Encourage your school age children to create a collection.  They might take a container or bag and collect some things that they find in nature while outside, or they might collect a variety of stray parts or art and craft materials from around your home.  Ask them to sort their collection in different ways and involve the other children in viewing their collection and trying to discover their sorting pattern.  Challenge them to sort their collections in multiple ways and describe the rules they have established for sorting.

Goal: Children will practice sorting materials by different attributes and describing the different qualities of the materials in their collection.

Explore your neighborhood or back yard if available and find leaf or petals, then once inside have fun with these 5 activities

  1. SORTING:  Ask the children to sort the leaves and petals any way they want and then explain to the other children what their sorting rule was. (For example, one child might sort by color while another sorts by shape).
  2. COUNTING:  Count the leaves and petals that each child has collected, or the number of leaves or petals in each category from the sorting activity above.
  3. RUBBING: Create leaf rubbing by placing paper on top of a leaf with the vein side up and using the side of a peeled crayon to rub over the leaf onto the paper and reveal the vein pattern.
  4. PRESSING: Have children arrange leaves and petals on a piece of waxed paper and place another sheet of waxed paper over the top.  A grown up can use an iron to press the waxed paper pieces together sealing the leaves inside.  (Clear contact paper could also be used).
  5. CREATING: Children can glue leaves and petals to paper in arrangements that look like insects, animals, birds, or whatever they imagine.  They can use markers to add details to their creation.