Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall Has Fallen

Leaves, leaves everywhere. They're turning colors from crimson-red to pumpkin-orange and this morning, they were swirling around in the wind on my street.

When I was a kid growing up in New York, we had two giant Norway maple trees in the front yard. I know I was small and may remember things from a different size perspective, but the trunks were so big that my mom, dad, brother, and I could not wrap our collective eight arms all the way around them. Needless to say, trees that big can produce thousands of leaves! Those leaves created endless raking chores, but the good news was they also made leaf mountains for us to jump in and play hide-and-seek.

We're more evergreen than deciduous in our yard so we don't have giant piles of leaves, but we do still have giant leaves (see my biggest find above!). Here are some ideas for having fun and enjoying the season.

* Go on a scavenger hunt and send the kids in search of the different categories - biggest, funniest shape, best red color, best orange color, smallest...

* Press the leaves. We use a phonebook or stack of magazines, or you can save them permanently by pressing them with wax paper.

* Identify each leaf. Pick up a book from the library or try the Arbor Day Foundation's online Tree Identification Guide which will ask a series of questions and then give you the answer. Your kids might end up knowing better than you which trees are in your yard!

* Get crafty. Here are lots of ideas from Family Fun magazine. Maybe the kids' creations can spice up your Thanksgiving table!

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