My daughter and I went for a walk today. For those of you who do not know me, I have a 15 month old little girl named Rosaleigh. As we were walking, she discovered that when she stepped on the leaves they made a crunching noise under her feet. And with great delight, she ran to the next leaf to step on it, then she bent down and grabbed the leaves in her hands. She sat on the ground and just absorbed the world around her. The wind on her face, the leaves being blown down the street by the wind, the cracks and holes in the sidewalk and each and every stick along the way.
Being adults, it is impossible to take ourselves back to a time where everything is new. Even though we have walked the same way at least ten times, there were so many new experiences for her. She bent down to watch he ants working, she poked a stick in the holes in the sidewalk, she stops at the same bush every time to feel it and say "bush".
I write lesson plans for my website, and I am constantly challenging myself to come up with new creative ideas, but the lesson I learned today was that there is just so much of this world to investigate, sometimes it is just best to sit back and let your child explore the world at their own pace, in their own way.
With that being said, I was inspired by her to add a few ideas to my page about leaves.
Place leaves in the sand and water table. Encourage the children to examine the leaves and crunch them in their hands.
Leaf Crunching 2
Place dry leaves on the floor or go outside where there are leaves and let the children crunch the leaves with their feet.
Trees Throughout the Year
Show pictures of a tree in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Ask the children what season it is based on the picture. Talk about the leaves on the tree for each season.
How Much is a Handful
Have each child grab a handful of leaves then count how many leaves they grabbed. Record each amount. Compare the results. Ask the child to estimate how many they will grab in their next handful. Have the child grab another handful and count the leaves again.
Listen and watch the wind blow the leaves in the trees and on the ground. Ask the children what sounds they hear.
Take the children on a walk outside to observe the leaves. What color leaves do they see? Are all the leaves the same or are they different. Ask the children to draw a picture of what they saw.
Another Leaves Song:
Sung to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
Leaves, Leaves in the tree,
They're as pretty as can be,
How I wish they'd fall right down,
then they'd be here on the ground,
Leaves, Leaves in the tree,
They're as pretty as can be.
When the leaves fall on the ground,
I really hope that I'm around,
For I will crunch with great delight
Stomping on them 'til it's night
When the leaves fall on the ground
I really hope that I'm around
Check out what is already posted on my leaves page: