Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Keep hiking kids entertained with Leaf Match

Maple leaves in autumn. Photo
courtesy of Wisconsin DNR.
Once you’ve completed your first hike, pat yourself on the back. You’ve done a lot of work but have taken the first step into a larger world for both you and your children.

To keep kid’s enthusiasm charged, “review” the hike in kid-friendly ways. While you really can’t do this with infants, most toddlers and older kids will enjoy it. One post-hike game/activity you might consider is Leaf Match.

Before the hike begins, give each child a small paper lunch bag or a re-sealable plastic bag. During the hike, have them collect a pair of leaves from as many different kind of trees as they can find. The leaves should be similar in size and color Try to collect about a dozen leaves.

Once home, lay out one leaf from each pair. From the remaining leaves in the bag, have children draw one at a time and find its match on the table.

You can enhance the learning experience by knowing in advance what kind of tree each leaf comes from and then identifying it as matches are made.

Materials: Small paper lunch bag or a re-sealable plastic bag

Ages: 3-6

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.