Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Leaf-Leaves Theme

September 2, 2013 15:47 by Barbara Shelby

 

Games, Art and Crafts, Science, Snacks/Recipes, Poems /Songs, Book List...all with a Leaf Theme!

Updated September, 2015

GAMES...

LEAF BLOW GAME
Have a leaf race! In this, the children blow a leaf across a table with a straw. The first one across is the winner...

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LEAF, LEAF, PINECONE
The Leaf, Leaf, Pinecone is a version of the classic "Duck, Duck, Goose" with a nature-friendly twist.
This game is best played out-doors, but you can also gather pinecones and play this traditional game inside on a rainy day.

Whoever is "it" must not only touch the heads of the other players, saying, "Leaf, leaf, leaf," but must also drop a fresh pinecone in the lap of the child they choose before running back around the circle without being tagged. The person trying to tag "it" can touch "it" with a hand above the waist or with the pinecone below the waist

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BEAN BAG 'LEAF BOX' TOSS
Materials: Cardboard box and bean bags...

Depending on the size of your cardboard box, cut One to large leaf shapes into the cardboard.
Paint the cardboard colors of fall--yellow, red, orange, gold...
to play--children throw bean bags through the leaf shaped holes.

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PARACHUTE LEAF TOSS (For younger children)
Take a sheet, or a parachute. Gather real leaves, fabric leaves, or paper leaves. Place them in the middle of the sheet. Gather around the sheet and have the children lift the sheet slowly and then quickly to see how all the leaves "float".

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Large-sized AUTUMN OR SPRING TIC-TAC TOE

Take a large piece of poster board and draw the tic-tac-toe lines on it; laminate it if possible.
Cut-two different leaf shapes; then simply play tic-tac-toe.

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HIDE THE LEAF AND SEEK...

1. While children are out of the room (or if in room have them cover their eyes) hide a leaf. (The leaf can be 'real' or draw on cardboard and cut out.) Hide the leaf where the children will need to search--but not too difficult to find.

2. Instruct the kids to sit down in a pre-designated spot when they see the hidden leaf.

3. After all children are sitting--the first child to 'spot' the leaf hides it for the 'next game'.

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ART AND CRAFTS

  

SUN PRINTS with paper taped to window...
MAKE LEAF PRINT ART... Materials: Colored construction paper (make sure you use paper that will fade), leaves gathered from yard, glue stick, masking tape
Optional: picture frames

  1. Dab a bit of glue onto the back of a leaf, and attach to a piece of construction paper
(If you are going to frame--you can pre-trim the paper to fit a 5"x7" frame--frames can be made from foam, cardboard or card-stock).

2. Tape the paper to a sunny window, with the leaf facing out. Leave up for THREE TO FOUR days, or UNTIL YOU NOTICE that the paper's color has faded. (Some directions say a week or longer--I think this time estimate would be more accurate--you'll know by the fading)

3. Remove from the window and gently peel the leaf off to reveal the print. Frame and hang.
This version from Parents Magazine, August 2005

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 LEAF MOBILE IDEAS...

Glue colorful and different fabrics to both sides of several pieces of heavy paper. Cut out leaves from this. Tie a string on each leaf. Suspend the leaves from a small branch. Hang them where they might catch a breeze.

You can also make the mobile with leaves cut out of construction paper or found outdoors. Preserving the leaves in the glycerin mixture found in the Fall Nature Category would make the leaves look fresh for quite awhile. (Preserving leaves is also near page bottom in Science)

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LEAF PEOPLE

YARN SHAPED ... (Can be made into people)
Materials:
Leaves
Thin cardboard
Pencil or pen
Scissors
Tacky glue
Colorful yarn
Adhesive magnet strips

  • Trace some leaves onto thin cardboard and cut them out.
  • Coat one side of the cardboard with tacky glue and let the glue dry after covering the shape with yarn.
  • Attach a strip of adhesive magnet to the back.
  • You can also us colored foam (green, red, yellow, orange), that is peel-and-stick. Peel the backing off and "paint" the yarn right to the foam, much easier and neater than glue.
  • Cut out the leaf shapes and paste them to background paper.
  • You can add heads, arms, and legs. Suggest that children have the leaf people engaged in some activity.

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LEAF PEOPLE #2 --Glue a leaf to a sheet of paper and draw features to make them into leaf people and animals... put arms, legs, necks, heads, tails, etc. when complete draw a scene around your leaf person!
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LEAF PEOPLE #3 
Place your leaves UNDER sheets of white paper. Rub the sides of red, orange and yellow crayons on the paper -- Rub over the leaves until leaf shapes appear. Cut out leaf shapes and paste them to  background paper. Add heads, arms and legs. It would be fun if the leaf people were engaged in some activity.

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FALL FACES...#4
Cut 4 1/2 inch circles out of construction paper. Collect a variety of fall leaves. Glue the circles on paper and glue some leaves around the circles to make hair. Complete the faces by adding facial features with markers or paint.

NOTE: Be sure to check out the leaf fox/dog image a couple entries below!!! Soooooo cute!

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 STAINED GLASS...LEAVES AND MELTED CRAYONS

Collect leaves and arrange them on a piece of wax paper. Add wax crayon shavings and apply another piece of wax paper on top.

  • Iron the wax paper together until crayon shavings have melted.
  •  

    Let cool. Trim into desired shapes and hang in windows. Wonderful 'Image Mosaic' is from ArtfulParent

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COFFEE FILTER LEAFED TREE

  • Take coffee filters and cut them into the shapes of leaves.
  • With cups of liquid watercolors in orange, yellow, red, and brown have the children use eye droppers to place watercolors on the filter leaves.
  • The colors blend together for wonderful fall leaves.
  • Create a tree trunk out of brown wrapping paper or butcher paper. Add leaves to the branches and also at the base of the tree.

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LEAF RUBBING
Have children place a variety of leaves -underside up - under a piece of light colored construction paper. With the sides of crayons that have had the paper covering removed, make crayon rubbing of the leaves. This works better with green leaves. Great way to see the veins and differences in leaves!

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USE LEAVES AS PAINT BRUSHES
Collect leaves with long stems. Have children paint with the leaves, using the leaves as brushes and the stems as handles.
Or...Collect leaves and tape them to a small stick and use them instead of brushes for painting.

 

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START WITH A LEAF AND LOOK WHAT YOU GET!

How cute is this?!!!  Image was found on Pinterest and is originally from stranamasterov

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TOOTHPICK TREE

Have the children make a tree by gluing toothpicks on a piece of paper. Use a sponge, finger tips or smal paint brush-- and fall colors of red, orange and yellow tempera paint. Using your paint choice of color application -- add leaves to the top of the tree. The tooth picks were also painted brown before the leaves were added. The leaves were made by dipping fingers in paint.) Image by KidActivities.net

TIP: Instead of using toothpicks for the branches--pretzel sticks, pasta, or twigs can be used!

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ALUMINUM FOIL LEAVES
You need:
Pieces of aluminum foil, leaves, glue, construction paper

Set out pieces of aluminum foil and a variety of fall leaves. Have each child select a leaf, place it under a piece of foil, and gently press and rub the foil with their hand to get a leaf print. Have  children glue their leaf prints to the construction paper.

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LEAVES BLOWING IN THE WIND

1. Draw leaves on construction paper with Crayola Markers or Crayons. Or gather fallen leaves from outside and trace them. (Wash hands thoroughly afterward.) Draw veins and other designs on the leaves.

2. Cut out leaves.

3. Spread newspaper over your craft area. Dip your finger tips in Crayola Washable Finger Paint. Spread the paint in swirling motions--like the wind--over white construction paper. Wash hands.

4. While the paint is still wet, place leaves on the paper. Arrange them in different directions so they appear to be blowing in the wind. Leaves stick to the paper when the paint dries.

