Become a Leaf Detective
Welcome to September, on the 22nd of this month autumn will arrive and officially herald the end of summer. The last days of summer can be a little sad for some kids but by choosing some exciting, outdoor activities we can get them outside having some incredible fall fun.
One of the best things about autumn is witnessing the leaves changing color and tumbling to the ground. What better time of year to become a leaf detective? Kids can become The Sherlock Holmes of the great outdoors and go on a journey of discovery that will encourage their observation of the natural world.
A detective needs some equipment when he goes investigating:
A notebook or sketchbook for recording important findings
A pencil or pen for writing down fun facts in your field notebook.
A camera for taking photos.
A bag to keep the discovered leaves in.
A magnifying glass to see the beauty of leaves more clearly.
6. A leaf chart to help identify their discoveries.
There are some things that kids already have that will help them become excellent detectives: curiosity, a sense of adventure, a love of nature and the desire to learn more about trees and plants.
To encourage enthusiasm for leaf detecting, make it a family activity. Go on a hunt and find the fallen treasures together; it could be in your own backyard or you could all take a field trip to the woods, a local botanical gardens or a forest preserve.
Once kids have gone detecting there are lots of ways that they can use their discoveries to detect the origins of the leaves. Using a leaf guide is the best way to find out what tree used to be a leaf’s home. There are a many great internet sites where you can download picture guides for free and your local library is a great place to find books on trees, especially those indigenous to the local area. If in doubt as to a leaf’s origins use a number one detective skill, talk to an expert; a local tree nursery is a great place to find out lots of cool facts about leaves.
The joys of fall are just around the corner and Mum’s and Dad’s won’t need to do any detective work to discover how much fun kids have when they go on a leaf hunt; the clues will be in their smiles.