Leaf Collection For Children – Identification
This is a very simple yet fun and informative project that parents can do alongside their children. You can do this project during fall months and it can be as simple or extensive as you choose. While you can do the project during the summer months, it’s recommended that the leaves be collected during the fall months for various reasons. The biggest reason being that the leaves will be drier and are less likely to mold inside the binders where they will end up.
Teachers and Parents:
You can set the types of trees as well as the number of trees that are required. You can also do extra credit leaves such as Ginko or any rarer tree that you may only have a few of in your area.
Age: 5 and up.
Because of the young age, you may want to consider leaving such things as Poison Oak out of the project. If your child is at a more mature level, you could include them if you know that the child would benefit from the knowledge. Otherwise “If it has leaves of three, let it be!”
What You Will Need:
- A binder
- Plenty of binder inserts
- Paper to write the leaf information on
- Wax paper
- An iron
- A towel
- An ironing board
- Pen or Marker
- Leaf identification book
- Search and collect two leaves from each type of tree. (Sassafras will require all three leaves)
- Before you place the leaves into your binder you’re going to want to press them between wax paper. To do this you will need to have a parent set up an ironing board and place a towel (folded in half) on top of the board. Open the towel and place one piece of wax paper wax side up on the towel. Place the leaves of your tree onto the wax paper so that they fit. (Northern Catalpa will probably only fit one leaf). Place another sheet of wax paper wax side down over the top of the leaves. You now have wax paper sandwiching the leaves. Put the other half of the towel over the top of the wax paper and use an iron on the entire thing. (you’ll be ironing the towel top). This will melt the wax together on the inside thus sealing your leaves in the wax paper.
- Cut out the leaves making sure that you don’t cut the seal of the wax holding the leaves in place.
- Place the leaves into the binder.
- Using the Blank computer paper, you can either print out the information of the leaves or you can simply write it out using your marker or pen.
- Place the information sheet into the binder with the leaf sample.
… and while you’re out in the wild, take a pair of binoculars with you to catch the wildlife up close!