Use this activity guide to go on a nature walk in your neighborhood or at a nearby park! You and your toddler can collect and observe leaves and then create art.
1. Take a walk around your neighborhood or a park when the leaves begin to fall from the trees in autumn.
2. Bring a bag and collect different kinds of leaves from the ground.
3. Observe the leaves. What colors are they? Compare the different shapes and sizes. How does each one feel? Talk about the changes that occur in the fall. For instance, the leaves change color and fall off the trees, the weather gets cooler, and we start wearing jackets and long sleeves. Also talk about the different shapes and textures of the leaves you collect. Some may be round and smooth while others may be pointy and rough!
4. At home, help your child record the different shapes and sizes of leaves by making leaf rubbings.
5. Place a leaf under a piece of paper. For younger children, it helps to tape the leaf to the back of the paper so it doesn’t move.
6. Choose a crayon that matches the color of the leaf and rub it over the paper. The leaf shape should appear!
7. Sort your collected leaves by color, size, or type of leaf. Have your child explain to you how he sorted the leaves.
These instructions were adapted from “Make Leaf Observations on an Autumn Nature Walk” by PBS.