5. Extension: Look at leaf patterns in a science book or collect real leaves. Draw different examples such as maple, beech, and oak. Use red, brown, orange, and yellow paper to make leaves for an autumn scene. Source: Crayola

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SIX THINGS TO DO WITH PAINTED PAPER LEAVES...

Give  children white paper and have them paint using red, and yellow paint. They can mix the paints to create orange.

When the papers are dry, using templates, draw leaf shapes on the back. Cut out the leaves.
With these children can...

  • Make a leaf mobile
  • Make a leaf collage
  • Hang them from the ceiling
  • Glue onto a paper. Make a trunk of a tree--glue on the leaves
  • Put up on a bulletin board
  • Hang them from a classroom size tree...

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LEAF PRINTS USING PAINT

With a brush, paint red, orange and yellow tempera paint onto the front side of leaves. Press the painted side onto paper. For a variation, place the paint on the back side of the leaf and press down--you might see more distict markings on this print.

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HAND PRINT TREE

  • Using colored construction paper (red, orange, brown, green, yellow) trace the child's hand onto several sheets of several colors. Cut out. (Children can also use their painted hand-prints)
  • Next cut out a tree trunk with branches in proportion to the amount of leaves.
  • Have the child glue the hand shapes to the tree to form the leaves of the tree.
  • Consider having children think of things to be thankful for -- and label the leaves.

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LEAVES IN PLASTIC

Place leaves on the sticky side of clear self-adhesive plastic. Cover it with another sheet of plastic and press. Cut around the leaves. Punch holes in them and thread yarn or ribbon for a leaf hanging. Also...cut a single leaf and use it as a bookmark. 

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STRING OF LEAVES
Make a string of leaves to decorate a room. These simple-to-make strings make a great Fall or Thanksgiving decoration. You can drape the strings across rooms, over windows and from the chandeliers.
Need:
Construction paper (orange, red, yellow, brown, and other earth tones)
Crayons or markers
Scissors
Glue, tape, or staples
A long piece of green or brown yarn or string

  • Draw a leaf on a piece of construction paper. Make sure to draw a long-thick stem on the top (your leaf will hang from this stem, which will be folded over.) It would be a good idea to make a few leaf templates for the children to trace and cut the shapes.
  • Cut out the leaf. Draw the leaf veins if you wish.
  • Fold the leaf's stem in half.
  • Attach the leaf to a long string using tape, glue, or staples. Make more leaves and attach them to the string.
  • Hang your string of leaves across the room for a wonderful Fall decoration. Source: KinderCrafts  

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FINGER PRINT TREE...

Place child's entire hand and arm in brown paint. Place the painted arm and hand on the art paper to make the trunk and branches. With a variety of colorful finger paints---finger print leaves around and on the entire tree. Add some 'leaves' falling and swirling to the ground! Image by KidActivities.net

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PLACEMATS

Have children glue several different leaves on a light-colored sheet of construction paper. Apply transparent Contact paper onto the leaf side and then the backside of the construction paper. Trim excess contact paper from the ends, and seal all the way around the outer edges with colored tape. (This sample is at PreschoolRock.com)

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FALL NATURE BRACELETS

Wrap a piece of masking tape (sticky side out) around each child's wrist. Go on a nature walk and have children collect a leaf from each of several trees---sticking it on their leaf bracelet.

Get a Book with a variety of leaves to compare 'finds' when you return. Children will also be able to go home and see what leaves they find there!

As shown, you can take clear packing tape and make bracelets with a variey of nature finds--as well as some wonderful bookmarks! Photographs are courtesy of Angela at Colorfool  blogsite...Angela shares that flat items adhere better than bulky.

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COLORFUL FALL PUZZLE TREE

We all have puzzles that have missing pieces (such as the 100 piece puzzle that only has 80 pieces left)

1. Either draw a tree trunk and leaves... or cut out the trunk of a tree with limbs. If cutting out a tree trunk, glue or staple the trunk to a piece of background paper.

2. Pre-paint the puzzle pieces in fall leaf colors (or they may already have a fall look.)

3. Glue the puzzle pieces to the branches of the tree.

This tree didn't need the puzzle pieces painted--as most pieces were already in shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown)... This idea is also good for spring--using 'spring' colors. (Puzzle Tree Image by KidActivities.net)

 

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CLAY LEAF PRINTS
Use a rolling pin to flatten clay or DRYING TYPE dough. Lay a leaf on the clay & roll over it. Remove the leaf & let the clay dry. Paint the clay with fall colors of tempera.

"Air dry and bake recipes" are on this site in the Play Dough Category!

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MAKE LEAF GLITTER
Gather old brown leaves--and crumbel them up!
Draw your pictures (leaves or a fall scene would be nice)----apply a light coat of glue or wet paint--sprinkle with you leaf glitter!

You could also paint the leaves before you crumble them to make different colored glitter.

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 MAPLE LEAF PASTA MAGNET OR PIN

Materials:
Uncooked spaghetti
Adhesive-backed magnet
Green food coloring
Cardboard
Recycled clean margerine container
Styrofoam vegetable trays
Spoon
Paintbrush and Scissors 
 
 
1. Draw and cut out a maple-leaf shape on a piece of cardboard. (Good idea to make a template for the kids to trace)
 
2. Pour 1/4 cup (50ml) white glue into an empty margerine container. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to the glue. Mix well, until the color is a shade you like.

3. For a good work surface--Place cardboard leaf into a styrofoam vegetable tray. Paint the entire surface of the leaf with the colored glue.

4. Break spaghetti sticks in half. Line up the spaghetti sticks in a single direction on the leaf. Be sure the spaghetti is adhering to the glue. Leave the spaghetti untrimmed at this point.

5. Cover the untrimmed spaghetti with glue-coloring so that it is completely colored.
 
6. Let the leaf dry on a clean styrofoam tray. Once the glue has dried, carefully cut around the edges of the cardboard shape to remove the excess spaghetti. It is helpful to turn the leaf 'spaghetti-side down' while cutting the spaghetti.

7. Repair jagged edges with glue and pieces of trimmed spaghetti. Allow to dry a second time.

8. Adhere two magnets to the center of the cardboard back.
This project also makes a great lapel pin. Just use a pin backing instead of a sticky-backed magnet!
Adapted from
TeaPartyCrafts

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 SCIENCE...

 COLLECT LEAVES...
Go on a nature walk and collect different kinds of leaves. Sort the leaves  by color, size or type of leaf. Place them on your science table.

Extension Ideas: GRAPH THE LEAVES
1. Have children count the number of leaves collected from each type of tree. Graph the results.

2. Get young children thinking about what they collected. Ask questions such as:

• What can you tell me about these leaves?  What is the same about these leaves?  What is different about some of these leaves?
What colors are the leaves? 
Look through the magnifying glass, what do you see? (veins, colors, size of the leaf seems to change)
How can we measure this leaf? Can
someone demostrate (show me) how to measure this leaf?  How long it is?  How wide it is?  (This leaf is __ inches/centimeters in length and __ in width.)

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DISPLAY AUTUMN LEAVES ON YOUR SCIENCE OR COLLECTION TABLE along with other "Earth Wonders'...

 

Display natural earth wonders such as :
Sea shells, rocks, crystals, geodes, pine cones, seeds, leaves, twigs, etc.
Encourage children to add to the collection. Provide magnifying glasses to study the items at this center...Photograph courtesy of Restoration Place.

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PRESERVING LEAVES MICRO-WAVE METHOD...
You can preserve fall leaves in your microwave oven.

  • Choose fresh leaves with the bright colors. Avoid fallen leaves that have already begun to dry.
  • Place separate leaves in the Microwave oven on top of two pieces of paper towel. Cover them with one sheet of paper toweling.
  • Run the oven for 30 to 180 seconds. Microwaves vary so watch carefully. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need.
  • Be careful, if the leaves "cook" too long you could actually start a fire.
  • If the leaves are curled on the edges they need more time.
  • Let the leaves dry for a day or two and then finish the leaves with a sealant, such as an acrylic craft spray.
    Source: Amazingmoms.com

 THE OLD FASHIONED WAY...

