follow the musical cues and imagine moving like leaves as you sway, twist, turn, float, and fall softly to the ground. What a wonderful way to explore focused listening, spatial awareness, tempo, and levels in music and movement!
Kindermusik. (2002). “Leaves in the Wind” [Hello Weather, Let’s Play Together, Disc 1].
Use these examples as inspiration for your own teaching or the recording itself.
Great for sub plans, too!
Windy Weather by Lynn Kleiner
"What Falls in the Fall?" by Laurie Berkner Band
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Read the Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and notice all of the different leaf creations throughout the story.
In this beautifully illustrated picture book, a “leaf man” goes on an adventure. As the wind blows, the “leaf man” is blown away and becomes various plants and animals, like birds in the sky or fish in a stream.
The illustrations inspire students to explore their outside environment and create their own nature collages like the ones below.
Ehlert, L. (2005). Leaf Man. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Inc.
Collaborate with partners to create leaf art. Because of time and space limitations, I collected the materials ahead of time. Students can also collect on their own.
You will notice in Dubai that we have very different colors of fall foliage with lovely shades of yellow, pink, orange, white, green, and brown!
The students absolutely loved making their leaf art together and celebrating each other’s work. Exploring through art, movement, story, and song created a sensory rich and playful experience. What was your favorite part? Will you try any of these ideas with children in your early childhood classroom this week? We’d love to hear how it went! Drop us a comment below.
Thank you for reading and happy creating!