Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Lessons: Leaf Stamping, Life Cycle of a Tree

Now that my love bug is getting closer to three [waaah] her attention span and ability to do arts and crafts has blossomed.  This has really pulled the teacher out of me and so I have planned small activities for us to do every week on the days she is not in school or going to gym.  You can check out some of the ideas, lesson, and objectives on my Pinterest Board.  

On Monday we do a Fall themed lesson and on Wednesday we do Bible.  I'll share the Bible lesson we have done in another post.  Because she is old enough to comprehend and learn simple concepts I try to include a learning objective in the lesson.  This can be made more difficult depending on the age of your child.  Here are the first two lessons and crafts we have done... 

Leaf Stamping 
The objective of this lesson was for her to learn that during fall leaves changes colors.  The second objective  is to tell the difference between big and small.  Very simple concepts perfect for any two year old. 

The first thing we did was go for a walk and collect leaves.  During this time I continually told her that in the fall leaves change colors and made sure to note it on the leaves.  I was super excited because later on she told my sister on the phone that leaves change colors so yeay she got it. 

After we collected our leaves I laid out some freezer paper and drew a line right down the middle.  The left side was for big leaves and the right side was for the small ones.  We then took some time to sort all the leaves we collected.  Pretty good bunch right?

The freezer paper lead right into the craft of painting.  I simply put the paint on the paper, taped a piece of construction paper onto it, and let her go to town.  She loved this part and I did too!  She was so into painting the leaves. Once you paint the leaf, lay it on the paper, peel off and WALA a leaf.  Here is her masterpiece. 

There is also another way to do this.  She was not interested in this way, but if you have an older one they might really like this.  You lay down the leaf and paint all around it.  When you lift it you can see the outline of the leaf.  I admit this was fun for me too and super relaxing. 

Life Cycle of a Tree 
The objective of this lesson was for her to learn the life cycle of a tree.  This is a little tougher for her to grasp in that little brain, but we still had fun.  Here is the finished product of our Life Cycle.  I had the arrows drawn on the paper before we started.

We first cut an apple and I showed her that inside the apple there were seeds.  I carefully removed them and saved those for later.  We painted one half of the apple and stamped it onto the top of our paper. 

Then, we took the seeds and glued them to the second.  I continually reiterated that apples have seeds that we plant so they can grow into trees.

This led to our next section.  We glued one seed onto the paper.  I drew grass and had the little plant ready for her to glue onto the paper.  We glued some soil in the ground.  I talked about how seeds are planted in the dirt and how they need water and sun to grow.  

The last section was the tree.  I chose to use watercolors for this.  I painted her arm and hand as the actual tree and we used our fingers to stamp on the leaves and apples.  As you can tell by the scattered leaves she really enjoyed this part.  

The books we read that went with this lesson were Grow Flower Grow and This is the Sunflower only because I already have these, but I am sure there are plenty of books out there perfect for this activity. 

As our hands on activity I went out on a limb and decided to actually try to plant some grass.  I have a black thumb so I am really praying we get some grass to grow.  This was cheap, easy, and she loved it.  I bought some potting soil and seeds for three bucks.  We collected rocks from outside and I pulled a mason jar from the cabinet. 

You place the rocks on the bottom of the jar and this is suppose to keep the seeds from getting too much water.  We will see.  Then she scooped all the dirt into the jar and we planted the seeds.

We watered it, set it on the window sill where it will get plenty of sun, I said a prayer and gave the seeds a pep talk.  Now we just wait.

To continue to help her understand what plants need to grow I plan on reading our books right before we water our plant.  This will hopefully help her to make the connection as to what plants need to grow and how they grow.  

So there you have it, two really simple and fun fall lessons.  I look forward to sharing more with you all! 

Happy Monday everyone,

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