Gardening with Children

Family Zone

Wonderful Autumn Leaves

Date Posted: 01 September 2014

Autumn is a spectacular time of the year, when trees and shrubs start to show their vivid and amazing colours, it is also a sad time of the year too as the leaves drop in their thousands leaving the trees as bare skeletons for the winter, but leaves are very useful and should not be overlooked or wasted, they lend themselves to many children’s activities and can benefit the garden too.

Go on a Leaf Hunt

Children love treasure hunts. Collect a variety of leaves from plants and trees in your school garden and show them to the children. Then go for a walk with the children around the garden and see if they can find which plants/trees the leaves belong to, tell them the plant/tree names and bit about each one, this will encourage children to look more closely at the plants and begin to understand the different types of plants in the garden. 

Leaf Rubbing

Place a leaf on a sheet of paper with the vein side up, place another piece of paper on top and holding it very still rub over the paper with the side of a crayon to reveal your leaf, this can be repeated to fill the sheet using the same piece of paper but with different types of leaves and different coloured crayons. Make your rubbings into cards or book marks.

Leaf Prints

Place your leaves vein side up on to old newspaper and apply a coat of paint, carefully pick your leaves up by their stalk and place paint side down onto your paper, cover with another piece of paper and gently rub over the leaves, lift off the top paper and your leaf to reveal your leaf print. Try making leaf print Christmas Cards, use red, green and gold paint onto coloured card and add a sprinkling of glitter. 

Leaf Bunting

Decorate your school this Autumn with some Leaf Bunting. Do some leaf rubbings or leaf prints and roughly cut them out, along the length of a piece of string place the leaves, fold the stem end of the leaf over the string and stick it down to the back of the leaf with a piece of adhesive tape. Hang up and admire.

Leaf Collages

Leaves make great collages and they are free, go on a nature walk and collect as many as possible in different shapes and colours, choose the newly fallen leaves as these will not have gone soft and then lay them out on newspapers to dry. You can make you designs into patterns, people, animals or a picture, use your imagination.

Leaf Snap

Collect about 10 leaves from four or five different species of trees, e.g. Oak, Hazel, Sycamore, Birch, Beech, Horse Chestnut (you may want to split its large leaf into the smaller leaves). Mix them up and divide between two bags, each player then takes it in turns to pick out a leaf from the bag and place on the table in their own pile if the top leaves are the same then the first player to shout snap first wins all the leaves.
and finally when you have finished with your leaves turn them into

Leaf Mould Compost

Children love collecting leaves, making them into large piles and jumping in, once they have had their fun gather all the leaves together and place into a Leaf Mould Compost Bin or a Leaf Composting Sack both will hold thousands of leaves and can be put in a corner out of the way where they will turn into wonderful nutrient rich compost which you can use in the garden.
Jute Leaf Composting Sacks (Pack of 3)


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