By Amber Bass
Autumn brings awesome opportunities for learning science, art and literacy for children.
During cold months, leaves stop making chlorophyll which gives them their green color. Once all the green is gone the true beautiful color of the leaf is reveled! Take this seasonal happening and a hands-on experience gathering, preserving, classifying, and exploring leaves to deepen their understanding of how and why leaves change color in the fall. Take loved ones on a nature walk and ask them to collect as many different color leaves as they can find. Then arrange the leaves in a color wheel! This might also be a good time to introduce color combinations by giving them opportunities to explore mixing different colors together, such as red and yellow to make orange. Follow up your leaf adventure with a great book.
Strengthen learning about changing fall colors by reading books. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro, Leaves! Leaves! Leaves!, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace and other books with information about identifying kinds of leaves are enjoyable ways for young children to experience the wonders of the fall season. (Info from NC State University, Natural Learning Imitative)