  • Place your autumn colored leaves between two layers of wax paper.
  • Cover with a cloth rag. Using a warm (not too hot) iron, press down on the wax covered leaves, sealing the wax paper together with the leaf in between.
  • Cut your leaves out, leaving a narrow margin of wax paper around the leaf edge.

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CONTRAST LEAVES...
COLLECT GREEN LEAVES
and place them on a tray to dry.... Over time they'll turn brown; without chlorophyll the leaf loses his green color.

GLYCERIN LEAVES
Place a small branch with fall leaves on several layers of newspapers. With a hammer tap the end of the stem until it is slightly crushed.
Place the branch in a jar or baking dish with one part glycerin to two parts water. Keep it for 2 weeks. The leaves will be thicker to touch, colors will have changed & they will not disintegrate or fade..

In the autumn, you can also gather branches of oak, beech, and maple leaves just as the colors began to turn. Submerge them in vases filled with a solution of equal parts of water and glycerin. Over the next week, watch the color metamorphose as the chlorophyll ceased production, triggering the release of pigments. The glycerin, an emollient, fills the cells, rendering them supple and leathery. Leaves will last for years this way, more so if pressed.

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IF YOU FIND A CATERILLAR in late summer to late fall, put FRESH LEAVES in a tank or fish bowl with a few twigs on which to make a chrysalis.

Ask children what they think happen? Ask them what will happen later?


We have done this with our group in the fall. They found a caterpillar outside in early October and brought it in. We put it in a large clear bowl and after the week-end it had made a chrysalis hanging from a twig. Kids  eagerly waited for spring so the butterfly could hatch! Sarah/Oakbrook

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 MATH --LEAF COUNTING-- Pre-K to Grade 1

LEAF COUNT 1
After a naute walk...Have the children count how many leaves they have collected. (Individually and together) 

LEAF COUNT 2
Make pictures of trees with different numbers of leaves on the trees. Have the children count the number of leaves on the tree. 

LEAF MATCH
Set out two of each kind of leaf the children and/or you have collected... and have children find the matches. 

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SNACKS...

MAKE LEAF PILE TREATS 
Nice for September through November
Ingredients:
6 cups cornflakes
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup peanut butter.
You will also need some Wax paper to lay your leaf piles on.

Directions: In a microwave melt the Karo and peanut butter together. Pour over the cornflakes and place them in piles on wax paper. Let them cool and dry. (Image by KidActivities.net)

NOTE: When KA tested this recipe, there at first was an, "Oh No moment"!  Halving the recipe -- after mixing the Karo and peanut butter mixture in with the corn flakes-- the leaf piles seemed rather loose when putting them together on the wax paper. I pushed each small pile as closely together as possible. After 2-3 hours, the leaf piles did firm and hold together. R pronounced he liked them... I see them as a nice Fall novelty. 
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EAT LEAVES...

We usually eat the roots of plants--but there are many leaves we eat! These include artichokes, celery, lettuce, onions, cabbage and spinach. We also eat herb leaves of sage, mint, parsley, thyme, bay-leaf, etc.

Each of these plants has very different looking leaves. Discuss the difference in these 'leaves' and have children try some! Maybe a salad made from a variety of lettuce/leaves -- or a good cabbage soup?!

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LETTUCE WRAP SANDWICH

Instead of using bread to hold your sandwich together-try lettuce! For best results, pick large, pliable lettuce leaves such as iceberg, spinach leaves, or red lettuce.

Lettuce wraps are easy to create; Use just about anything you would to fill bread, tacos, pita bread, or burritos. (Chicken, turkey, veggies, beans, eggs, bacon, cheese, etc.) The key to a good wrap is a combination of a warm and flavorful filling -- rolled into the cold and crispy leaf!

The sample wrap by KidActivities.net is sliced chicked mixed with a little mayo. It is sprinkled with finely shredded cheese.

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LEAF JELL-O JIGGLERS
Can you purchase  a leaf shaped cookie cutter? Make jell-o jigglers from yellow, red and orange jello!

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SONGS AND POEMS

THE LEAVES IN THE TREES
By Irmgard Guertges
(Sing to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")

The leaves of the trees turn orange and red
orange and red, orange and red...
The leaves of the trees turn orange and red
All through the town.

The leaves of the trees come tumbling down
tumbling down, tumbling down
The leaves of the trees come tumbling down
All through the town.

The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish
Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish,
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish
All through the town.

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AUTUMN TIME IS COMING (Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Red leaves falling
Red leaves falling
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-time is coming
Autumn-time is coming
All around
All around...

Orange leaves falling
Orange leaves falling
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-time is coming
Autumn-time is coming
All around
All around...

Brown leaves scattered
Brown leaves scattered
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-time is here now
Autumn-time is here now
All around
All around.

This would be cute if children make leaves before singing this song. As they sing the 'individual' color of leaf, they throw them up in the air. (Of course, when complete-leaves are then picked up!) If the weather is nice, collect leaves and sing/play outdoors!

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THIS IS THE WAY WE...
Sing to tune of Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush

This is the way we rake the leaves rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves in the middle of Autumn.

This is the way we jump on the leaves, jump on the leaves, jump on the leaves
This is the way we jump on the leaves in the middle of Autumn.

This is the way we throw the leaves Throw the leaves, throw the leaves
This is the way we throw the leaves in the middle of Autumn.

This is the way we rake the leaves rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves in the middle of autumn.

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THE LEAVES ARE FALLING DOWN

By June Haggard
(Sing to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell")

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
School is here and fall in near
The leaves are falling down.

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Some are red and some are brown
The leaves are falling down.

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
They tickle your nose and touch your toes
The leaves are falling down.
 
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A LITTLE ELF

A little elf
Sat in a tree
Painting leaves
To throw at me.

Leaves of yellow
And leaves of red
Came tumbling down
About my head.

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I LOVE FALL

I love fall! Fall is exciting.
It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.

It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.

It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.

It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall.
That's why...
I love fall.

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LEAVES
by Elsie N. Brady

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.

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AUTUMN BIRD SONG

Over the housetops,
Over the trees,
Winging their way
In a stiff fall breeze.

A flock of birds
Is flying along
Southward, for winter,
Singing a song.

Singing a song
They all like to sing,
"We'll see you again
When it's spring, spring, spring."

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OCTOBER

October's the month
When the smallest breeze
Gives us a shower
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down -
October is red
And golden and brown.

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NOVEMBER

Now the autumn days are gone
Frost is sparkling on the lawn,
Windows winking cheerful lights
Warm the cold November nights.
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  BOOKS ABOUT LEAVES

Autumn Leaves (ages 3-7)
Written by Ken Robbins
Illustrated with full-color photographs, this book introduces young children to autumn leaves from thirteen different types of deciduous trees. Beginning readers will find the vocabulary very challenging, but even young children will enjoy listening and following the pictures as an adult reads it to them.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf (ages 4-10)
Written by Lois Ehlert
In this classroom favorite, Ehlert relates the life cycle of a sugar maple from a child's perspective. The unique illustrations will grab the attention of the youngest listeners, while the captivating text will engage older readers.

Why Do Leaves Change Colors? (ages 5-9)
Written by Betsy Maestro; illustrated by Loretta Krupinski
In the simplest of terms, this book explains why leaves change colors and fall from the trees. Also included is a list of activities children can do with leaves.

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Stones, Rocks, Pebbles Theme

January 10, 2011 00:58 by Barbara Shelby

Many good ideas for 'Geololgy' & other fun things!

ARTS & CRAFTS...

