In Australia we have just experienced a really warm Autumn (Fall) season. It is always one of my favourite times of the year because the leaves are always so spectacular and it can feel like they are changing colour right before your eyes. It also opens up doors for great learning opportunities.
My adorable niece and I thought we would go exploring and find some leaves we thought were particularly beautiful. It was tough because there were so many we could choose from.
Exploring the environment can be a great way to teach children about the changing of seasons and provides children with an opportunity to make observations whilst opening them up to making discussions, which further helps with language development.
Here is our collection of leaves. My niece notes the various colours, sizes and shapes!
GAMES using LEAVES
It would be easy to turn this into a sorting or classifying game for children.
- 'How many brown leaves can you collect in 2 minutes' (counting)
- 'Order these leaves from smallest to largest' (ordering and measurement)'
- 'Which leaf would cover the largest/smallest area?' (area)
Here is an example (bottom left) of leaves being used to make a shape of a square. This teaches children to really consider the sides and points of a shape.
Great questions to ask -
How many leaves do you need to make a square?
Is that the same number you'd need to make a triangle?
How do you know that you have the correct order?
I think it's also important to give children freedom to take their learning where they want it to go. Here I simply supplied my niece with a black pen and allowed her to be creative.
Just look at her wonderful and creative drawings!! I really love that she has considered the shape of the leaves, using it as a frame for her picture. Brilliant!!!! We extended this activity by using the leaves in imaginative play and writing a stories.
Here she is tracing over the veins of the leaf.
"Wow, I can't believe how many veins this leaf has!' said my niece.
I love when children are surprised by their own discoveries.
I couldn't end this post without sharing with you a tree that I simply adore.
It is down at my families holiday house and it warms my heart every time I look at it. It is absolutely massive and when you under it you can't help but feel almost protected.
Do you have a special place?
Thanks for reading this post.
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