Leaves, More Leaves, and a Microwave

There are few things quite as exciting as exploring the world with your children. But I have to admit I was a bit nervous about teaching my children science. It isn’t exactly my strongest subject and I don’t want my limitations to hinder them.

When I told one of the dear older moms at church how excited, yet nervous, I was (since, ahem, I had to review the difference between a maple and oak leaf!) she told me to stop worrying and overanalyzing. “Just go outside and explore nature together, she said. “Look things up and learn with them.”

It has been so much fun.

Last week, using this great coloring page as our leaf guide, we went on a leaf-hunting walk. Rose had so much fun picking up leaves to see if they matched the leaves on her page.

When we got home, Will and Rose sorted our pile of leaves and picked their favorites.

Then, they used the leaves as guides to color the pages. At least Rose did. I am pretty proud of Will for almost staying in the lines though!

While they colored, I worked on making our very first wall decor for the schoolroom: framed leaves.

Did you know that you can microwave leaves to dry them?

Just place a leaf between two pieces of paper towel. Set a plate or bowl on top to keep it flat. Then microwave for 30 seconds. If it’s not dry, move the leaf over to a dry spot of paper towel and microwave a few more seconds.

For a glossy finish that will help preserve the color, you can wax the leaves.

To wax leaves, turn the iron to its lowest setting. Place leaves between two pieces of waxed paper (make sure the wax side is toward the leaves!) Iron for 30-60 seconds, or until the wax has melted onto the leaf. While the paper is still warm, carefully pull it back from the leaves.

(Wipe iron with a damp cloth to make sure there’s no wax on it before ironing your husband’s favorite dress shirt!)

I have grand ideas for our school room, but so far, it’s just an empty room with a bookshelf, two houseplants, and a chest of toys. So, it was high time to at least get something on the wall.

I found this picture frame at a garage sale and repainted the banged up wood white. Then all I had to do was arrange the leaves we’d found.

To add a bit of depth (and because the leaves were simply to gorgeous not to display) I taped extra leaves to the edge of the frame. Professional  huh? But at least our school room has something on the wall.

…And now this Mama can not only distinguish between an Oak and Maple leaf, but between a Japanese Maple and Norwegian Maple. Considerable progress, right?

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh Anna, that looks so fun! Here’s another idea for you to do with the kids and leaves. 🙂
    Collect more leaves and then make place-mats by arranging your favorite leaves (you might want to dry or press them first) on a piece of contact paper. You can even write the names of each leaf beside it. Once they’re how you want, cover with another piece of contact paper and trim any excess sticky off the edge. 🙂 They are such fun to use when you are eating your fall meals, plus you really get to know your leaves. 😀 And then you can enjoy the lovely colors even on cold, rainy days.

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