 

ROCK ART make great gifts for people. They can be used as paper weights, decorations for indoor gardens or masterpieces to be shown throughout the home.
1. Gather various shapes and sizes of rocks found at parks or along beaches or in your own background. All sizes and shapes are perfect for rock art.
2. Clean the rocks and air dry.
3. Gather various art supplies. (Markers, paints, crayons, glue, fabric...)
4. Decorate

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MAKE A 'ROCK' NECKLACE
Materials:
Small rock, wire (sample used 22-gauge, small pliers, plastic lacing or other cord-type material.
Wrap the wire securely around the rock in a decorative fashion, being sure to include a loop at the top for the cord. Cut off the end of wire and tuck/wrap excess. String it through the cording and knot. Photo/Idea source: Devanie Angel

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CANCELLED ROCKS (These make nice paperweights)
Materials:
Cancelled stamps from mail (small colorful pictures from seed catalogs and magazines may be used instead of stamps)
White glue (the kind that dries clear)
Clear shellac, varnish, or fingernail polish
Smooth surfaced rocks

1. Wash, rinse, and dry rocks.
2. Carefully peel off stamps from envelopes. It's O.K. if some tear.
3. On dry rock, spread a thin layer of glue. Arrange stamps (or small pictures) on rock, OVERLAPPING, until all rock sides showing are covered. Let dry.
4. Coat with thin layer of shellac or varnish, or fingernail polish.
NOTE: You can also coat the finished rock with a thin layer of white glue. It will dry clear, but it will not be waterproof.

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Are you having a 'Rock Themed' or 'Rock Climbing Party? MAKE A PAPER MACHE 'ROCK' PIÑATA! See Paper Maché page for general piñata making directions...

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ROCKS OF GRATITUDE
Materials:
Rocks (various sizes, avoid shiny or glossy rocks)
Light stock paper (such as news print)
Low-gloss varnish or clear finish
 
1. Collect an assortment of rocks.
2. Clean with soap and water, then paint with fall colored acrylic paints (It's not necessary to cover the entire rock with paint, leave some areas exposed if you wish. Let dry.
3. Print words of wisdom on paper. Tear out the sayings (ragged edges).
4. Glue the sayings to your rocks using either white glue or Modge Podge.
5. Finish off the rocks by applying low-gloss varnish or polyurethane.
This makes a nice paper weight or addition to a garden!

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RIVER STONE PAPER WEIGHT

Materials: 
Smooth Stones (Stones can be purchased at craft stores) 
Elmers Glue or good Craft Glue 
Small tiles ( Sample shows 3”x 3” – you can also used jar lids)
Felt pieces for bottom
For a SAC program, I picked up discontinued tiles (see if you can get them donated-the store I got them from gave me about 100 for no charge! Barb)
 

1. Glue stones to the attractive side of the tile. Glue will dry transparent. Stones do not have to cover all edges as the tile underneath is nice looking.
2. Let stones dry for a couple hours--- fit, cut, and glue felt to the bottom. (Or attach self-adhesive pieces)
3. The tile I used had writing on the side, so black permanent marker was used along the edge. If your edges are nice--this is not necessary.

Finishing off the side and bottom can be done before glueing on the stones if desired. Image source: KidActivities.net

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MAKE STEPPING STONES
Materials:
Cake pans in a shape you would like, sand dough, paint, cooking spray, paint
1. Spray the cake pans with cooking spray -- Vaseline also works.
2. Fill it with sand dough.(Recipes below)
3. Let dry for 3 days.
4. Children can paint the stepping stones when they come out of the pan. You can also Varathane the stones to weatherproof.

SAND DOUGH RECIPE #1
1 part white glue
2 parts flour
2 parts sand
2 parts water
Mix together to create a dough. You may need to add water or flour depending on the consistency.

#2 SAND DOUGH RECIPE
Add sand to quick set cement and follow the instructions for mixing the cement. Use this recipe when you have a mold or have created a pattern in the sand.

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MAKE MOON CRATERS
Materials Needed:
Liquid Starch
Rock Salt
Glue with food coloring

Mix 1/2 cup of liquid starch with 2 cups of rock salt and 1/2 cup of glue plus food coloring or tempera.
This makes a gooey, rocky mixture.
Let the children freely pile onto cardboard to create a three dimensional structure.

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PET ROCKS

Find smooth, flat or round rocks. Be sure to clean off any dirt or sand and dry completely before starting. Paint with acrylic paints. Decorate faces by using google eyes, yarn for hair, markers, glitter, and any other tidbits you like. (Photo from shirtvalley.com)

PET ROCKS CAN BE A LOT OF FUN!

Extension Ideas:
Investigate what type of rock your pet is. What are the three main types of rock? Discuss their characteristics and give examples of the different types. (See "Word List' down middle of the page under Literacy Section)
Activities:

  • Write down its funniest sayings
  • Dress it up for a costume party
  • Send it on a holiday/vacation
  • Write it a bedtime story
  • Make it a form of transportation or a bed/house/etc.
  • Give it a name
  • Give it a birthday party and a present
  • Take it for a walk in the park and write what the two of you did
  • Have a picnic
  • Teach it a trick
  • Write out a word bank/haiku/pet journal
  • Prepare it to go to a class such as dance class/gymnastics/playgroup/sports day
  • Send it for a sleepover with a friend
  • Write out a menu sheet for its food
  • Photograph it/blog about it
  • Make a scrapbook page about it
  • Inspired by My Science Program

I dislike taking people away from KidActivities site...but visit DaisytheCurlyCat...for a fun read! It's a great example of what can be done with the extension ideas above!!! Cute and funny! Barb

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ROCK COLLAGE
Set out a variety of small rocks, glue, and squares of cardboard.
Children can glue the rocks on the cardboard squares to create rock sculptures or designs. Designs could also be painted on the rocks.

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MAKE 'TREASURE' ROCKS
Materials:
1 cup Dried Used Coffee Grounds
1/4 cup Sand
1/2 cup Salt
1 cup Flour 
1 cup Water
Large Mixing Bowl and spoon
Small prizes to use as hidden 'Treasure'
Makes about 3 cups of dough

1. Stir together all the dry ingredients. 
2. Add water SLOWLY and continue to stir. Continue adding slowly until the mixture forms a dough. 
3. Knead the mixture of dough until it is well blended.
4. Shape into small balls--about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
5. Poke a hole in the dough ball to add the treasure. Cover the hole with dough and smooth over as needed.
 
Let the ball air dry for 2 to 5 days--or longer-- depending on its size.  
When the dough is dried and hardened, treasures can be reclaimed by opening with a chisel, craft stick or screw driver. (Be sure to supervise when screw drivers are used)
Idea: Have children make a couple balls with the prizes inside. Group together as they dry--and have children randomly take fossils; their 'treasure' will then be a surprise to them. 

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Make an EARTH TERRERIUM inside a small to medium glass vase.
Use pebbles, green moss, foliage, twigs, small pieces of wood and stone for the earth terrarium. 

TIP: Put small glass vases in your wish list! Parents may have quite a few vases in their cupboards that they could donate--I get a couple every year with gifts of flowers. Barb

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CRAYON COVERED ROCKS Materials:
Zip--close plastic bag,
Wooden or rubber mallet
Smooth, flat rocks about the size of your fist
Aluminum foil or an old pie tin
Felt scraps
Scissors
White glue

IN THE SUN METHOD...

1. Choose crayons in three or four light or bright colors. Dark crayons will make the color on the rock look muddy.
2. Peel the crayons, put them in the zip-to-close bag, and seal it.
3. Place the bag on a hard surface such as a floor or sidewalk. Using the mallet, pound the crayons into small pieces.
4. Place the rock in the pie tin or on a sheet of aluminum foil in the hot sun. Sprinkle it with the crayon pieces.
 
