by Elif Ekin Tasdizen
Fall is my favorite time of the year. Growing up in New England, that’s pretty understandable. As a child, I was always going for walks with my mom, collecting a rainbow of leaves in my basket. Now that I have my own little girl, I have been trying to bring some of those activities back into our everyday. Making November’s project from natural elements seemed like the perfect place to start.
Inspired by the book Nature’s Playground, we decided to make leaf crowns. Simple and fun. Mina and I had a glorious time collecting “supplies” from our neighbor’s yards. One neighbor, across the street, has a wildflower garden and all the flowers had fabulous seed pods just begging to be used in a crown. As I collected various leaves, pods, dried lavender and flowers, Mina decided to cut lots of dried lavander, bring it to our yard, and sprinkle the seeds everywhere with the hopes of growing a lovely lavender garden next year.
Thank goodness we had the car to put our box of treasures in! It seemed a bit silly to drive such a short distance, but I was afraid the leaves would all blow out one by one as we walked down the street!
When we got inside, we laid it all out for the kids to easily pick their favorites. What a crowd! We settled on the rug with some yummy pumpkin bread and read a few books. First, we began with one of Mina’s favorites, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves. This adorable little fox is friends with a tree and is greatly distressed when the wind blows the leaves off the tree in the fall. He thinks the tree is sick and needs the leaves to stay warm during the winter. He tries to take care of the last leaf that falls off the tree by bringing it home and putting it to sleep in a warm bed of its own. The next day, when Fletcher walks out the door, he sees a beautiful sight! The tree is covered in icicles and sparkles in the sunlight. He asked the tree if he is okay, the tree twinkles back, and Fletcher smiles.
We brought another of our favorite fall books from home: The Little Yellow Leaf. I fell in love with the artisic aspect of the book way before Mina was even interested in it. The author/artist utilizes cut paper and illustration to tell her story. It is the story of a little yellow leaf who is not ready to let go of the tree yet. All the others leaves have let go and flown away, but this little guy is scared until she spots a Scarlet leaf way up above. Both make a pact to let go together, and be brave! They do and they soar through the air, together.
Lastly, we read Leaf Man. What a cool book! Lois Ehlert used actual leaves to make pictures of animals and shapes throughout the book. The pages were even shaped as you turned them. It gave me so many ideas of things to make with leaves next year!
The kids really dove right into the project. We had put double sided tape on a card-board crown. All they had to do was place the leaf on the tape and VOILA! instant forest royalty! We had many staplers and glue on hand for more elaborate projects. After finishing hers, Mina thought it would be nice to make a crown for Sally up front. No longer is she Sally, Bookseller Extraordinaire. Now she is a Forest Queen reigning over the fairies and the little-folk!
Join us for our next Friday Fun for Kids at the King’s, Friday, December 10, 4 p.m. We’ll be creating our own No-Bake Gingerbread House with author Lisa Anderson and enjoying a gingerbread-y storytime.