Parents should include kids in fall cleanup

Children can learn much while raking up leaves with their parents

Raking leaves doesn’t have to be a burden for you or your kids. Get the whole family involved and enjoy the changing of seasons together.

The transformations that come with autumn may be obvious to older kids and adults, but natural patterns are new and fascinating to younger kids. By focusing their attention on the leaves they’re raking, you can help them understand the hows and whys of nature.

"While your child is helping you rake leaves—or just jumping in the piles—talk about what’s happening," said Penny Warner, author of "Quality Time Anytime."

"There are hundreds of ways to make the most of the time we spend with our children. Some are so obvious that you might not even think of them," she said.

Here’s an activity from "Quality Time Anytime" to try while you’re working in the yard or playing in the park:

MATCHING LEAVES—Next time you and your child are outside, look around at the leaves scattered on the ground. Gather two from each type of tree. Mix up the leaves and set them on the ground. See if your child can pair each leaf with its match.

Talk about how the various leaves are similar and different. You can also note how other things in nature are similar and different. Later, you might make a collage with your leaves or look up the names of the trees that produced them.

This story was provided by FeatureSource.

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