As we start the month of October we will be exploring leaves, trees, pumpkins and spiders.  I love being outside in the fall….well actually outside in any season.  

There is so much your child can learn when they are outside.  Just walking on the ground is a learning experience.  For many children walking on uneven ground is something that they do not experience on a regular basis.  They spend a lot of time walking on the level floor at home or on the sidewalk outside but they may not be out in the woods or walking on a trail with roots and rocks.  Giving them an opportunity to learn how to balance on uneven ground helps them to build core strength, develop a sense of how their body works and allows them to take safe risks.  When you allow your child to determine if it is something they feel safe doing it builds a sense of pride when they are successful.  You can set up safe risk with developmentally appropriate activities.  For the little ones just crossing over the tree root is a big accomplishment and for the older children climbing on the big rock may feel like they have scaled a mountain.  If they try and can’t do what they attempted then they have a chance to deal with disappointment and reassess what they are capable of doing.  When you are there to help them set up safe risks you are allowing them to build their self confidence, learn how their body works and how they can safely explore the world around them.  When they are outside they have an opportunity to discover how they are a part of this world we live in.

This week we will be investigating leaves.  We will talk about colors, size, shape and texture.  When you take your child on a leaf walk ask them questions about the trees.  You can ask what color are the leaves and what trees have changed colors.  You can listen to the wind and the sound the leaves make when they are walked on.  Compare a leaf that has fallen on the ground and one that is still on the tree.  You can talk about an evergreen tree versus a deciduous tree.

I found out an interesting fact about needles and leaves.  

It may not seem like it, but needles are leaves. They do the same job that broad leaves do—capture sunlight, “inhale” carbon dioxide, and “exhale” oxygen—providing the tree with food and air for us to breath. … Needles have a thick, waxy coating that retains more water than a regular leaf.

Learn something new everyday — it should be a goal for you because it is definitely something your child does every day!

Danielle had Ansel and Zoe make a fall picture for the cedar “leaves” they found today.  They were at OO Denny Park.

They made a beautiful picture collage using the leaves they found from the evergreen trees.  I had not thought of collecting the types of leaves they collected as I have always thought of fall leaves that are red, orange and yellow from deciduous trees.  We will be examining different leaves this week and I will add cedar tree ‘leaves’ to the mix.  You may want to make a collage out of them on the day we make our leaf collage by using cedar leaves instead of dried deciduous leaves.  Fall is so much fun!

(I sent a picture to show them the art project that Ansel did today)

Be sure to take a small bag or little treasure box to fill up on your nature walks.  We will have lots of activities this week that have natural items as part of the project.  A fun way to gather items is to go on a Color Walk and try to find something that matches a specific color — red leaves, brown pine cones, yellow dandelion and a grey rock.

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from an autumn tree.

Emily Bronte

Have fun walking in nature and listening to the leaves!

~Teacher Janice