Autumn Nature Activity – Leaf Detectives!

This Autumn nature activity is a great way to keep the kids engaged in outdoor play this season, and you may be able to do this right in your own backyard! My kids loved pretending to be “leaf detectives” to explore which leaves come from which trees. They went on several top secret missions to match them up, and even noticed small details in the leaves that they may not have otherwise noticed.

Here’s how to set up this Autumn nature activity of your own:

Autumn Nature Activity: Match the Leaf to the Tree!

Materials Needed:

Label your file folder as “Top Secret” and add the papers inside. Use a paper clip to secure them. Ask your child to gather several different kinds of leaves, then tape these to the papers. Label the sheet of paper as “specimens”.

Autumn Nature Activity: Match the Leaf to the Tree!

Assign the top secret mission to your child to look closely at each leaf and try to determine which tree it came from using the magnifying glass to study the leaves and binoculars to study the trees!

Autumn Nature Activity: Match the Leaf to the Tree!

This was such a fun way to spend the afternoon outdoors and foster a love of nature!

Recommended Books:

After enjoying an afternoon playing leaf detectives, you may want to check out the books “Why Do Leaves Change Color?” or “We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt“. I highly recommend them!

Other Outdoor Nature Activities to Explore:

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  1. Plus you could use alcohol and water and other solvents (under close adult supervision!) to extract the colorants, which essentially are broken-down chlorophyll etc. Makes an interesting study and you can color stuff with it or add a blot next to each leaf.