Monday, October 27, 2014

L is for Leaf!

This family of autumn lovers was super excited for leaf week!

The resources we used this week were…




We had a hard time finding leaf books this week—I guess everyone else I just as excited about the leaves changing! Thankfully Grammie is a teacher, and hooked us up with books from her school’s library. She got us: Fresh Fall Leaves by Betsy Franco, Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane by Victoria Sherrow, Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber, and Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall. We already owned Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, and I looked desperately for We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, but couldn’t find it anywhere.

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Sadie’s been so into the leaves changing color, so we celebrated with orange and red for the leaf mosaic.

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We started out our leaf week by collecting leaves in the yard. Sadie picked a few favorites, and we brought them in and spread them on the table. I cut out an “L” and then Sadie went to town gluing the leaves to the letter. She glued the leaf-covered letter to a piece of construction paper, and then we hung it up. It’s great for sight-recognition, but also makes nice piece of fall décor! I think this project would look just as pretty and interesting in the spring and summer, so no worries if you’re not doing the project in the fall. And, if it’s winter where you are, you can always buy fake leaves at the craft store!

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I created a matching game that I introduced to Sadie on Wednesday. I made a little game board and matching cards with pictures of leaves. I clipped the game board onto a clipboard, shuffled up the cards, and then gave Sadie some quick instructions. She loves puzzles, so this game was a winner. She has played several times a day everyday since.

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I stuck the cards in a sandwich bag and clipped them onto the clipboard, and then just stored the game on her bookshelf where she can get to it when she wants it. I love the portability the clipboard gives!

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It feels like every year autumn comes and goes so quickly, so I have to cram as much pumpkin-anything into October as I can. So, this week we made leaf-shaped pumpkin cookies. Sadie always loves baking, and especially loves using the cookie cutters.  We made these for Dan’s coworkers, and I’m told they were a hit. We may have snuck a few for ourselves too.
A few words of baking wisdom:
1. Refrigerate your dough for a few hours or overnight before rolling and cutting.
2. Always dip your cutter in flour before cutting.
3. Bake on tin foil, so that you can transfer cookies onto a towel to start cooling immediately. This saves the bottoms from over-baking while resting on the hot baking sheet.
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On Friday Sadie made some leaf prints. We stuck some leaves under a simple "Ll" printable, and Sadie rubbed over them with crayons. The rubbing created prints of all of the different types of leaves we chose. The prints turned out really cool!

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The leaf print activity doesn't take long at all, so if you're looking for another project, hand print leaves are an easy way to make some cute seasonal decor that's fun for the little ones too. Sadie and I actually made her hand print lead back in September, but it would be a perfect project to do this week.

It's super simple: paint your kid's hand in whatever color you want for your leaves (I did a little red, yellow, and brown), help him or her make a hand print on a piece of paper, then add veins and a stem with a Sharpie when the print is dry. I framed Sadie's and put it on our end table. I'll pack it away with my other autumn decor to use every year... I think I'll love it even more ten years from now!

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Weekend Fun:

Go on a leaf hunt this weekend! Read the book Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, and then plan your very own leaf hunt in your yard, neighborhood, or a nearby park. You can even go for a hike! There is a checklist in the lesson plan, so you can easily check off different types of leaves as your little one finds them. There are even spots to include your own descriptions. Hunts are always fun for kids, but this is also a great activity for teaching and practicing descriptive language.

Sadie did her leaf hunt in leopard sweatpants, because she's sassy like that.

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Download the lesson plan HERE! and enjoy!

Note: make sure you set up your printer to print borderless before printing the lesson plan!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the comment section below or email me at I’d love to help you make the project work for your little one! 

Happy learning to you and your future nerds!

1 comment:

  1. Your hyperlink to the downloadable file isn't linked... wink wink.

    Lyla is loving all these activities SO much! She's starting to run to the craft box and ask me to do stuff :)

    Thanks for making these available! <3