In this currently high-tech world of overstimulation, the art of outdoor play is increasingly getting lost in the shuffle. As a parent and teacher I am constantly in search of new ways to get kids outdoors. Not only is playing outdoors excellent exercise, but the sights, smells and sounds of nature provide kids with a rich sensory input that is simply not available inside.
This Leaf Man activity is a great way to get kids outdoors, build early literacy skills and foster creativity. I have used this with my students many times, and it has always been a hit!
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
- Plastic grocery bags
- Leaves, sticks, acorns and other items from nature
- Construction paper
- Tacky Glue
Begin by reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. While reading ask:
- What do you see in the picture?
- Where do you think Leaf Man will go?
- Why does the wind know where Leaf Man will go?
After reading, venture outdoors for a leisurely nature walk.
- While walking, discuss all of the sights, sounds and smells around you.
- Use your plastic grocery bag to collect various nature items (leaves, sticks, acorns etc.).
Take your collected items indoors to create your own leaf man and leaf critters.
- Use 1 sheet of construction paper for each creation.
- Due to the how bulky the items are, Tacky Glue works much better than school glue or glue sticks for this activity.
- Be creative. See how many different types of animals you can create out of the items you collected.
Display your artwork and enjoy it!
Daily reading helps to increase early literacy skills and contributes to overall academic success. Look for these additional autumn and seasons themed books at your local library or bookstore. Or, purchase directly from Amazon at the link below.
Autumn is Here by Hedi Pross Gray
Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone
A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard
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