Preschool Physical Science Activity {Leaf Pounding}

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
~ Henry David Thoreau

With the coming of spring, we’ve been discussing botany for a few months now. This leaf activity is a perfect segue and compliment to botany lessons. The activity integrates physical science, movement and fresh air. Lovely combination, right? Thank you to my Montessori Physical Sciences instructor at MEIPN.


Leaf Pounding


Materials Needed for Physical Science Activity

  • 2 wooden blocks
  • 2 rubber bands
  • 1 piece of fabric
  • Plants
  • Magnifying Glass


Approach for Physical Science Activity

  • Gather the children
  • Ask them to find a partner and collect the materials needed for the activity
  • Go outside
  • Ask the children to gather a leaf or two
  • Demonstrate how to set up the leaf on the block with the elastic bands (you may have to help out the children)
  • Pound away
  • Examine outside the fabric, then peel off to examine the other side


Tips for Physical Science Activity

  • Integrate language like hard, soft, slow, fast, pressure, light, surface area
  • Ask questions using these words: “what do you observe when you use the base of the block? What about trying the corner edge?”
  • You’ll find the children will begin to explore other approaches to test how their method may work compared to another
  • Gather the group back together again and bring in botany by identifying the parts of  the plant
  • Encourage the children to display their leaves. They do make beautiful art pieces!


Recommended Books

Leaf Man


We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt






Thank you for choosing to read this post today! Check out my Pinterest Boards on Nature Activities for Kids, Montessori Science and Montessori Botany! You’ll find all sorts of ideas on those boards!




Founder, Publisher, Writer & Editor at Carrots Are Orange, Inc.
Marnie began Carrots Are Orange in 2010 after the birth of her first son. Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori inspired learning and living blog for parents and educators. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living east of Seattle with her husband and three young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, and


    • says

      Hi Faigie, a little of both actually. It depends on which plants you choose and how hard you are pounding…either way, the result is lovely. Thanks for your comment! :-) ~ Marnie

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