playing with autumn leaves

Autumn brings the lovely shades of red, yellow, orange and browns again.

 

It is one of the best time to get the children outdoors and just let them observe the changing scenery.

 

Here are some other things you can do for this season:

 

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt

 

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt
Image Credit: Tammy Almeida’s Edublog

 

A book from Scholastics, and it is very similar to the popular children’s book “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen.

 

Read it to your class and let the season be the children’s inspiration for their next big adventure!

 

Leaf Hunt  

 

Gear up your children for a day out in the park or garden. Make sure they are properly dressed in case it gets chilly.

 

Let the children collect as many leaves as they can.  Encourage them to look up and figure out which tree the leaves came from. If you know the names of the trees, introduce them to the children.  If you do not know the names of the trees then, make it your class’ homework to find out. There is a lot to discover about your locale once you find out what kind of things grow in the area.

 

Let your children guess why leaves change colour and why it falls down the ground every autumn season.

 

Leaves Sort

 

Sorting leaves is great for children to practice sorting and classifying.

 

what color did you find

 

Encourage your class to sort different kinds of leaves by colour, kind or size.

 

Count them and graph them afterwards.

 

Leaf Art

 

Leaf Printing

 

This is a classic art work. All you need to have are:

 

  1. Leaves (do not get the very dry ones)
  2. Pieces of paper
  3. Crayons or other colouring materials

 

All you need to do it to place the leaf on the table with the rough side facing you.

 

Next, put the paper on top of the leaf and shade away with your crayon.

 

Young children might need adult help to hold their paper still.

 

leaf casting

 

Remind them that they do not have to colour very hard and that they need to be patient to see the “magic.”

 

Leaf casting

 

This one may look a little bit trickier than leaf printing but it really makes great leaf craft.

 

All you need to prepare are the following materials:

 

  1. Fresh leaves
  2. Plasticine (modeling clay)
  3. Plaster of Paris
  4. Paints
  5. Rolling pin

 

First, place a leaf on top of the plasticine. Using a rolling pin, roll on the leaf until the leaf is stuck in the plasticine.

 

roll on the leaf until the leaf is stuck in the plasticine

 

Slowly remove the fresh leaf out of the plasticine once there’s a print. Scoop a little amount of plaster of Paris mixture (enough to cover the leaf print).

 

Scoop a little amount of plaster of Paris mixture

 

Cover the entire leaf print with plaster of Paris and let it dry for few hours.  Once it’s dry, they peeled the plaster of Paris out of the plasticine.

 

Cover the entire leaf print with plaster of Paris

 

Then, paint the casted leaf using metallic paints.

 

Make sure you let your children wear an apron over his/her clothes to protect the clothes from the paint.

 

Leaf Experiment

 

So why do leaves change colours?

 

Here is a simple activity I found from How Wee Learn.

 

I am excited to try this for my class this fall.

 

materials for five fabulous fall activities

 

  1. Green leaves (from the same plant or tree)
  2. Rubbing alcohol
  3. Glass jar
  4. Plastic bag or wrap
  5. Paper coffee filter
  6. Small bowl or pan
  7. Hot water

 

This experiment will show the children that leaves actually have other colours present in them. They are just usually green because of “chlorophyll.” (Go ahead and use that big word too.)

 

Chlorophyll is the plant’s food that it gets from the sun. But every autumn, chlorophyll breaks down because the sun shines less during autumn. Less sunshine and cooler temperature causes the leaves to fall.

 

To help children see that other colours are really present in the leaves follow these steps:

 

  1. Break the leaves into tiny pieces. The children will love to do this! Put the tiny pieces in a jar.
  2.  

    Put the tiny pieces in a jar

     

  3. Pour rubbing alcohol in the jar to cover the leaves.

     

    Pour rubbing alcohol in the jar to cover the leaves

  4.  

  5. Let the children mash and stir the leaves into the rubbing alcohol until the liquid turns slightly green.

     

    Let the children mash and stir the leaves

  6.  

  7. Cover the jar with a plastic wrap. Let it sit on a small bowl with hot water.

     

    Cover the jar with a plastic wrap

  8.  

  9. Leave it for almost an hour stirring occasionally.
  10.  

  11. Cut a strip of coffee filter and place it in the jar. Make sure one end reaches the liquid and the other end is taped on the mouth of the jar.

     

    Cut a strip of coffee filter and place it in the jar

     

  12.  

  13. Wait for another hour or so for the liquid to travel up the coffee filter.
  14.  

    Wait for another hour or so for the liquid to travel up the coffee filter

While waiting for the plaster of Paris to dry or for the liquid to go up the coffee filter, let your children listen to stories about fall, play outside or listen to these fall songs available in Youtube:

 

 

 

Happy teaching!

 

Special thanks to Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
for the main image.

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>