Friday, November 06, 2009

The Changing of the Leaves

One day, these two little children will have inside jokes that they will snicker about behind my back. Inevitably, I will do something just a bit too eccentric, a bit too "momish" for these two. They will likely glance at each other, perhaps share a secret eye roll and most likely later laugh over said occurrence at my expense.I am tough. I can handle such an event when the day comes (Just like I can also threaten to spend their eventual inheritance). When I was a kid, my brothers and I used to laugh over how one time my mom purchased a large amount of canned green beans on sale and we ate those things for months on end. For years, whenever green beans were placed on the supper table, we asked her if they were from the original case of beans purchased on sale.

One thing the children might giggle about behind my back is my deep love for the changing of the trees in Fall. In our area we do not often get the same type of glorious display of autumn that I grew up experiencing. However, recent rainfall and color temperatures are making the leaves on local trees burst with color this year.

I cannot help but discuss this changing of color everywhere we go. Today as we puttered around town in the family station wagon I could tell the children were growing a bit weary of me pointing out every gold and yellow leaf we passed. I am sure if I had studied their little reflections in my rear view mirror I most likely would have seen an eye roll or an exasperated shrug pass between the two of them, as they tolerated dear old mom going on and on about leaves.

Because the color of the trees have inspired me so, I decided to do an art project with the children based on leaves found in our neighborhood. First we went on a walk, examining trees with changing colors. We stood under a neighbor's tree, peering up at the leaves in all their multi-colored goodness. I pointed out the strong branches and how each leaf was a bit different from its partner. We each selected a few leaves and went inside to sketch them.

After drawing paper, pencils, crayons, and snacks (the most important thing to bring to the craft table) were handed out, the three of us took time to carefully study our leaves. We looked at their colors and at the tiny veins running through them. We felt them to see if they had different textures or made different sounds when rubbed between two fingers.

Then we began the task of drawing the leaves.

Evelyn's attention span is a bit shorter for such an art project and she eventually moved on to simply coloring and gluing. Isaac however is quite the student of art and took this assignment rather seriously.

After completing our sketches, we moved on to leaf rubbings. We laid a piece of paper over a leaf and gently rubbed a crayon across the paper, hoping to catch the small details of our piece of nature. After the rubbings were completed, we grouped them according to leaf size.

Finally we decided to draw our own interpretations of a tree in the height of fall.

Isaac's leaf sketch and drawing of a tree:

In need of some fall-themed crafts to do with your children? Go here and read some more great craft ideas.
I am off to the backyard to stare at the changing oak tree watch the children play.

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