A Little Scientist’s Nature Walk

By Paula Solis Krock

Oh to have the curiosity and excitement a child possesses! And this is what makes a simple leaf collecting nature walk a day of scientific discovery for us all!

Walk with your child and collect several leaves of different types and place them in a bag. When you get home spread them out on a big table and examine them. Talk about their similarities and difference. The colors, the shapes, and the spots—all these can be lessons in mathematics, vocabulary and scientific research.

Remember, this can take place over several days—follow your child’s lead. If they walk away, begin again another day.

Some other ideas to explore and learn from the leaves you have collected:

  • Use magnified glass to look closer at the leaves.
  • Use crayons to do a leaf rub. Lay a piece of paper over the leaf and rub the back with the length of the crayon.
  • Tie to a piece of string for a leaf banner.
  • Use washable paint to do leaf prints. Paint the leaf and print it on paper, by using another piece of paper to print it.
  • Use Contact paper (thrift store or shelving section of regular store). Place dried leaves inside, top with another piece of contact paper, sealing the leaves inside.
  • Use idea above, but cut the contact paper no more than 5 inches high. Tape end to end and put a battery-powered candle inside for a leaf lantern. Lovely!


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