Sugar Aunts: Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities

Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities

These Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities are great for addressing listening skills in kids with or without auditory processing difficulties.  Try these creative ideas at home or in the school yard to easily strengthen auditory abilities for better learning. Perfect for children of all ages and developmental levels, it's a Fall themed activity that will help kids learn to listen to details!

Listening isn't easy for everyone.  For children with auditory processing disorders, learning is difficult. Imagine identifying and localizing sounds in a classroom that is filled with chattering children, scooting chair legs, pencils scratching on paper, and moving, sound-making children.  The process of localizing sounds, recognizing sound patterns, discriminating between different letter sounds, and interpreting auditory information can be less than optimal for the child with difficulty processing the sound information that is coming in.  

Try these listening activities using Fall's leaves in a backyard auditory processing activity!

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Auditory Processing Activities Using Fall Leaves

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When there are auditory processing difficulties present, a child may tend to have the following problems that interfere with learning:

  • Poor direction following
  • Appear confused
  • Distractibility
  • Short attention spans
  • Sensitive to loud sounds
  • Inconsistently aware of sounds
  • Poor listeners

To build and strengthen auditory skills, try using leaves this Fall.  The crunchy, dry leaves that cover the ground are nature's sensory tool when it comes to auditory processing needs.  

We first talked about the fall leaves that are covering our lawn and read through this month's Virtual Book Club for Kids book, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  We talked about how the leaves of fall are all different colors, shapes, and sizes but have one thing in common: a great crunch when they are dry!

To do these sensory Fall Leaf Auditory Processing activity, you'll need a bunch of leaves that have fallen from trees.  Dry leaves will work best, so if the leaves are newly fallen, you will want to gather leaves up in advance.  Let them dry indoors for several hours or overnight to get a great "crunch".

Next, spread out the leaves in a big bin.  An under the bed storage bin works great for this activity.

Show your child how to squeeze and crumble the leaves using their hands.  Ask them to listen to the crunch of the leaves.  Notice how the leaves crumble and give off a satisfying noise as they are shifted around in the bin.  

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Use the dry leaves to address auditory sensory needs:

  1. Where is that leaf? Ask the child to sit in front of the bin (or if you are outside, sit in front of the adult.  Ask the child to close their eyes.  Using one hand to crunch leaves, ask the child to say or point to the side that the leaf crunch is coming from.  Add a high/low and front/back component by moving around to crumble the leaves, too.
  2. Leaf Pattern- Ask your child to gather a bunch of dry leaves.  Using a pile of leaves of your own, complete a crunching pattern as you crumble leaves at different speeds and in each hand.  The child can then repeat the pattern.
  3. Sound Stop- Crumble and crunch the leaves.  At intervals, stop crunching leaves and wait for a moment. Ask the child to say "Now!" when the leaves stop crumbling.
  4. Falling Leaf Sounds- With the child's eyes closed, crumble leaves high and low above and below the child.  Ask the child to determine if the leaves are above them or below them as they determine the location of the sound.
  5. Lots of Sound Leaves- Add other sounds to the background noise: talking, music, rattle toys, birds chirping, etc.  Ask the child to determine when the sound of crunching leaves stop.  You can also add a localization dimension to this activity to work on auditory figure ground awareness.
Kids can complete these activities on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting.  For kids with sensory issues, or those that are sensitive to crumbling leaves, try using gardening gloves while crumbling.

How would you use Fall's leaves in a sensory or auditory processing activity?

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Looking for more leaf themed activities? Try these from the bloggers in the Virtual Book Club for Kids series:

Alphabet Activities

Name Activities
Learning Fun With Leaves – Clare’s Little Tots
Sensory Activities
Fall Loose Parts Sensory Invitation  – My Storytime Corner

Science Activities
Preschool Leaf Science Experiment  – Preschool Powol Packets

Color Activities

Leaf Color Sorting – My Bored Toddler

Pre-Writing Activities

Leaf Tracing Pre-Writing Activity  – Books and Giggles

Leaf puppets – messy little monster  – Messy Little Monster
Movement Activities

Number Leaf Scavenger Hunt – – The Educators’ Spin On It

More leaf themed books that would go along great with this activity (Grab them via the links below to read before trying a leaf listening activity:


  1. This is such a fun way to work on listening skills. Kids love crunching leaves!

  2. We've been collecting leaves recently but they're alway so damp. Need to dry them out so we can try this.


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