Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From Leaf To Man In A Child's Eyes

     Fall is such an exciting time of year. The leaves begin to change, there is a chill in the air, and it seems each day brings new surprises: festivals, catching a falling leaf, migrating birds, an early snow, etc. One of our favorite  pastimes this Fall has been our weekly story time at the local library. Mrs. C, our librarian, encourages the children to bring in Fall themed items to show the others. Often, the kids bring in pretty leaves of all shapes and sizes. B is always so excited to see the varying types of Fall foliage. So, when I came across the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert I was just thrilled!

     This sweet story follows Leaf Man as he floats through the air on the gentle breeze observing all sorts of wonderful sights. Page after page the reader is greeted by colorful leaf collages of everything from birds to fish. B was so captivated by this book I just had to extend the fun (and learning). We decide to go on a hunt for a leaf man of our very own.

     B and I headed outside to collect leaves in his handy-dandy shopping basket. As we explored our immediate environment we talked about what we saw, how various items felt, colors, and so forth. We counted leaves, tress and sticks. Okay, we also got side tracked and spent a lot of time playing with sticks- which is part of the fun!

      We returned to the house and laid out all of our leaves on the floor. (I suggest doing this on a plastic tablecloth, sheet or large piece of paper as it gets very messy.) After flipping through the pages of Leaf Man again for inspiration, B began to design his own figure on a piece of waxed paper.

      Once B and I had laid out each of our leaf men on sheets of waxed paper, I covered the leaves with another piece of waxed paper. Then, I placed a thin piece of cloth (I used a thin burp cloth but a thin dish towel would work well) over the leaves and pressed down firmly with a warm iron. The heat of the iron fused the two pieces of waxed paper together sealing our leaf men in place.

        B seemed absolutely delighted with this fun, interactive project and his finished leaf man!

     Lois Ehlert created a fun and whimsical story that B truly enjoyed becoming a part of while making his own project and discoveries. Inspiration can be found in so many places, so always remember to keep your eyes and mind open for new possibilities! 

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