Leaves in science center

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by jbrinkm, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    We finally have tons of leaves on the ground and I want to ask the children to bring them in to add to our science center, but I'm not sure what to do with them.

    How do I prepare them for the center so they won't make a huge crumbly mess?

    What other materials should I put with them to help the children interact with them?

    Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    Face it - they make a crumbly mess if you leave them to dry.

    You could have pictures of different leaves so they could match them.
    Have them find leaves with different characteristics - colors, shapes, sizes, etc.
    Magnifying glasses.
    Crumple them up for a fine motor activity and use the "leaf glitter" in an art project.
    Leaf rubbings to see the stems, veins, etc.
    Leaf prints with paint or ink.
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    Pull out a phone book and press some between the pages. Glue some of the flat ones onto jars (even recycle ones) and then send home. Discuss shapes, compare to others....but yep.....in the end many will just crumble.
     
  5. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    The crumbly mess is the best part.
     
  6. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    I do love leaf glitter.....
     
  7. missnaebay

    missnaebay Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    :love: it 2
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 21, 2011

    I put them in our sensory table and add little animals of sorts.
     
  9. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 24, 2011

    Inevitable Mess

    The mess is inevitable. Just clean 'em up later. We have the kids use magnifying glasses to view the veins and other parts up close.
     
  10. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    I don't mind mess, I'm just hoping to still have some leaves left! I'm supposed to have 3 nature items in my science center for the whole year and it would be nice to have the leaves last (I also have pine cones and rocks).

    I didn't know if there was a was to preserve the leaves, or if anyone put them in casings, etc.

    Thanks for the great ideas for how to use them!
     
  11. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    OH, well, maybe trace them onto a wallpaper sample and have a different sample mounted on a file folder. Then the children can "remember" and match the two leaves. Make the file folder so that it has a pic of where you all went to "get" the leaves.

    I don't know of a way to make the leaves as strong as you are hoping. If you were to laminate or something then you would loose the science feel and you would have a plastic feel.

    I don't know the answer, I do see where you are coming from now though.

    I never have a problem filling my science center up....I love the science center! Every once in a while, I have to thin mine! I could send you some of the stuff!
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    Oh, I tried something new this year which turned out great. I had the kids draw (carefully) on leaves with metallic permanent markers. I had pressed the leaves in newspapers with something heavy on top for just a few days. I then covered them with modge podge after the kids had decorated them which kept them softer and less breakable. You can also dip them in wax.

    3 things in a science center? Gawd, I am glad I don't have to follow rules like that....but I always have them....just don't like rules, I guess.
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    I hear you scmom....first I was ticked to hear there was a rule. But then I pictured my center.....and it has soooo much on it. Plus if you count your sensory table and you display items I would clear the 3 by a mile. Like you, I don't like it when common sense gets a grade....I am pleased though that I met it.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,104

    Nov 24, 2011

    Put in clear contact, or iron between sheets of waxed paper.

    Collect some acorns...those will last.

    Shells would be good 'whole year' item, though I like sticking with content related themes, seasonal items, etc.
     
  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    If you have them do leaf prints on clay that hardens that could work, too.
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    OH! Not only would that be a great way to feel the details of the item that was preserved.....but it would be a whole science adventure in and of itself!

    I vote for this!
     
  17. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 24, 2011

    We have a lot of scrutiny because we are a pre-K program in a public district with state funding. The way they make sure they are getting a return on the investment is by making sure we do well on ECERS.

    And, while it is a big pain to always have to comply with all of the requirements, I do think that ECERS guidelines create a nice environment for the children, so I try not to grump too much about it.

    There are other things we have to have in our science center, but this requirement is about materials from nature (minimum of 3). I also have a ton of other materials - magnets, gears, magnifiers, plants, fish, etc.

    I put out leaves last year, but they weren't very popular. I wanted to provide suggestions and supplementary materials this year.

    Acorns are a good idea as a replacement once the leaves are no longer usable.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions!
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 25, 2011

    That is interesting you mentioned ECERS. I just talked to someone who is a trainer for it and she said she never has anyone ask her for this workshop. Nobody is doing it around here - including the state preschools, according to her. The problem with ECERS is (imo) a great school can fail and a poor school can pass cause it only measures the environment - but that is what it was designed to do. Some people who use it to prove their money is being well spent don't really understand this tool.
     
  19. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 25, 2011

    I passed the ECERS......since I am a small program I really like being able to show that I am "quality". Or state is working on some huge grand scale that will show we are using tax dollars well as well. It will center around accreditation and education. I have also studied for the accreditation I would need and can pass this measure as well. It just bugs me when things get boiled down.....in my head it starts to sound like this....

    "To make a quality kid all you need is:
    3 things from nature in the science area,
    and clean the floor every 2 hours,
    bells must be on doors because you won't hear them try to escape.

    and on and on.......

    In the end it is about teaching and loving and letting they discover. We all know this, but the people who make the scales can't capture that. Anyway, I never was criticizing you....I just have a hard time swallowing scales.

    I am glad you found what you wanted.....and as far as acorns....I have a whole nut sort and count set that came from a parent donation of a mixed nut in shell bag. This year I added the nut cracker and stood back! It has been so much fun, and our squirrels are so happy to have the free food!
     
  20. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 25, 2011

    I understand, WaProvider - just venting about what you and I know already - there is no measure for what is really important and you can pass every measure in the world and not have "it."

    I have been afraid to do nuts since I have had kids with nut allergies. Even if they don't eat them, it contaminates the environment, I hear. Sigh.... How did we survive our childhoods?
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 25, 2011

    Our nut child out grew our room....so we were able to reintroduce the tray. I however, have a slew of dairy allergies and eggs.....so we have a whole new avoidance plan to work with.

    I don't know how we survived our childhoods either!
     
  22. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 3, 2011

    I covered some leaves with packing tape (I didn't have contact paper) and put them out with magnifying glasses and colored lenses. So far my leaves have lasted at least two months.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,104

    Dec 3, 2011

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ima Teacher,
  2. Eric Matyas,
  3. Backroads,
  4. waterfall,
  5. MrsC,
  6. TeacherNY
Total: 327 (members: 7, guests: 298, robots: 22)
test