How to Find Laughter in the Leaves

leaf pile

If you haven’t raked the leaves yet this year, what are you waiting for? Besides the fabulous workout, there’s nothing more fun than playing in the leaves. For our family, creating a gigantic leaf pile is a favorite annual tradition.

Young children can rake a big pile under the slide or swing set. Slide down into the pile, or jump from the swing for a super-soft landing. (Caution: Please be sure to remove all sticks and stones.)

Now that my kids are older, they rake an enormous pile under the treehouse. Then they jump from the top and feel like they’re flying. I DON’T recommend this for sane parents…but I never claimed sanity as my strong point. (Again, be sure to remove sticks and stones.)

The options are endless. Make mazes, camps, or caves. Write your name or make pretty designs in the yard. Bury each other in the leaves. Let the family dog pretend to be “Rescue Dog” and find the kids under the leaves (Ellie could have done this for days!).

This is also a super sensory experience for children.

  • Crunch the leaves with your hands and bare feet.
  • Listen to the sound they make.
  • Pay attention to the way they feel, smell, and look.
  • Talk about the different shapes, and see what kinds of shadows you can make by holding different leaves out in the sun.
  • Guess which tree the leaves fell from, and teach your children the difference between familiar trees such as Oaks and Maples.
  • Point out evergreens such as pines and cedars.
  • Take a nap on a blanket of leaves.

Turn your family’s annual chore into a fun tradition, and be sure to share your ideas with others here.


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