Helping children tune into the natural beauty around us is one way to nourish future stewards of the earth. This time of year we are supplied with an array of natural treasures. We gather golden, ruby, emerald and topaz colored leaves from neighborhood walks. Then we use these precious jewels for a variety of activities:
- Stringing leaf necklaces (using hole punch).
- Matching leaves (similar color, shape & size).
- Attaching leaves to easel paper and painting on top of them.
- Crayon leaf rubbings.
- Collecting leaves during neighborhood walks.
We add challenges to encourage children to look closely and celebrate the majesty that’s at their fingertips and feet. We search for the tiniest leaves. We find leaves that have a rainbow of colors within one single surface. And we choose a few favorites to keep and gift to friends.
Later, when we encounter a dead bird and get ready to bury it in our play yard, children are eager to select some precious leaves to add to it’s grave. They have a respect for the bird and a relationship with these natural treasures. As part of our farewell, a few children drop leaves into the hole next to this sweet bird.