When the crayon pieces have melted, but before they reach the point that they run off the rock, take the rock out of the sun to cool. The crayon will quickly harden and form a colorful and waxy coat over the rock.
Cut a piece of felt to glue to the bottom of the rock to keep it from scratching the table.
 
IN THE OVEN METHOD...
The sample photograph is by permission of World Preschool Mom. The rock was made by a four year old boy; it was colored after being in the oven for about ten minutes. With this method, as Deneal states, place the rock on a sheet of foil (with a hot pad or towel under the foil) before decorating with crayons. The hotter the rock, the more runny the wax will be. (Use caution and supervision with this method.)

TIPS: IF WEATHER ISN'T HOT---

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rocks on a foil covered cookie sheet and put them in the oven for the children. Keep an eye on them because the crayon melts quickly. It will re-harden within seconds of taking it out of the oven.
• To do outside---this project needs a hot, direct sun..
• If you're unhappy with the color of a crayon-coated rock--Reheat the rock and allow the crayon to melt to the point where most of it drips off the rock and onto the foil under it. Cover the rock with a new selection of crayon bits and see if you get a swirl of color you like better. Remember to avoid dark colors.
• A goal is to get it looking like a tie-dyed rock! The distinct lines of color can be very beautiful. Because the rocks can be easily redone, remember not to place the completed ones that you like in a sunny window or direct, hot sunlight because they will re-melt.

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LITERACY...

POETRY PEBBLES Grade: 4-8
Materials:
Small rocks or pebbles
Small paint bushes
Water and water containers
Magic markers
Paint (make tempera paint thicker by adding glue or flour)
A covered work area
A shoebox, yogurt or empty "Jiffy Pop" popcorn container
Hairspray or a spray varnish

•  Make sure your pebbles are clean.
•  Paint words onto the pebbles. You could also use markers instead of paint. 
•  Choose a number of words-people, places, things, action words etc. Example: 
    1. he
    2. she
    3. to
    4. love
    5. dog
    6. went
    7. walk
    8. you
    9. happy
    10. in
    11. to
    12. a
    13. my
    14. your
    15. orange
    16. red
    17. blue
    18. purple
    19. green
    20. swim
    21. bike

• Use your imagination and make sure you draw some punctuation marks on some pebbles as well (comma, exclamation point, period, question mark etc.)
Once the pebbles are painted, let them dry and seal them with hairspray or spray varnish.
Put all the pebbles into a show box or Jiffy Pop container. You can decorate your container with paint or markers as well.
Play a game of poetry pebbles. Each player chooses a number of pebbles from the box and tries to come up with a poem or story. Makes for a great way to begin a short story for those times when you have writers block!
Source: Kinderart.com

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READ STONE SOUP AND THEN MAKE STONE SOUP!

STONE SOUP  by Marcia Brown, tells the story of three hungry soldiers who come into a village and cleverly trick the peasants into sharing their food--by making a lavish soup out of seemingly nothing but stones. Like the soldiers' soup, this recipe turns basically whatever vegetables you have on hand into a hearty meal.

 

Stone soup is a wonderful story to share with children in a group setting.  Read the story one day and the next day have  children bring a ziploc baggie of chopped up vegetables, herbs and/or spices (you can assign things to bring for a well rounded soup... or let the children bring whatever they like for a mystery pot).  For child participation-- 
1. Everyone can chop or measure ingredients.
2. Put all in a large crock pot. Cover with water.
3. Cook 2 to 3 hours on high. Remove bay leaf before serving... (You can also do this at home in conjunction with reading the book)

...Think about making the big pot of soup in a crock pot. You can start it in the morning program/classroom ... and let it go on low during the day. Have kids sign up to bring potatoes, small onion, carrots, celery, cans of beef broth, can of diced tomatoes, seasoning, crackers or rolls, etc. (Don't forget the 'clean scrubbed stone'!)

* Each child would only have to bring a single item to make a huge pot.

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'COOKING STONE SOUP' SONG
Sing to tune of Farmer in the Dell...

We're cooking stone soup,
We're cooking stone soup,
Stir the pot,
It's getting hot,
We're cooking stone soup.

First, we add potatoes,
First, we add  potatoes,
Stir the pot,
It's getting hot,
We're cooking stone soup.

We're cooking stone soup,
We're cooking stone soup,
Stir the pot,
It's getting hot,
We're cooking stone soup.

Continue with rest of ingredients: tomatoes, onions, water, celery, carrots, etc.

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COMBINE LITERACY AND SCIENCE...

WORDS TO INVESTIGATE and KNOW: Challenge the kids in your class/group to learn the meanings of:

• igneous, sedimentary, metamporphic
molten, magma, lava
chemical, organic
crystalline
sandstone, basalt, crystal, marble, quartz, limestone, granite
smooth, rough, layers, hard
geologist
clastic
fossil
rock

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SCIENCE...

KIDS LIKE TO COLLECT THINGS: Capitalize on this interest by encouraging kids to bring their finds to your program for your science center.

Example: ROCK COLLECTING--GEOLOGY

 

  •  LOTS of kids/families have rock collections. Do a 'geology theme' and have kids bring in interesting and different rocks and minerals they have collected.  

  •  Provide field guides and a mineral test kit to identify each rock or mineral sample. They can learn about the properties of rocks and minerals as they perform tests on their own specimens, checking the streak, color, hardness, luster, and more.

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ROCK COLLECTIONS FOR PRE-K AND LOWER ELEMENTARY...

Take children on a rock gathering expedition. After stones/rocks are collected--have children wash them.

• Examine them with magnifying glasses.
Sort rocks by size, color, markings, etc..
Are they hard or soft? Scrape rocks with nails to see!

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CRACK OPEN GEODES! Information on a variety of methods (good for all ages) and where to puchase small geodes is here...

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FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL: Science for a changing world at U.S. Geological Survey provides resource collections and maps for studying earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters, as well as rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, earth's interior, fossils, coastal wetlands, deserts, the carbon cycle, climate change, and the solar system. Learn about the San Andreas fault system, the life cycle of a mineral deposit, fire ecology research, big floods in the U.S., and more.

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Kids always love making VOLCANOES! Directions and images are in the Science category (Scroll down towards the bottom of the page)

 

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GAMES USING STONES...

HOP SCOTCH (Use rocks/stones as markers) 
Equipment: Pavement, stones, chalk
Draw the layout with the chalk - From bottom to top---
3 single squares, 1 double square, 2 single squares, 1 double square, 1 single square.
Number the squares.

The two basic rules of hop scotch are:
1) One foot in each square only.
2) Hop over the square with the rock in it.

Use a rock to throw into the first square.
Hop on one foot over the square with the rock in it.
Land with two feet on the double squares.
On the second turn, throw the rock into the second square, and so forth.
The tricky part is staying on one foot when the rock is in one of the side-by-side squares.

If you have a side walk--you can also play by marking two side walk squares with an "X" going from corner to corner in each square.
The part of the "X" portion closest to you (at the very bottom) would be #1...
#2 would be above that to the right
#3 is to the left of 2---and #4 goes in the top portion of the "X"
Mark the square above the same--with #5, 6, 7, and 8...Proceed to play as above.

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SIFTING FOR GOLD
Have children pretend to be gold miners.
Paint very small ROCKS, gold.
Hide them in the sand.
Give children small sifters to sift through the sand looking for gold.

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PLAY BINGO using pebbles or polished stones for the markers...

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POPCORN VOLCANO ERUPTION
1.  Spread out a large clean sheet on the floor and have the kids sit outside the edge.
2.  Set a popcorn maker in the center, and prepare popcorn according to directions. Do NOT put the lid on the popcorn maker!
3.  Watch the "volcano" erupt and shoot "hot lava" all over the sheet.
4.  Make sure that everyone stays away from the popper while it's on, so the kids don't get sprayed with hot oil or kernels.

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SNACKS...

 • Serve fruits with stones in them! Peaches, plums, nectarines, avocados, cherries...

