Leaf Activities

Fall in New York State is a beautiful season as the leaves of many trees change color and drop. There are plenty of questions to ask and activities to do with these suddenly handy plant parts.

How many different kinds of leaves can you find? Look for the biggest leaf you can find. Look for the prettiest leaf you can find. Tell someone why this leaf looks pretty to you.

Use a book or Website to try to find out the name of the trees the leaves came from.

Get a lot of different leaves and sort them as many ways as you can. Sort by size, color, number of points they have, how much insects have eaten them, kind, how they feel.

Make some leaf rubbings. Put a piece of paper on top of a leaf. Rub a crayon over the paper. Can you see the veins and the edges of the leaf show up as you color?

Get an adult to help you save leaves by ironing them between pieces of wax paper. Put a leaf on a piece of wax paper. Put another piece of wax paper on top of the leaf. Get an adult to iron it with a hot iron. Let it cool. Can you see the leaf? Can you see its color? Cut it out, leaving some wax paper sticking out all the way around the leaf.

What is the job (function) of leaves during the growing season? 

Why can't they do this during the winter? 

How are the leaves of trees that stay green through the winter different from the leaves that turn color and fall? Look at some pines, hollies, rhododendrons, and other plants that have green leaves in winter. What are they like? Look at the leaves of maples and other trees that lose their leaves before winter. What are they like? Visit our Evergreens page to learn more.

Why do leaves turn from green to other colors before they fall? Ask someone you think might know, or look it up at the library.
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