Besides using fall leaves for nature studies and art projects, here are some math ideas. Look over the leaf collection and first sort them into different groups. Maybe some are small and some big, or some are round or jagged or have lots of points, or some are one color and some another. Talk about why some leaves fit in each group and how they are different and the same. Now, count the leaves. How many are in each group? Which group has more than the others? If your child is ready, try some simple math problems. For instance: “Look, I’ll cover up this big leaf with some little ones. How many little ones did I need?” or “Here are 4 leaves. I’ll pretend the wind came along and blew one away. How many are left?” etc.
Use some of the leaves to make a sequencing pattern. Sequencing is a higher-level thinking skill that is used in many areas. Either you can make a pattern and have your child think of what comes next, or your child may be able to make one all by his/her very own self. In the example above, the long, skinny leaf would fall next. 😉 Leaves can be used for all kinds of fun! What kinds of activities do you fall for?
While waiting for leaves to dry, here is a project that uses paper. Trace a leaf shape onto a plain white paper and cut it out. Tricky shapes need adult hands to cut, simple leaf shapes should be ok for kids’ hands. On a piece of newspaper color the leaf with fall colors of felts or markers. Put some water in a spray bottle and lightly spray water onto the paper leaves. The marker colors mix and blend together. When dry the paper leaves almost look like real ones, with the colors all swirly and the paper crinkly. Instead of markers, a few drops of food coloring mixed in water and painted on with a q-tip work, also Lots of fun on a rainy fall day and kids feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work! That’s magic, too, and helps children prepare for kindergarten.
One activity I can remember doing even as a small child is collecting fall leaves. If the leaves have started to turn and fall in your area take your child out and choose some special leaves. Help your little one notice that the leaves are different shapes and different colors. One tree may have leaves of different sizes. Are the leaves on one tree all the same shape? These are things that we take for granted but for children this is part of the magic of learning. It’s a new discovery for them, or for kids who have done this before, it’s just as exciting to discover that things are the same as the year before. Take the leaves home and tuck them between layers of newspaper or paper towel. Place a book on top and in just a few days there are flat, dry leaves perfect for some art projects. (Think of raking leaves as making a giant collection!) What’s your favorite leaf art activity?
What do leaves do in the fall? They fall, of course. Here’s an activity to explore lots of actions. Pretend being a leaf and do all the things that it can do: twist, turn, swirl, spin, and dance. Float on the wind, softly, slowly and sink to the ground. Think of some other ways that leaves … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Leaves Fall
Anytime is a good time to rhyme but fall and ball are easy, ordinary, everyday words to practice words that rhyme. Rhyming is a skill that is needed for learning to read. As children learn to manipulate and create with language, one of the abilities they develop–(without any formal teaching on our part!)–is to divide … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Fall & Ball Rhyme
The start of school feels like the end of summer, but today is the official first day of fall. Going for a walk around your neighborhood to see autumn changes is a simple, yet special, activity. We all too often forget to include time in nature on our t0-do list. Have any of you read … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – First Day of Fall