Thursday, September 3, 2015

After-the-hike activity: Fall Leaf Suncatchers

Autumn leaves can make great suncatchers.
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 during autumn is Fall Leaf Suncatchers.

During the hike, have each child collect five freshly fallen leaves. The leaves can be different colors or hues of the same color. To prevent leaves from cracking, you may want to place them in a plastic re-sealable bag.

Once home, have the children cut a five- or six-inch diameter hole out of the center of a paper plate. Next, cover the hole by pasting clear wrap to one side of the paper plate. Wax paper will work in a pinch, too.

Have children arrange the leaves they collected in a pattern on the side of the paper plate that the clear wrap was glued to. Easy tiny drops, children then glue their leaves onto the clear wrap.

Paper punch a hole at the top of the paper plate, about halfway between the plate’s edge and the clear wrap. String yarn through the hole and tie.

Hang the paper plate on a curtain rod over a window. The leaves will filter and glow in the sunlight.

Materials: Leaves, paper plates, scissors, clear wrap, glue, paper punch, yarn

Ages: 3 and up

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