Outdoor Math Play: Measuring Fall Leaves

Oct 16, 2015

When the weather is warm and the leaves are aplenty, take the learning outdoors!

There are so many different things you can do with fallen leaves, including this simple outdoor math activity.

This activity combines math skills with a scavenger hunt. Challenge your kids to find the biggest leaf (or the smallest leaf) in your yard and get them to measure and compare. They can even record the results on a piece of paper, if they wish.

You Will Need:

  • leaves
  • ruler
  • piece of paper or a small notebook to track results and observations (optional)
  • pen or pencil to track results and observatons (optional)

I simply handed the ruler to my oldest son and asked him to measure some leaves for me.

I asked him, "How big of a leaf can you find? How big do you think it will it be?"

Then he was on his way! He would pick up a leaf, lay it flat on the ruler, measure it from stem to tip and declare the measurement.

A child holds a red leaf up to a ruler.

For a slightly different activity, he could have measured the width of the leaf.

We also could've recorded the results for each leaf in a notebook and perhaps added a rubbing of each leaf, but my son was happy just to look for leaves and measure them.

You'll Also Love: Leaf Window Hanging

You could extend this activity by comparing leaf sizes by colours:

  • Which colour of leaves were the largest?
  • Which were the smallest?
  • Which color had the widest leaves?

Two leaves and a clear plastic ruler.

Another extension idea is to make piles of leaves and measure the width and height of each pile. You may need a longer measuring implement for this idea though!

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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