This week we are sharing a fun way to get out in nature, collect leaves, and learn about the different leaf shapes. I’m also sharing a way to learn about basic geometric shapes using leaves!
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The Virtual Book Club for Kids is off to a great start! We have enjoyed participating in the activities and seeing the posts in the facebook group. Feel free to hop on over to the group and join in on the fun! This week’s book is Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. What a fun read! The story begins with a Leaf Man being blown by the wind and we are taken on a journey to all of the places he may have gone.
We also just love the illustrations. They are made from Fall leaves and many colors and shapes are included. So along those lines, we thought we would even further explore leaf shapes with a nature walk activity. The leaves haven’t really started changing around here, but we were still able to find plenty of fallen leaves on the ground in pretty colors.
Before Your Walk:
After reading Leaf Man, take a picture walk though the book to examine the various different leaves, paying special attention to their shape. Are some leaves jagged? Smooth? Pointy? Round? Skinny? See how many descriptive words you can come up with together.
We printed this leaf shapes printable to bring with us as a guide. It’s great to use as a scavenger hunt to see how many similar leaves we can find to the ones on the page.
You’ll also need a bag or container to take with you to put your leaves in. We brought a gallon-sized zip-lock bag, as it was just the right size to hold the leaf shapes page.
Exploring Leaf Shapes in Nature:
Time to go out and collect some leaves! The ideal place will have multiple different types of trees. This could even be your neighborhood. We live in an urban/suburban area, but our neighborhood has several different trees with fallen leaves. However we chose to go to a local park with wooded trails because it was a beautiful day and we wanted to go explore.
During your nature walk, you’ll want to keep an eye out for leaves in various shapes and choose some to collect from the ground. Talk about the different shapes of the leaves. “This leaf has jagged edges!” or “This one looks wavy” and “Here’s an oval.” My four year old comes up with things like, “This one looks like a rocket!” It’s fun to see all of the things they come up with.
If you find leaves that are similar to the leaves in the printable, hold the leaf up to it to compare. Some may be similar, but you’ll also find different leaves. For example, the printable has two different types of Oak leaves, but there are many different types of Oak trees, so any Oak leaf you find might vary a bit.
After Your Walk:
Natural Leaf Shape Sort:
Sort your leaves into piles based on their shape. You can do this in many ways. We chose to use the leaf printable to guide our sorting. We cut out the leaves that were similar to what we had, laid them out, and then sorted our leaves with them. This was a good activity for my preschooler, as he really had to examine and compare each leaf. We worked on this together using descriptive words.
OR Cut Leaves Into Shapes and Sort:
Since the above sorting activity was more for my preschooler, I decided to make another version for my toddler. I took some of our leaves and cut them into geometric shapes since that is what we are working on. I kept it simple and cut squares, circles, and triangles as he is just starting to learn his shapes. I also cut the shapes out of paper to start the sorting piles.
Now that we have explored leaf shapes, we are going to figure out what else we can do with our leaves. I know we are going to preserve some! What do you like to do with Fall Leaves? Tell us in the comments!
Here are some great activities from the Virtual Book Club for Kids Organizers and Co-hosts to go along with Leaf Man!
Learning About Letters with Leaves & Falling Leaves Song – Kori at Home
Beginning Sounds Activity: Leaf Sticker Tree– Growing Book by Book
Letter Recognition Game with Free Leaf Printable – JDaniel4sMom
Leaf Name Sticky Wall – Inspiration Laboratories
Learn to Write Your Name with ‘Letter Man’ – Chickadee Lit
Learning Fun With Leaves – Clare’s Little Tots
Preschool Printable Counting Leaves – CraftCreateCalm
Fall Loose Parts Sensory Invitation – My Storytime Corner
Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities – Sugar Aunts
Preschool Leaf Science Experiment – Preschool Powol Packets
Simple Preschool Science: Leaf Matching Activity – School Time Snippets
Giant Colorful Watercolor Fall Leaves for Kids – Toddler Approved
Basic Math with Fall Leaves for Preschoolers – Views From a Step Stool
Leaf Tracing Pre-Writing Activity – Books and Giggles
Leaf puppets -Messy Little Monster
Number Leaf Scavenger Hunt – The Educators’ Spin On It
Leaf Art – Making scenes/people with leaves – Mama Smiles
Leaf Shapes Fingerprint Activity – Artsy Momma