Capture Fall Leaves in Stained Glass
Have you ever looked at that mounting pile of leaves out your window and wondered what you are going to do with it all? This activity provides a solution, while also giving your child a fun science lesson. So, as she's jumping in that pile you just raked up, have her catch a few of the brightest leaves while they float down so that she can create a "stained glass" window.
What You Need:
- Wax paper
- Construction paper cut into 1" strips for the frame
- Colorful fall Leaves
- Clothing iron
What You Do:
- Cut two pieces of wax paper of the same size.
- Position one or several of leaves in between them leaving plenty of space around the edges of the leaves to form a seal. Get creative about how you place your leaves.
- Next, heat your iron to medium heat, and quickly iron the leaves. This will melt the wax and seal them. Note: this melting usually happens in just one pass of the iron. Try to avoid moving the iron back and forth repeatedly -- that only pulls wax out of the paper, and doesn't improve the seal.
- Finally, trim your edges slightly and glue 1" strip of colorful construction paper onto the edge to frame your "glass".
- Tape your stained glass in the window and let the light shine through.
- Take time to talk about the change in seasons and what that means for the trees. You may want to discuss these two key questions:
- Why do leaves change color? Leaves have green stuff in them called chlorophyll, which hides the other colors that are always there. In the autumn chlorophyll breaks down, allowing the other pigments to be seen.
- Why do leaves fall? Trees loose their leaves because the cooler weather is coming and the trees are getting ready by storing up their nutrients in their roots instead of their leaves. This makes the leaves die off.
- Finally, use your second grader's budding language skills to look up this leaf in a reference book, or on a site online. What kind of tree is this? Have your child identify it and write it on the bottom edge of your frame in her best kid writing. For best results, repeat this craft project with several kinds of leaves, and make a gorgeous fall "leaf museum" in your window this season!