 

• Rocky Road Fudge (See recipe in the Candy Category-near top of page with other fudge goodies)

Rocky Road Ice-Cream...if you can't find Rocky Road -- get flavor of choice and mix in (or top it) with mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips!

Trail mix (See 'Snack Mix' Category)

Dirt Cups (Dirt Cup recipes are in the 'Garden Theme' page; Snacks are towards page center)

• Read the Book Stone Soup and then make some! (Scroll back up towards the middle of the page for directions)

 ___________________________

MAKE A VOLCANO CAKE

1. Bake two 8" round cakes and two Pyrex-bowl dome cakes.
2. Trim and stack the cakes to look like a mountain.
3. Frost it brown and sprinkle it with crushed chocolate graham crackers.
4. Use Fruit Roll-Ups: blue for the water around the volcano, red roll-up down the side for lava, green and yellow for the trees and foliage.
5. Put several sparkles around the top.
6. Cut out a hole from top down inside the cake.
7. Put a tall glass in the hole filled with dry ice.
8. Add some hot water inside the glass (on top of dry ice)
Watch the kids with all the 'oohs and ahhs' when you do this!!!

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There may be ideas in the SAND THEME that you may also like!

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DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BIRTHSTONE IS & WHAT IT MEANS?

 

Modern birthstones are linked to calendar months, and each month has its own unique birthstone, with its own fabled properties. Many people love to wear jewelry set with their birthstone, as the ancient meanings and associations with these stones still intrigue them.

JANUARY Birthstones
• Garnet for Strength for perseverity, prosperity,and health
• Rose Quartz for Emotional balance, forgiveness
  
FEBRUARY Birthstones
• Amethyst for Wisdom, spirituality, sobriety, security
• Onyx for Relaxation, comfort

MARCH Birthstones
• Aquamarine for Beauty, honesty, loyalty, happiness
• Bloodstone for Endurance

APRIL Birthstones
• Diamond for Invincibility, clarity, purity, eternal love
• Rock Crystal / Quartz for Balance, clarity, energy

MAY
• Emerald for Patience, understanding, foresight
• Chrysoprase for Fertility, secrecy

JUNE Birthstones
• Alexandrite for Balance, confidence, joy
• Moonstone for Balance, good fortune, tender passion
• Pearl for Modesty, purity, beauty, happiness 

JULY Birthstones
• Ruby for Love, success, integrity, passion & promise
• Carnelian for Luck, safety 

AUGUST Birthstones
• Peridot for Fame, dignity, protection, succes)
• Sardonyx for Relaxation, security
 
SEPTEMBER Birthstones
• Sapphire for Truth, sincerity, commitment, loyalty
 
OCTOBER Birthstones
• Opal for Hope, faith, confidence
• Tourmaline for Balance, endurance, safety 

NOVEMER Birthstones
• Topaz for Strength, wisdom, courage
• Citrine for Hope cheerfulness, youth, health, fidelity 
 
DECEMBER Birthstones
• Tanzanite for Contentment, understanding
• Zircon for Wisdom, honor, wealth
• Turquoise for New possibilities, happiness 

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WHAT AND WHEN IS 'OLD ROCK DAY'?

Did you know that 'Old Rock Day' is celebrated each year on January 7th? You can celebrate the day by collecting different rocks...or have fun doing a variety of things to go along with the theme! (Such as the ideas on this page!)

The day does not have a specific meaning--nor is it known how or when it began. So...have fun with it as you like! (Just be sure to include a stone, rock or pebble in some way...)

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BOOKS at BestCrystals.com

Eye Wonder Series: Rocks and Minerals
by Caroline Bingham, hard cover, 47 pages.
Dig into the earth and discover the amazing treasures beneath our feet. Travel on an incredible journey through Earth. Take trips through deep diamond mines, locate hidden secrets in the rocks, and find out what salt really is. Packed with facts, accessible text, and dramatic photography. Recommended for ages 8-14.


Rocks & Fossils
An Usborne Guide, by Martyn Bramwell, soft cover, 31 pages.
This fascinating book is an excellent introduction to the world of rocks and fossils. With detailed diagrams and illustrations, it explains many of the geological processes which have formed different rocks, minerals, and fossils. Recommended for ages 8 and up. 
 
Let's Go Rock Collecting
A Reading Rainbow Book, by Roma Gans, Illustratd by Holly Keller, soft cover, 32 pages
Travel around the globe with two adventurous rock hounds and learn how rocks form and change. Rocks are everywhere. Whether they are part of an ancient pyramid or under your very feet, they are always close by. Once you learn more about them, you won't be able to resist starting ta collection of your own! Appropriate for younger children, ages 5-8.


Julie the Rockhound
A Reading Rainbow Book, by Gail Langer Karwoski, Illustratd by Lisa Downey, soft cover, 30 pages
when a young girl finds a shiny quartz crystal, her dad shows her how to dig for minerals, and she becomes Julie the Rockhound. "Creative Minds" information section follows the story at the end of the book. Appropriate for younger children, ages 5 - 9.

Eyewitness Books: Rocks & Minerals
by Dr. R.F. Symes, hard cover, 64 pages.
Spectacular and informative guide to the amazing world beneath our feet. Stunning color photos of rocks, fossils, minerals, precious metals, crystals, jewels, and gemstones give the reader a unique eyewitness insight into the evolution and composition of the earth. Readers ages 9 through adult will enjoy this book in the Eyewitness series.
*NEW* - Now includes poster and clip art CD

 
Eyewitness Books: Crystal & Gem
by Dr. R.F. Symes and Dr. R.R. Harding, hard cover, 64 pages. Spectacular and informative guide to the amazing world of crystals and gems. Superb color photographs of crystals, jewels, and gemstones of every color, size, and shape offer a unique eyewitness insight into their extraordinary beauty and variety. Readers ages 9 through adult will enjoy this book in the Eyewitness series.
Includes poster and clip art CD

Eyewitness Books: Fossil
by Dr. Paul D. Taylor, hard cover, 64 pages.
An original and exciting new look at fossils - the remains of long-vanished animals and plants. Stunning real-life photos of the spectacular remains of ancient lives offer a unique eyewitness view of what fossils are, how they were formed, and how they lived millions of years ago. Readers ages 9 through adult will enjoy this book in the Eyewitness series.

The Ultimate Rocks & Minerals Sticker Book
by DK Publishing, soft cover, 8 pages
Create your own picture book with over 60 bright full-color stickers. Each self-adhesive sticker is easy to peel off, and can be used more than once. Fact-packed labels accompany every sticker.

DK Pockets: Rocks & Minerals
by DK Publishing, written by Sue Fuller, soft cover, 155 pages
This book is packed with information about rocks and minerals, along with beautiful photographs. A great pocket reference book, with diagrams, charts, maps, glossary, and index. Recommended for ages 9 to adult.

 
DK Pockets: Gemstones
by DK Publishing, written by Emma Foa, soft cover, 122 pages
This little book is packed with information, history, and lore of gemstones, along with beautiful photographs. A great pocket reference book, with diagrams, charts, maps, glossary, and index. Recommended for ages 9 to adult.


DK Pockets: Fossils by DK Publishing, written by Douglas Palmer, soft cover, 155 pages
This little book is packed with information about fossils, along with beautiful photographs. A great pocket reference book, with diagrams, charts, maps, glossary, and index. Recommended for ages 9 to adult.

Introducing Landforms
by Crabtree Publishing, written by Bobbie Kalman, soft cover, 32 pages
Learn how to identify all the varied land features of our earth, and how they are formed. Learn about the formation of glaciers, lakes, mountains, valleys, plains, deserts, canyons, volcanoes, and more. Then take the landforms quiz at the end of the book! Recommended for ages 6 to 10.

