As the leaves start to fall in autumn, it's a great time to sit back and reflect on what the changes in season mean. Many young children are intrigued by these changes so incorporating some learning about leaves can be a fun exercise for the kids at a child care centre.
Leaves have interesting shapes and patterns. You can explore these in a visual and tactile way by placing leaves of different shapes and sizes under a sheet of paper and gentle rubbing over them with a crayon. Alternately, you can place leaves between a piece of card and a layer of aluminium foil and the children can press the foil into the leaves.
This lets the children see the intricate pattern of veins that leaves use to carry water and nutrients to the leaves and return the converted chlorophyll to the plant stem. You can use this to explain how plants take nutrients from the ground and convert sunlight into energy.
Make your own 'centre tree'
The idea of a family tree is interesting to many children. You can try making a child care centre tree to show that the children are all a member of another 'family', the child care centre. The branches can be the individual rooms and the children and teachers can each create individual leaves showing their favourite scenes or colours to show the range of different leaves (and people) that add together to create one beautiful tree.
Another fun activity is to try tasting different 'leaves' such as baby spinach, lettuce, nasturtiums, rocket and mint leaves. You can show that the leaves have different tastes and explore the idea of edible leaves. You can also look at all of the animals that have a highly leaf based diet such as koalas, giraffes and elephants. Kids are often amazed by the amount of leaves and roughage that animals need to have each day to maintain their weight — elephants often eat hundreds of kilograms of plants per day! This can be a fun way to talk about different animals and explore the idea of different animals eating habits.
As you can see, there are a range of fun and educational activities that you can use to teach various concepts relating to leaves. By using all of their senses the children can fully explore leaves and come to a better understanding of how plants work.Share
28 April 2016
I love how life excited my twins, and I want to make sure that they retain that same excitement to learn for their whole life. I want to homeschool them, as they are really smart, and I think that a traditional school might bore them. I am currently doing a lot of study into how to build an impressive homeschooling curriculum for my kids so that they don't miss out on educational opportunities by not having a traditional schooling path. It's interesting for me to learn more about the theories of education and development for children. I'll share my thoughts on this blog.