The Autumn foliage colors peaked here last weekend. We soaked in the opulence during a trip to a state park, apple orchard, and CSA farm. The family fun was a springboard for several leaf activities, all of which were fun.
1. Fall Leaves Hunt
The last leaf hunt my son went on, we packed some crayons and made rubbings. This time, we left the crayons at home and just let our eyes search out eight various types of leaves. (Click the picture below to download a free PDF of the ID page I made.)
I clipped a page with the names and images as a cheat sheet onto a mini clipboard. It was up to him to make tally marks or simply X through the names or images. We tucked the leaves in a gallon-size ziploc as we walked the trail.
2. Sort by Color and Make a Life-Sized Graph
I pressed the leaves between layers of paper towels (since a few were wet) under a heavy book. The next day, they were ready for us to use. I grabbed some leftover painters tape and made a big grid on the carpet in our living room. I made red, orange, yellow, green, brown, and purple cards as well as a numbered set. I placed these on the grid to complete our empty graph.
It took the boys no time at all to deduce what they were to do. They immediately set to work. "Is this purple or brown," they would ask each other. I loved their decision-making and how well they worked as a team to complete the graph.
When it was done, there was a three-way tie between brown, yellow, and red leaves. (This idea came from Little Giraffes.)
3. Sort and Graph by Type
When we'd finished our leaf color graph. We removed the leaves and the color cards, and I placed two other cards at the bottom of the graph: maple and oak. Now they graphed which we had more of. The clear winner was maple!
4. Arrange from Smallest to Largest
As they cleared the graph of the leaves, I grabbed several and asked our 5-year-old to put them in order from smallest to largest. He was a little lost at first but I asked him to "Find the smallest leaf" and it was removed. Again, "What is the smallest leaf now?" And so it went until we had them all lined up.
5. Preserve by Laminating
Lastly, the boys picked their favorite leaves from our collection and I put them in plastic laminating sleeves, running them through my personal laminator, to save and admire for weeks and months to come. They look like stained glass in our window! (This idea came from Mama Smiles.)