Ah, fall. I love the colors and the cool crisp days. There are tons of opportunity for exploration and observation of natural phenomena. One activity we did was to collect leaves.
First, we went on a walk around the neighborhood. We pointed out trees that had multiple colored leaves, various sizes and shapes of leaves, and discussed why leaves change color in the fall. (I read this article before going to prep myself.)
The following day we did some casual observations in the lab. "The lab" is a table in the corner of the room with some drawing paper and pencils. He-man named colors & shapes, counted points, and found patterns. He even did some hypothesizing, guessing which leaves came off of the same kinds of trees and explaining why he thought that.
Next, we sorted the leaves by size (applying past knowlede from last month's explorations in size). Since we are real live scientists, we recorded our findings. I wrote "small," "medium," and "BIG" on separate pieces of paper. He-man counted each group and recorded the number on the matching paper.
Then, we talked about how scientists show what they found by making drawings. He was unsure that he could draw it just by looking (we haven't done any still life work yet), so he decided it would be better to trace the leaves. He chose his favorite from each group, then traced it with the correct color.
I reminded him about some of the observations he made the previous day when examining the leaves. We looked a little closer and he found multiple patterns in the leaves. So, he added a little detail. I stapled his pages into colored paper and added his book to our bookshelf.
And - of course - we made a HUGE pile of leaves to jump into! I actually piled these up and moved them into our play space so we can incorporate the play into our gross motor activities. Hopefully it doesn't rain so we can play in it for a few days.
Next, we are going to try some leave rubbings so that we can explore the patterns.