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Place 10 - 20 fall leaves around your room. (Try to find ones that are not too brittle, so you don't end up with leaf crumbles all over.) At circle time, tell your children to go on a leaf hunt and collect as many leaves as they can, then bring them back to the circle. Then have them lay their leaves out in front of them and
  • count their leaves
  • sort their leaves
  • look for pairs of leaves (by color or type)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Go for a leaf walk and let your children collect leaves, then bring them back to your room for circle time.
    Collect 3-4 different types of leaves, lay them on a piece of lightweight cardboard and trace around them. Then lay the cardboard and a pile of mixed leaves on a table. Have your children take turns finding leaves that match each leaf shape drawn.

    The fall is usually a good time to introduce children to the idea of the cycle or seasons of plant life. During the spring and the summer, the leaves have been providing protection and shade for the tree plus other animals and plants. During the fall, the leaves fall down to let the tree close down and sleep. The leaves fall on the ground where they nourish and protect the tree during the winter. In the spring, the tree will wake up and produce new leaves to start the cycle over again. You might want to lead this discussion into the subject of seeds and why flowers also dry up and fruit rots. It is all part of the renewing cycle.

    Down, down, red, yellow and brown.
    Fall the leaves on the ground.

    We'll rake them up, oh so high.
    Look! They almost reach the sky.
                                    Adapted Traditional

    Have your children pretend to rake up leaves and dump them into a pile in the middle of the circle.