Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go on a hike around your neighborhood or a local park to find interesting leaves.
Of course, trees have interesting leaves all year, but in the fall it can be especially fun to go out and look for leaves because many of the leaves are turning colors other than green!
Here are some things to look for when you go on your hike:
- Trees with leaves that are needles rather than flat leaves.
- Trees that still have green leaves.
- Trees that have dark purple leaves.
- Trees that have more than one color on their leaves.
- Trees that have very small leaves.
- Trees that have very large leaves.
- Leaves that feel very thick and leathery.
- Leaves that feel soft or fuzzy on either the top or the bottom.
- Trees with very strangely shaped leaves.
- Trees that have more interesting things on them than just the leaves (like acorns or fruit).
Here is a link for a more structured “Leaf Hunt” activity.
Fall is a great time to walk around looking at leaves for a lot of reasons. Of course, with leaves all over the ground, it is a lot of fun to run through them and crunch them up! Dry leaves can be folded along the veins to explore the symmetry of the leaves.
You can also collect leaves that are on the ground or gently take colored leaves off a tree to take home. If you put the leaves between sheets of newspaper, then on a rainy day you can take the leaves out and use them for an activity. It is really easy to glue a dry leaf to paper to make a card or use several leaves to make a collage. Older kids can collect a variety of leaves and identify them to start a leaf collection.
If you get your leaves home and want to try to identify the trees they came from, here are three websites that can help you out:
What Tree Is It?
I’ve Got My Leaf, Let’s Get Started
Leaf Tree ID Key
Mission Report: Leaf Hike
Email your mission report to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your mission report should include the answers to the following 2 questions and a picture of you doing the mission.
1. How many different leaf shapes and colors did you find?
2. Tell us about (or show a picture) of your favorite leaf. Using a book or a computer, tell us what kind of tree that leaf came from.