Want to know the best way for children to learn about the natural world? It’s easy. Take them for a walk!
Our favorite way to begin an exploration of trees is by taking children on a leaf walk. Going on a leaf walk is a surefire way to get children excited about nature, and when children are engaged in an activity we know that they’re more motivated to learn (and they’re probably having a lot of fun too!).
So, let’s take a leaf walk …
Bring along a small tote bag or basket for collecting leaves. You’ll also want to pack a magnifying glass as well as our Tree and Leaf Guides which will help you identify a few things on your walk!
Decide the route you’re going to take. Walk up and down the street, around the block, or visit a nearby park.
- As you walk, point out some of the leaves you see and invite your child to collect a few favorites and place them in the bag/basket. Spend time connecting with your child and enjoying the sights and sounds around you.
- Choose a leaf and look carefully at it through the magnifying glass. What do you see?
When you get home, engage your child in thinking more critically about their leaf collection.
Ask questions like:
- What color are the leaves?
- How would you describe their shapes (straight lines, curved lines, looks like a star)?
- What do the leaves feel like (bumpy, smooth, soft, fuzzy)?
- How do they sound (in the trees, on the ground, under our feet)?
- Do any of the leaves match a leaf on the Leaf Guide?
- Which leaf is your favorite? Don’t forget to share your favorite too!