If your Little Explorers are starting big school or adjusting to going back to nursery, you may have found that the mood is a little... intense at home. To smooth off the rough edges, try going for a nature walk- run and shout in your favourite wild space straight after school! Getting back to basics is the perfect antidote to the uncertainties and high emotions experienced in a constrained environment like school. It just shakes off the day.
This week we went with another purpose too – to see the leaves just as they start their transition from green, through to yellows, oranges, red and finally browns. It’s not only children who are going through changes – it’s nature in all its glory too. We were on a mission to find fallen leaves to press into clay and make into pretty bowls.
This is the perfect time of year for this activity. Leaves which are just turning and have that strong, waxy, limber texture still have rigid veins which are perfect for pressing into clay to reveal their intricate, delicate patterns.
At home, we rolled out air drying clay to about half a centimeter thick and carefully pressed the leaves, underside down, into the clay, tracing the veins and edges. The Little Explorers were thrilled to see the pretty patterns revealed when they peeled back the leaves. They needed a little help cutting the outline shapes from the clay.
We rested these into the top of small coffee cups to push the clay into a bowl shape as it dried.
The next day, the Little Explorers set about finding an array of treasures to keep in their new bowls. Shells, feathers and the odd Lego head are currently being kept safely in their lovely creations. Here at LittleLife HQ we’re bowled over by the fact that they were made by children under the age of five!
Expert Explorers: Did you know as the days get shorter, trees start to prepare for winter. Because there isn’t enough light or water for photosynthesis, the green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves, revealing yellow and orange colours which have been hidden inside the leaves all along. In some leaves, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight plus cool nights turns this glucose into a red colour, which makes leaves like those of a Virginia Creeper look simply breathtaking.
Send us pictures of the turning of the leaves near you – don’t forget to tell us where you are!