Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Fall Family Challenge: L is for Lots of Leaves!!
L is for Lots of Leaves!
Somehow, though, those leaves get a whole lot less beautiful when you have to spend 5 hours of your Saturday raking them. (One reason why I'm glad we don't have a large yard!) Here are some fun ways to 'play in the leaves' with the whole family.
A Leaf Collection
One of my favorite school projects ever was in 8th grade science when we were assigned to do a leaf collection for class. I don't remember the specs completely, but I know that we had to collect leaves from 25+ different trees and identify them. (By the way, that was what made this project difficult for an 8th grader, so many different tree varieties.)
The reason that this particular project is one of my favorites though has nothing to do with school or leaves. It was because my parents knew of a park about 30 minutes from our house where they thought I'd be able to finish my entire project. I remember we all went there on a weekend afternoon and spent a couple hours walking around and collecting the different leaves. My dad knew a lot about which trees they came from, and I remember even now feeling grateful that he would share that knowledge with me.
I think that as parents we often overlook the learning opportunities there are in the simple things. Did you know that leaves can be collected and sorted by color, shape, and size? Can your child find two leaves that are exactly the same?
Leaves, and other fall foliage, make for great stamps. Let the kids get creative in painting up leaves and printing them on handmade Thanksgiving cards. This is a great exercise for learning colors and transfer of shapes.
When the kids are done, get out some fabric paint and make your own piece of artwork, like this chic pillow featured on Disney's Family Fun.
And of course you can't forget the classic leaf rubbings and raking!! Here's an activity you might remember from "Letter B" :
Rake the Yard
It's no secret that raking the yard is an activity for the whole family! Let your little ones play in the leaves that you pile up. For the older kids, make a rule that to play you have to help rake first. The reward at the end of the chore will make it more fun for everyone!
For a special treat, hide a few wrapped candies in a pile of leaves and let your kids dive for them! How many can they find?