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
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!
Leaves gathered from trees in a park or anywhere
this activity combines well with an excursion in
At least two sheets of waxed paper
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
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
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: