I’d recently listened to a podcast from Read-Aloud Revival** and the guest, Cindy Rollins, made a point that really stuck with me. The version in my head of her point is: when we start feeling guilty about whatever we aren’t doing with our children that we think we should, stop. Go and do that thing with your kids. Don’t go to the computer and make a lesson plan and research extension activities, just do “it”.
It reminds me of advice a work mentor once gave me:
Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.
Sometimes I wonder if it is an ingrained bias, as I am a fall baby myself. Pumpkin pie spices, egg nog- like mother’s milk to me (and cheesecake, but that is another story).
Our dry, sunny autumn weather this year has resulted in some fabulous leaf colors in the last few weeks. But I just hadn’t taken the time yet this season to actually go out and enjoy it.
With the above words ringing in my head, I decided to drag my kids outside and make us enjoy them together!
So, we went out with buckets in hand, with a vague mention that we could think of some art project to do with them.
Usual if we go out, I feel I need to bring a backpack full of guidebooks, snacks, water bottles, paper & writing implements. Today, I just grabbed my phone (which allowed me to take a few pictures); they just grabbed their buckets.
It was a very good time had by all.
That being said, here are some links for possible science and art extension activities. 😉
This link that has a kid-friendly explanation of why leaves change colors (the “read more” page goes into some of the different chemical compounds that cause the different colors):
Why Do Fall Leaves Change Color?
by Science Made Simple
Or for an older child, here is link to an explanation by the USDA Forest Service.
And here is a link for a “Trees in Art” unit from the Kennedy Center ArtsEdge program, though not necessarily fall-themed.
For our art project, we went super simple and just took some contact paper, placed it sticky side up, and let the kids decorate at will.
Blake (5) did a lovely collage with each family member made out of leaves. Then Regan (3) came and started moving his leaves. One or more children may have ended up in tears. Needless to say, the only picture I have of the “art project” is of Regan’s….
*The post title reference is from a song/carol. The rest of the line is “…among the leaves so green.” So, only vaguely appropriate, but it was what was humming in my head for this post!
** The Read-Aloud Revival podcast has been full of interesting and inspiring ideas around reading/language arts. I would highly suggest you check it out if you haven’t already. The podcast is completely free.