Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Family Challenge: L is for Lots of Leaves!!

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It's been a long couple of days for me - I've got a sick baby girl. :-(  Augh... it breaks my heart. On top of cutting her two front teeth and having a terrible cold, I took her to the pediatrician's office yesterday and she also has thrush (which we've had before, NOT fun!)

I am trying to stay in good spirits though. Just knowing that a little extra TLC and rest will help her feel better is encouraging. Now, if only I could get her to eat! It's a good thing that we discovered her love for kiwis last week because it's all I can get her to eat right now.

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. :-)  2 years. Besides being ill, we decided to keep it low key anyways. We're kind of traditional in that way, and since the 2nd anniversary is known as the "cotton anniversary," we decided that our gifts would be new jeans. On Saturday I bought my first pair of Levi's, and I have to say that I'm impressed!! We bought food to make a nice meal, but decided to hold off those plans until my husband can taste again. That's fine with me. He gets extra points for picking me up a dozen roses on his way home from the pharmacy. So sweet even when he's under the weather!

L is for Lots of Leaves!

The colors are changing all around us - reds, yellows, oranges. I think that fall is the most beautiful time of year (which explains my October wedding anniversary).

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

Most kids know that there are different kinds of trees; ones that have fruit, palm trees, Christmas trees, etc. Fall is a great time to explore this fact even more, and show them how many kinds of trees are in their very own neighborhood.

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.

Learning Tools 

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?

Make Nature Prints

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?

6 comments:

  1. Hmm...raking the yard...that's something I'm not looking forward to. Why you ask. Well, because we have a ton of trees. It borders on sadistic the way they drop their leaves for two whole months! That's a lot of raking. Last year I raked and put all the leaves in the can while 7 months pregnant, though that didn't compare with shoveling the snow while even more pregnant. I think the dread is residual from that. =)
    Sorry you guys are all feeling icky. Even though it is that time of year it is still awful! Hope you all get feeling better soon!

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  2. Sorry you guys have been sick. That comes with this time of year, and I am not looking forward to it here! Great ideas for fall fun with the kiddos. My little boys are so anxious for the trees to drop more of their leaves here so we can make a big giant leaf pile for them to jump into. We literaly have like 100 leaves in our yard right now, and they are begging me to gather all of them up to make a pile, lol.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  3. Hi I am a new follower from the Welcome Wednesday blog hop. I love fall but unfortunately where I live now there really is no fall. It goes from summer to winter then back to summer. Next year however after we move fall will be all over my blog. :)

    http://thewhitefamilyof6.blogspot.com/

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  4. Thanks for stoppin' by my blog! It is always exciting to find new sisters in Christ. I look forward to getting to know you better! I'm following you back. :)

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  5. So sorry to hear there's so much sickness at your house. I hope everyone gets better soon! Happy belated anniversary! I love a good pair of jeans.

    I love the idea of the nature prints. I'm not looking forward to raking again but this next time we are going to let Avery plan in the leaf piles, I can't wait for that!

    By the way, so excited to see you joined A Blogtastic Extravaganza, I'm so excited to see everyone's prize packages!

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