Kids in Nature: Leaf Hunt

Saturday I went on a housecleaning rampage, and there was one thing I kept finding in the strangest places. Underneath a book bag on the hall chair. Set neatly next to the lamp beside the futon. Stuffed into the coffee holders on the stroller. Mixed into the bag I took downtown with water and snacks and sunscreen. They're leaves. Usually they're maple leaves, but sometimes there are others--long thin beech-like ones, pieces of flowering grass, strips of ornamental stripey grass found on our walks. I don't know how I didn't put this together before, but my kid likes leaves.

Thinking about these leaves this morning, I came up with a game that she might like to play with me. She's pretty good at plant identification, so I promised her a "Leaf Hunt." I made a chart of leaves with the names of each and a "typical" photo I copied and pasted from Google Image.

Nine leaves on the chart: Left column is chickweed, dandelion, maple. Middle is grape, clover and violet. Right column is cinquefoil, buttercup and plantain. (I went outside and checked that they were all there before I made the chart.)

We start our leaf hunt. She picked the order. Violet was first, then maple, then this favorite--dandelion!

We got a giant hardcover volume from our resident book guy and pressed each leaf in a fold of wax paper. We'll check on them again in a few weeks.

Her idea was to cross off each leaf after we'd found it. We got all nine and had a great little botany lesson!

Did you like leaves as a kid? Or do stuff like treasure hunts or scavenger hunts?


ValleyWriter said...

I used to LOVE scavenger hunts! This looks like a lot of fun (not to mention sneakily educational)!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Yeah! We put the book away (kind of by accident) and I can't wait to get it out again with her--maybe this weekend!