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Leaf Collection

 

Today's Snack: Since we're going to working with leaves today, let's eat some. Only not maple or elm leaves - let's make stuffed lettuce-leaf rolls!

You will need a large lettuce leaf for each child.

Mix up a nice salad of chopped-up chicken or tuna with a little mayonnaise, chopped celery, chopped onion and a little salt and pepper.

Now spread out a lettuce leaf. It might be round, or long and skinny. Near one end, place a blob of your chicken or tuna salad - about two tablespoons or so.

Curl the end over the salad, and fold in both sides.

Now roll the rest of the lettuce around the leaf to hold the salad inside neatly.

Eat right away like a burrito, or secure with a toothpick and eat later. Just remember to take the toothpick out BEFORE you eat, and throw it away safely!

 

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Supplies:

 

Leaves gathered from trees in a park or anywhere outdoors;

this activity combines well with an excursion in nature!

 

At least two sheets of waxed paper

 

Old towel

 

Scissors

 

Iron and ironing board

 

 

Autumn is a great time of year to collect leaves and enjoy the many shapes, sizes and colors you can find. But any time of year is a great time to make a leaf collection.

 

During a walk in the park or out in the country, it's fun to collect leaves and come back and make a collage or collection out of them.

 

Can you find 10 different kinds of leaves? Look at the shapes and sizes to make sure you are selecting different kinds, and not just different colors of the same kind.

 

When you get back inside, here's how to make your collection:

 

To save one leaf, put it between two sheets of waxed paper. Place a towel on top of the waxed paper. The towel shouldn't be too thick.

 

With the iron preheated on medium heat, iron the towel. The waxed paper should fuse, or stick together, which will preserve the leaf.

 

If the child wants to, he or she can cut around the perimeter, or outside, of the leaf, staying one inch away from the edge so that the two sheets of waxed paper don't come apart.

 

Then put the leaves between two pieces of construction paper, and staple into book form.

 

Or start off with a three-ring binder or spiral notebook already dedicated to the leaf collection:

 

If the child is saving several different kinds of leaves, the child can tape or glue a different leaf to each page of a notebook, label what tree it is from, and then press the leaf notebook with several heavy books on top overnight.

 

Or it's fun to make a collage on a big piece of posterboard, showing all the different shapes, sizes and colors. You can display it throughout the fall season.

 

Children who love to draw might sketch the mature tree from which each leaf dropped, if it's a nice day and you can take the time during the leaf-gathering excursion.

 

How can you find out what kind of tree each leaf is from?

 

Here's an online leaf identification guide. But it's more fun to identify the trees and leaves on the spot, while you are out in nature collecting the leaves. You can probably get a free leaf i.d. booklet or brochure with illustrations or photographs to carry with you during your hike. Call your county extension service or a nature center near you:

 

www.mbgnet.net/sets/temp/leafid.htm

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Environment 05 2008

 

 

 

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