October 28, 2009

Autumn! Why they call it "Fall"...

Our week devoted to autumn continues! I've noticed that so many of you have toddlers at home, so today I'm focusing on a book and activity that's great for the 2 crowd...

The Book - Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

There's a chill in the air, the leaves are changing colors, and the days are growing shorter. Each animal in the forest notices that winter is on its way and it's time to go to sleep. But before they can sleep, each animal wants to pass on the news to their friends. Bear tells Snail, Snail tells Skunk, Skunk tells Turtle... on and on until finally the news comes back to Bear, waking him up!

This book is great for toddlers. Not only does it contain several different animals and introduce the changing of seasons, but it tells the story in a predictable rhythm. The illustrations are colored, cotton rag fiber, creating a visually interesting and stylized scene. Fleming uses fiery reds, oranges, and yellows with large, angular shapes composing the animals. Such a nice change from the parade of cartoony illustrations we're usually faced with.

The Craft - Coffee Filter Leaves

The trees around our house are putting on a show this week, with flashes of red and orange and yellow. I can't wait for our Japanese maple to adorn herself in red! I had planned on taking Little Page for a nature walk today to collect leaves, but it's been drizzly and miserable here. Instead, we created our own!

What you'll need:
  • Coffee filters
  • eye dropper
  • scissors
  • red & yellow food coloring
The steps
  1. Fold the coffee filters in half and cut out a leaf shape. I freehanded it and tried a bunch of different shapes.

  2. Crumple and pinch the filters.

  3. Mix yellow and red food dye with a small amount of water in individual containers. (I keep my YoBaby yogurt dinner containers for this sort of thing.) You could probably try to throw green in there as well - if you do, let me know how it turns out.
  4. Have your child fill the medicine dropper with the colored water and drip it onto the crumpled coffee filter. This is a great exercise for fine motor skills!

  5. Once the filter is saturated (it won't take long), carefully unfold it and set on an old towel to dry. Warning for those of you who moonlight as hand models... you may want to wear gloves.

  6. Proudly display your fall leaves! (I'm not sure I like how they look on our playroom curtains, but Little Page was thrilled. "Oh, mommy, they are so bea-U-ti-ful!!!" How could I argue with that?)


  1. Wow, those are so pretty! Thanks so much for the great idea, I'll be linking.

  2. I think the final compliment is testament enough to how fabulous this craft is. I'll definitely have to give this a whirl with my kids.

    Thanks for such a great post!

  3. I have been on the lookout for some fun things to do with my 3 year old daughter...these look super cute, and so does your blog. =) thanks a bunch



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