Fall is right around the corner! In just a few days, it will officially be scarf and pumpkin pie season! I have soooo many fun pumpkin activities that I am dying to sharing with you! In the meanwhile, I have this fun set of fall tracing strips. You can use them in multiple ways actually- tracing, cutting, or using manipulatives to strengthen those hand muscles. I love fall ideas like this for preschool! They are so fun and you can use them in so many ways.

Fall Ideas for Preschool – Tracing and Cutting

Age: 3+
Why: Using tracing strips like this are a fantastic pre-writing exercise. Children can use these cards to practice writing on a line. This will give them an opportunity to practice proper scissor grip, holding a pencil (or another manipulative) properly, improving their pincer grasp, and strengthening their hand muscles.

How to prepare

This file includes several tracing (or scissor) strips. Children can practice tracing where the lines are dashed. Each strip has a solid outside border. If you want to present individual strips rather than the full sheet of paper, you can cut them out along the solid border.

You may want to laminate these papers if you will be using them with multiple children.

I also recommend providing a larger tray to place both the sand tray and the cards inside of. This way, if the sand spills, you will have somewhere to catch the spills.

How to use

You can present a few strips at a time to your students. You can simply provide a whiteboard marker (if you laminated) or a different writing tool of your choice. Alternatively, what I love, love, love to do is provide a sand tray, too!

Children can use a manipulative OR their fingers to create the patterns in the sand. For these fall strips, I love providing a cinnamon stick! This smells delicious!

The strips included in this set are progressively more difficult. Children can start by practicing straight lines, curved ones, pointed ones, and more!

Materials you need:

  • Fall Tracing Strips
  • Cinnamon stick (option)
  • Sand
  • 2 trays – one large, one smaller

The set comes with several patterns. Here you can see one of the more advanced ones. Keep in mind, if the child is just starting out with this exercise, they may be able to replicate only some of the patterns. This isn’t about accuracy, but rather about practice. Do not get discouraged or tell the child your observations. Jot down some notes if you see some points of struggle. It is not necessary to tell the child. You can create more exercises that allow the child to work on these points next time.

If you do not want to present this with a sand tray or a writing tool, you could even provide manipulatives for children to place along the dashed lines.  You can use pom poms, marbles, or anything else you have on hand! This is a great way to develop fine motor skills and a pincer grasp.

Use as Scissor Strips

Alternatively, you can even use these cards as scissor strips. If you choose to do this, do not laminate the cards. Present the cards alongside a pair of scissors, and a bowl for loose/extra parts.

Begin with the snipping strips. Children learning to use scissors first learn to make snipping movements along a straight line. You can use these strips for this purpose. The cut out parts can even be used to create an art project afterward!

Then, children can practice cutting along the increasingly difficult strips!

Alternative Leaves Cutting Ideas

I also love this idea of creating a leaves cutting tray from Happy Toddler Play Time!

Kids Craft Room shares another take on a nature cutting tray!

This last one is one of my favorite ideas! You can use leaves to create “leaf confetti”! The child can use a hole punch or shape punch to work those hand-muscles as well as to create some beautiful nature confetti!

Download Your Tracing Strips Printables Here

Download Printables long


Fall Tracing Strips

More Fall Ideas for Preschool