Eyewitness Workbook: Earth
by DK Publishing, written by Caryn Jenner, fold-out workbook, 48 pages
A workbook that children will actually want to use! Are you ready to take your knowledge of the planet Earth to the next level? This activity-packed workbook will help you go straight to the head of the class. Find out how mountains are formed, see inside our planet, learn how a volcano works, and discover the layers of our atmosphere. Train your brain with activities, stickers, and quizes. Includes tun-and-learn information wheel. Parent notes and curriculum-based content. Chart your progress and receive your certificate of completion!

Eye Wonder Series: Volcano
by DK Publishing, written by Lis Magloff, hard cover, 47 pages
Explode into the spectacular world of the volcano. Find out what causes the most dramatic scenes on Earth and look back in time to discover the violence and danger that is the volcano. Packed with facts, accessible text, and dramatic photography.


Volcanoes
by Neil Morris, soft cover, 32 pages
Part of the Wonders of our World series, this book explains what a volcano is, and identifies the different types of volcanoes, the lava, ash, and rock produced by volcanoes. Examples of volcanoes from around the world, as well as information about geysers, springs, avalanches, and tsunamis resulting from volcanic activity, and the birth of new islands. Great illustrations and facts. 

   
DK Readers: Volcanoes and other natural disasters
by DK Publishing, written by Harriet Griffey, soft cover, 48 pages
Stunning photographs combine with lively illustrations and engaging, age-appropriate stories in this series of books geared toward developing both reading skills and knowledge. Learn about the famous eruptions of Vesuvius and Pelee. Learn about other natural powerful forces such as earthquakes, avalanches, and hurricanes. Recommended for readers age 8-12.

 

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Popcorn Theme: Page 1

September 20, 2010 06:12 by Barbara Shelby

Popcorn is great all year long! A wonderful theme for parties, National Popcorn Month (October), Popcorn Day (January 19),  Camp Days,  Afterschool programs, the End of the School year, and Autumn ---Also---Fun ideas to add to a Movie, Hollywood or Circus or Carnival theme!

 

GAMES

POPCORN RELAY RACE All it takes are two big bowls of popcorn and some small cups per team. Have kids run and get a cupful of popcorn and transfer it to the bowl across the room. The first team finished wins. Because of potential popcorn mess, this would be good played outside! The critters can eat what isn't’ swept up! (Play in gym if you’re brave!)

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POPCORN ON THE HEAD RELAY
• Split youth into two teams.
Give each team a cup of popcorn.
Have each player take turns walking with the cup of popcorn on their heads, across the room, around a chair and back to their team.
Play for a specified amount of time such as 2 minutes or more. The team that has the most popcorn left in their cup wins!

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STICKY POPCORN GAME
The children begin by "popping " around the gym as pieces of sticky popcorn, searching for other pieces of popcorn.
When two pieces of popcorn meet, they stick together.
Once stuck together, they continue to pop around together, sticking to even more pieces, until they end up in a big popcorn ball.

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POPCORN RACE
Give each player a straw and have them  select a popped kernel of popcorn.
Each player blows the popcorn with the straw to the end of a table.
First one to reach the end is the winner!

____________

POPCORN GUESSING GAME (Use flavor recipes listed below in 'Snack Section'  Recipes)

Prepare several different flavors of popcorn.
Blindfold players and feed them the popcorn; have them guess the flavor.

 ____________

PLAY POPCORN TOSS
1. Label plastic buckets OR containers with numbers such as 1, 5, and 10.
2. Place the buckets in a vertical line or triangle in progression from small numbers to large.
3. Players stand on a designated line and toss popcorn into the containers.
4. Add up their scores according to how much popcorn they got in each bucket.

*This can also be played in teams.

 ________________

PLAY BINGO USING POPCORN AS MARKERS! Be sure to have extra to munch!!!

______________

POPCORN-A DRAMA GAME All players find themselves a spot and squat down. The facilitator talks the group through the exercise.

“Everyone is a piece of corn, the floor is a big pan, and we’re going to make popcorn. --- We slowly start heating the pan”… As the pan gets hotter, the corn starts to `pop`.  A player `pops` by jumping up, clapping hands above their head, and saying `pop`. Make sure the `popping` starts gradually, `popping` is a group thing, and in the end, `popping` should stop.

  • Variation: Forget to take the pan off the fireplace, and have the popcorn start burning.

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POPCORN VOLCANO ERUPTION
1.
  Spread out a large clean sheet or large sheet of roll-paper on the floor; have the kids sit outside the edge.
2.  Set a popcorn maker in the center, and prepare popcorn according to directions. Do NOT put the lid on the popcorn maker!
3.  Watch the "volcano" erupt and shoot "hot lava" all over the sheet.
4.  Make sure that everyone stays away from the popper while it's on, so the kids don't get sprayed with hot oil or kernels.

If you are using an air popper (without the lid)--also have children stand back (it gets hot) -- watch the popcorn fly out. Pick up popcorn and enjoy!

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GUESS THE AMOUNT OF KERNELS

You can use popped corn or popcorn kernels. Just count the corn as you put it in the jar so you will know the correct answer. (Have children  write their name and estimate on a slip of paper.) The player who guesses closest to the correct answer wins the jar!

Guess how many popcorn are in the jar.

IDEA: If using kernels, tie a recipe to the jar for making/microwaving regular popcorn or caramel in a bag!

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POPPING POPCORN

(Use balloons and call them POPCORN !)

 

POP!
Pop yellow and white balloons instead of popcorn.
Use 9-inch balloons, fill a room, and instruct players to pop as many as they can.
You may wish to give younger children a straw or something simple to pop balloons with.
Older kids can stomp or sit on balloons to pop them.
The proof is in how many balloon remnants they collect. The one who pops the most-- wins.
Have a camera handy for this fun popcorn party game!

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POPCORN POPPED
Materials: Several white and yellow balloons (popcorn) and string 
• Each player is given two balloons to be inflated and tied around each ankle with a piece of string.
• Object of game is to burst the other players' popcorn balloons with their feet—no hands allowed.
• Winner is the last person with a popcorn balloon or balloons. Game can be played with or without boundaries.

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POPCORN PARACHUTE GAMES

POPCORN #1

Start with all players holding the chute stretched out. Throw as many soft balls as you have d onto the chute-the  more the better!
Holding the chute tightly, have children bounce the popcorn (balls)
as quickly as they can off of the chute.
Variation: Play this game in two teams. One side of children try to
bounce the balls off the chute, while the other side works at keeping the balls on the chute!

________________

POPCORN #2
Place a number of beanbags or cotton balls on the chute. Shake the chute to make them rise like popcorn.

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ART AND CRAFTS

POPCORN ART
Put out a bag of popped popcorn along with construction paper and art supplies-challenge children to come up with some creative art using the popcorn!
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 POPCORN COLLAGE
Colored Glue (can also use paint or food coloring mixed with glue)
Paper
Popcorn
Provide  many different colors of glue; glue should be thick enough to hold the popcorn
Paint a picture with the glue 
Press popcorn onto the painted parts

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DECORATE POPCORN BAGS!

Materials:
Small Paper Bags
Crayons, paint, markers, stickers, etc.
Popcorn
Put out a variety of markers, paint, stickers, etc. Decorate the bag in fun designs. Write the word 'Popcorn' on it. When complete, fill with popcorn! Enjoy! 

