FOLLOW

The Art of Leaves: A Montessori Childhood Favorite!

THE COLORS OF FALL ARE UPON US AND THE MONTESSORI CLASSROOM OFFERS A WEALTH OF ACTIVITIES FOR EXPLORING THE ARTS WITH LEAVES!


Public domain photo of "Leaves" cutout by Henri Matisse

Matisse is always an inspiration for me and so I love to display some of his cutouts for the children to be inspired, too! The one pictured above is a fun exploration of leaf cutouts and yes! it inspired the children to trace and cut out leaves to place on our giant felt "tree" in our Montessori classroom.


The Montessori Botany cabinet is a classic puzzle activity that also gives children the opportunity to scientifically identify, categorize, pin-poke, cut out, color, paint, and even create books of leaf shapes!
Photo of Montessori Leaf cabinet from Alison Montessori

You can learn more about the classic Montessori lessons with the Botany/ Leaf Cabinet by clicking this link:Leaf Cabinet at Wikisori. 

You might also like my recent post about my experience with drawing Japanese Basil by using the obovate inset from this cabinet. Here's the link to that post:Artfully Outdoorsy Montessori: Realistic leaf drawing from the Botany Cabinet. 

The 4 yr old pictured here, decided to make his own leaf shapes and they were very intricate! After he finished drawing & cutting them out, he took them to the giant "tree" and attached them to some of the "branches."




We made our giant tree by first covering a large wooden frame with felt cloth and stapling the felt to the frame. Then the children painted various shades of brown on large sheets of art paper (the kind that comes in rolls from the art store). 

After the paint dried, we cut out the roots, trunk and branches of the "tree." I attached these to the felt construction with a staple gun. Finally, we hung the creation securely on the wall and the children decorated the tree throughout the seasons of the year. 

We kept a small step stool and a basket of tacks nearby so that the children could hang their own leaves on the tree wherever they liked!

BECAUSE OF THE STEP STOOL & THE TACKS, THIS ACTIVITY MUST BE CLOSELY SUPERVISED BY AN ADULT.



For the everyday arts of Practical Life in the Montessori classroom, there are little cleaning baskets available for the children to dust & even wash the leaves of the plants in the classroom. Some of these house plants are actually trees!




You really can't observe the changes in the leaves at this time of year without bringing up the categories of trees whose leaves change color and fall off (deciduous) and trees who keep their green leaves all year (evergreen).

I made a simple chart with the headings: Deciduous & Evergreen. Then, I collected various miniature models of trees, artificial silk leaves, acorns, etc. (lots of these can be found at Michael's Craft Stores) and set these up in a basket for the children to categorize.



The next extension for this categorizing activity is a rubber stamp activity with 6 stamps, three that represent deciduous trees and three that represent evergreen trees. (the rubber stamps were from Michael's, too) 




There are also lovely puzzles available that show the deciduous tree first with its leaves intact, and then after removing the top puzzle layer, the child discovers the bare branches underneath!



Seasonally, I like to change the table cloth selections at the snack table, and the children have a lot of fun deciding which Autumn pattern cloth they want to set up on the table for the day. You can also change the selection of artificial flowers that the children place in the vase in the middle of the table. It's nice to add some fall colored flowers and twigs!


One year, a family in my program brought me this lovely creation that they had made with handmade glittery paper and a silk Autumn leaf. I still have it and that was 22 years ago!


We absolutely can not forget RAKING LEAVES...great fun with a child-size rake!




I was inspired to write this post because I wanted to link up with this wonderful link up extravaganza of Montessori Autumn leaf articles at this lovely website:Natural Beach Living: Awesome Fall Leaf Activities. There are over 100 posts from Montessori bloggers all over the world! 

I hope you enjoy exploring Autumn leaves with your little ones. Please feel free to leave a comment below. I love hearing your ideas! 





Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
SHARE:
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

6 comments:

  1. Again, you have some fabulous ideas here! My son loves cleaning the leaves of our plants :) and watering them, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is something so satisfying about cleaning the dust off the leaves of houseplants! I love doing it myself. Your little one is such a sweet earth child! Thanks for the comment, Yuliya.

      Delete
  2. I really like these leaves activities, you can easily use them in your classroom. These tiny trees miniatures are adorable! I like the fact that Children can choose the tablecloth this make the classroom more inviting for Children

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy to hear from you Katherine! I agree, I love the little table cloth selection...I have 2 or three choices for each season or particular theme. It's so adorable to see the children creating the ambience for dining!

      Delete
  3. This is a lovely idea! I will remember this for next year when Little Bee is able to cut out his own leaves. Thanks for all these fun ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vanessa. I love to hear about your Little Bee!

      Delete

BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig