Be A Leaf Peeper This Fall

Fall is the best time of year to enjoy all the leaves. Back in September, we encouraged you to check out the leaves to investigate how insects use them as homes and as a food source. Now we want you to embrace the leaves once again as they change color more dramatically, falling from the branches and piling up on the ground.

Photo courtesy of Mandy Bellamy

Oh, the fun you can have with leaves! Here are a few ideas:


1. Watch the changing colors. Which trees turn what colors? How late in the season do they change? Do they fall right away or do they hang on for awhile? If you like, keep track in a notebook.


2. Plan a fall hike, bike ride or scooter trip to enjoy the colors. Need inspiration? The Forest Preserve District’s “Woods Walk” program has 10 different paths can you check out, ranging from 0.7 miles to 3.47 miles.


3. Listen to the leaves. Cup your hands behind your ears to funnel sound, just like a fox’s ears. Hear the wind blowing through the drying leaves.


4. Crunch through leaves on the ground. Stomp, stomp, stomp! Nothing tells you it is fall like this crunching noise on the trail.


5. Construct a leaf pile. Build it up as high as you can and then jump in. Just make sure you’ve made the pile from start to finish. You don’t want to find any nasty surprises underneath.

Photo courtesy of Michael Fagan

6. Make a leaf rubbing. All you need are crayons with their paper wrappers removed and scrap paper. Lay the paper flat over a leaf or two or three. Hold your crayon long ways and rub on the paper over the leaves.


7. Build a leaf fort. You’re only limited by your imagination.


8. Collect leaves that are different colors and make a rainbow.


9. Design trails or a giant maze through the leaves. Play a “Pac-Man”-inspired game. One person is it and everyone runs away – but they all must stay on the trails created in the leaves.


10. Match leaves to their trees. Can you figure out which fallen leaves belong to which tree?


11. Create shapes in the leaves. You can start with a basic leaf angel, but why not also try creating the shape of a dog, turtle or snake out of leaves?


Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy this magical time of year. Happy leaf hunting!