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CORN ON COB COLLAGE

Need:
Yellow and green construction paper, Glue, Un-popped popcorn
1. Cut a "corn cob" and "husks" out of paper. Glue the "husks" around the "cob".
2. Spread the glue on the "cob" and cover it with un-popped popcorn

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PUFFY POPCORN FLOWERS
Materials: Popped Popcorn, Powder Tempera Paint (any colors), Green Construction Paper, Glue, Cardboard
1.  Put handfuls of popped popcorn in plastic bag and add powdered tempera paint to each one.
2.  Shake well to distribute paint all over the popcorn.
3.  Cut stems and leaves out of green construction paper and glue them to cardboard.
4.  Glue on the colored popcorn to make flowers.
(Seasonal flower art towards page bottom)

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A SCIENCE AND ART LESSON FOR KIDS


Idea and sample provided by Carol Felixson in Los Angeles Times--May 5, 2004

 

POPCORN FLOWERS

There are several species of popcorn flowers. They are members of what is commonly known as the fiddleneck family of plants. Once the flowers open and bloom, they look like popped corn...The flowers have white petals with yellow 'kernels' in the center.
As an extension of this art idea--have kids research "Popcorn flowers"!

Materials:
Cardstock paper or poster board
Popped Popcorn
Red tissue paper
Green tissue paper
White glue
Water
Art Brushes

1. Cut strips and other shapes of blue and green tissue paper (sky and  ground)
2. Mix water and white glue until it has the same consistency as paint.
3. Working on one small section at a time, paint the mixture onto poster board with a brush.
4. Place a piece of tissue paper on top of each glued area. 5. Next "paint" over the top of the tissue. Let it dry.
6. Brush on a second coat of the glue and water.
7. Last use full-strength glue to paste popcorn on top of the tissue paper.
8. Once everything dries, outline the flowers with a marker.

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POPCORN SHAKER #1--RAIN STICK
Materials:
Cardboard Paper towel cylinder
Popcorn kernels
Paint
Paint brushes
Glue
Scissors
Scraps of material
Rubber bands or tape

1.  Paint cardboard tube and let dry.
2.  Cut two circles out of scrap fabric, big enough to cover the open ends of the cardboard tube.
3.  Place one fabric circle over tube end and secure with a rubber band or tape.(Tape if child is under 5 and rubberband if over 5)
4.  Add popcorn kernels to tube (About a tablespoon full).
5.  Secure second fabric circle over open end of tube with rubber band or tape.
6.  Hold tube in the middle and shake or turn to make "rain noise".

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PLASTIC SHAKER  #2

  • Find a clean, empty plastic container with a screw-on lid, such as a peanut butter jar or a individual serving juice or milk bottle.
  • Put a spoonful of popcorn kernels in the container.
  • Put some glue around the edge of the container and screw the lid on tightly.
  • Allow the glue to dry before shaking.
  • Decorate with stickers or colorful masking tape.

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#3 SHAKER--USE PRINGLES CAN

Put popcorn kernels inside of a Pringles can. Secure the plastic lid of the can with tape. Paint or cover the can with construction paper and shake it!

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FOOD CRAFT AND SNACK IN ONE!
POPCORN SCULPTING

Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients
1/4 cup margarine, plus 1 tablespoon extra
1 bag mini-marshmallows
12 cups popped popcorn
3 packages gelatin (such as Jell-O, 4 serving size), different flavors and colors as desired
Choice of the following foods, such as sprouts, celery sticks, carrot slices, raisins, pretzel sticks, etc.

Materials
3 bowls
Oven mitts
Wax paper or serving plate
Large wooden spoon
Large microwave-safe bowl or saucepan

1.  Place the margarine and the marshmallows in the microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the two on high for 1 to 2 minutes until the marshmallows are puffed.
2.  Using oven mitts, remove the bowl of marshmallows from the microwave. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon.
3.  Divide the popcorn into three separate bowls.
4.  Pour equal amounts of the marshmallow mixture over popcorn.
5.  Sprinkle a different color of gelatin over each bowl of popcorn and marshmallow mixture. Quickly stir with the spoon until the gelatin and marshmallow mixture evenly covers the popcorn mixture and let cool.
6.  Rub some margarine on your hands. Take some of the popcorn mixture and mold into an interesting form. Add different colors of the popcorn mixture to make different parts of the sculpture.
7.  Place the sculpture on wax paper or a serving plate. Add any of the remaining foods to make an interesting presentation of the sculpture just before serving. 

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SCIENCE, NATURE, MATH

 COMPARE STAGES OF POPCORN!
Purchase popcorn still on the ear at a specialty store.
Place this in the science center (table) along with un-popped popcorn, corn on the cob and popped popcorn. Have children observe the differences!  

You can make popcorn of this type in the micro-wave! Place one ear in one of the special microwave bags that come with the corn. Set  microwave oven for 2-3 minutes, and you've got popcorn right off the cob! 

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DANCING POPCORN -- Fill a clear cup  3/4 full with vinegar.  Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Drop in a few kernels of un-popped popcorn.  Watch as the kernels rise and fall.
Variations: Try substituting club soda for the vinegar and baking soda. You can also try using other objects like buttons or pebbles
.

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POPCORN GARLANDS FOR BIRDS!
If you leave popcorn out for a few days, it will get stale and hold
together better when strung. String popcorn with thread and needle. You can also add berries, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, between the popcorn. Hang the popcorn garlands on tree branches outside for the birds.

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GROWING POPCORN IN A BAGGIE #1 
Instructions: Take a plastic zip-loc baggie, put cotton balls in it and saturate cotton balls with water. Put popcorn kernels into the bag; seal it and tape to a window. Add water as needed and watch the plants grow. Transfer to potting soil later. (It doesn't take much to get a popcorn kernel going! My grandson had a kernel lying on its side on the sink--in just a drop of water. In a couple days it was sprouting a small leaf and stem! Barb)

#2 SPROUTING POPCORN KERNEL

Place dirt in a small zip lock bag. Add water and a few kernels of popcorn. Seal the bag and hang in sunny window. The popcorn kernels will begin to sprout in about a week.

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MAKE A POPCORN BIRD FEEDER
Materials:
Pre-made popcorn
String
Pinecones
1. Securely tie string around the base of the pinecone.
2. Stuff premade popcorn in the crevices of  pinecone; stuff firmly so it doesn't fall out.
3. When the pinecone is filled--hang it outside...

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POPCORN SNACKS AND RECIPES

For loads of Popcorn Recipes, Snacks and Tips click here...

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POPCORN PARTY DECORATIONS 

 •String  popcorn and wrap it along railing, across curtains, from hanging lights, windows, etc.
 
Use a color scheme of yellow and white and  red...

Decorate with...yellow and red balloons; white and red streamers;  hang yellow and red curling ribbon from lots of places around the room. Use red and white striped aprons, tablecloths, napkins, cups. etc.

Rent a popcorn popper! It'll be the hit of the party; you can find them at most party supply stores.

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POPCORN TRIVIA
DID YOU KNOW ...

 

• If popcorn kernels dry out, they can be freshened by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to the jar and shaking it.

• Corn was first grown about 7000 years ago in the highlands of central  Mexico, and by the first century B.C. was a staple crop of all the agricultural peoples in the Americas. One of the first uses of corn kernels was for popping.

• Archeologists found some popped corn in a bat cave in New Mexico that was 5,600 years old.

• Some Native American tribes popped corn right on the cob, by spearing the corn cob with a stick and holding it near the fire. The kernels would pop and stay attached to the cob.

• The colonists served popped corn for breakfast with cream poured on it.

• Americans consume 1.12 billion pounds of popcorn a year. (About 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year.) The average American eat over 65 quarts of popcorn per person a year.
 
• If popcorn is salted before the kernels are popped it become tough.

• When black popcorn is popped it become white.

Popcorn was actually the first food to be microwaved deliberately. In 1946 Dr. Percy Spencer of the Raytheon Corporation was experimenting with a magnetron (a new type of vacuum tube) when he noticed that the chocolate candy bar in his pocket had melted. He was curious, so he placed some popcorn kernels next to the magnetron and turned it on - the popcorn popped. After experimenting with various other food items (including an egg that exploded!), he and Ratheon realized they were on to something and continued on to develop the first microwave oven.

Click here for Page 2 of Popcorn Theme...

For loads of Popcorn Recipes, Snacks and Tips click here...

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