Family Time: Leaf It Up To Us

October 16, 2015
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Let’s face it. Youth is wasted on the young. It took me… let’s say 29 years… to fully appreciate the splendor of autumn. My mom used to love to take us on family fall foliage drives or walks, and I just didn’t get it. It’s a bunch of leaves. They’ve turned lots of different colors. They did it last year, and I’ll bet they’ll do it again next year. What’s the big deal?

 

Sadly, I see this repeated with my own kids. “Moo-oommm, this is sooo borrrinnnggg,” was a common refrain on our nature walk last autumn. I get it. You’re not going to ohh and ahh the way I am, but you’re still coming along. Because even though I didn’t fully appreciate the fall foliage until… again, let’s say 29 years later… I still have fond memories of those car trips and walks with my family, and I want the same for you.

 

Make the Majesty of Nature More Exciting

 

The latest edition of Click has a fantastic article about leaves (pp. 14 – 16). The article is focused on the colors of leaves and the science behind the color change. Arm yourself with this information ahead of time and share it with your kids. When they understand how the whole process works, learn that the orange they see now WAS ALWAYS IN THE LEAF!, and discover how the leaves know when to start turning, it is almost like magic (most science is!). As you walk or drive, study different trees and discuss what stage they are in, why there might be more or fewer red leaves on certain trees, and consider why some leaves never turn colors. That just might make the majesty of nature a little more exciting for everyone.

 

Another fun tip is to have your kids collect the colorful leaves that have fallen. Once you are home, press the leaves between two pieces of wax paper and iron them on a medium setting (no steam). The kids can then cut the wax-pressed leaves out and decorate windows for a stained-glass effect, or create a nice centerpiece out of the preserved leaves to use for fall family meals.

 

Looking for other ways to enjoy the fall season? Try some of these 25 Fall Nature Crafts for Kids that will get your kids outside to collect, create, and play!

 

Cricket Media Mama is seeking a friend to hold hands with while taking long walks in the woods. Appreciation of fall foliage, nature, and “booorrrinnnggg” leaves is a must. Whiners need not apply.

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