25 Things to Do with Falling Leaves
by jen webb
Autumn is the perfect time of year to collect colorful leaves for projects and activities. Check out these 25 activities to do with your charge this fall.
Get artsy to enhance creativity.
1. Create colorful leaf rubbings. Place a leaf upside down on a hard surface with the “veins” facing toward you. Put a piece of white paper on top of the leaf. Use a crayon (any color) to gently rub on the paper over the leaf.
2. Make a leaf collage. Collect leaves of differing shapes, sizes, and colors. Glue the leaves on paper to create a collage of leaves.
3. Make leaf animals and creatures. Glue a leaf on paper and help your charges to draw arms and legs with crayons or markers. Use glitter glue and add some googly eyes.
4. Assemble leaf mobiles. Decorate the leaves with glitter. Laminate the decorated leaf. Punch a hole in the top of each leaf. Tie a string from each leaf to the hanger.
5. Do leafy paint prints. Let your charges be creative and discover colors! Use primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and allow them to mix two colors together to make a new color. Paint the entire back of the leaf and press it on paper to make leaf prints. Don’t forget to wear a smock.
6. Have fun with shaving cream leaf painting. This is a great activity that incorporates color discovery, sensory awareness, art, and creativity. Spray shaving cream evenly into a tray. Choose two primary colors (example: red and blue). Squirt red paint across one half of the shaving cream and blue paint across the other half of the shaving cream. Allow your charges to swirl and mix the shaving cream paint with their hands until the color turns purple. Dip the leaves into the shaving cream and take them out to dry.
7. Make leaf stamp prints. Firmly press the leaf on a stamp pad and stamp it on paper.
8. Wow MomBoss with an autumn wreath. After collecting an assortment of leaves glue them on paper in a circle. Decorate with glitter glue and don’t forget to add a bow.
9. Trace leafs. Put a leaf on a piece of paper and trace around the outside of the leaf with a pencil. After tracing the leaves, decorate the tracings with crayons, markers, and glitter.
10. Make leaf fossils. Roll sculpting clay into golf-sized balls. Put a clay ball between two sheets of wax paper and with a rolling pin flatten the clay into a circle. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper and carefully put one leaf on top of the clay. Place the wax paper back on top. Using the rolling pin, press the leaf into the clay. Peel the leaf off and bake the clay in the oven.
11. Whip up some leaf placemats. Gently place an assortment of colorful leaves of differing shapes and sizes between two pieces of laminate paper to make a leaf placemat.
INCORPORATE MATH AND NATURE USING PRETTY FALLEN LEAVES!
12. Learn measuring. After collecting an assortment of leaves, use a ruler to measure how long the leaf is. Record or graph your findings.
13. Do sorting. Sorting is a great activity to do with younger children. It is a concept children must grasp in kindergarten. Sorting objects promotes thinking logically, applying rules, and organizing things in “the real world”. Ask your charge to sort the leaves according to color, size, or type.
14. Enhance counting skills. Younger children can practice their counting skills and count the leaves they have collected.
15. Reinforce graphing knowledge. Create a bar graph, line graph, or pictograph with the leaves by color, shape, or size.
16. Make shapes. Recognizing and identifying shapes are an important concept for children to master. After collecting leaves put them into a pile. Yell out a shape and have the kids put the leaves in that shape on the grass.
17. Conduct a gravity experiment. Hold 2 leaves in the air and ask your charge which leaf will hit the ground first. Test their predictions.
18. Learn about magnetic properties. What are the effects of magnets on objects? Prepare this experiment by putting objects that repel and attract to magnets into a bag (paper clips, cotton balls, etc). Laminate a leaf and glue a magnet on the back. Ask your charges to predict which objects will be picked up by the magnet and test to see if they are correct.
19. Make predictions. How long does it take for leaves to get crunchy? Gather leaves into a sealed plastic bag. Observe the leaves every day until they become crunchy. Record daily observations.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL!
20. Jump around in a pile of leaves. Rake all the leaves into a pile and encourage your charges to help. When the pile is big enough, the children can jump in! This is a thrilling form of exercise and a great way to clean up the yard.
21. Take a fall walk. Take a brisk walk to enjoy the colors of the leaves and smells of the autumn air. On your walk, collect leaves or play I Spy with leaf colors.
22. Hold a scavenger hunt. Create a scavenger hunt to find different types or colors of leaves. Go on a hiking trail adventure with your charge to find the leaves. This is a great way for your charge to have fun and exercise too!
PLAYING GAMES AND LEARNING, TOO!
23. Play tic-tac-toe. Tic-tac-toe is a fun passtime game to play with your charge. Use chalk to draw a tic-tac-toe board on the pavement. Collect two types of leaves to use as the game pieces. Have fun!
24. Test your charge’s matching skills. Go through your assortment of leaves and put aside two of each type of leaf. Play a matching game with your charge. Hold up one leaf and ask your charge to find the matching leaf.
25. Enhance your charge’s memory. Memory is a skill used every day; the stronger the memory, the better. Memory games help to improve a child’s memory. Set aside two of each type of leaf. Glue the leaves onto separate index cards. Play the memory game. Keep all index cards in a small box for safe keeping.