We’re going on a leaf hunt!

By Jessica Daqamsseh, Toddler After School Care

When the leaves began changing and covering our campus in a rustic rainbow of reds, oranges, purples, and browns, the children excitedly explored each treasure left on our playground. Their faces lit up as they uncovered new colors and shapes which they eagerly shared with our Toddler Late Day community. 

Maria Montessori encouraged providing children contact with nature and opportunities to reflect on its beauty. She believed it was “[…] necessary for [their] physical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that [they] may lay up for [themselves] treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.”

Lately, our leaf hunts have become a daily ritual marking the start of Late Day. If I ever forget, a handful of friends are eager to remind me.

“We’re going on a leaf hunt!” 

The children rush to hold hands and to line up at the gate. 

We weave our way around campus, slowly stopping to inspect and to reflect upon the beautiful treasures blanketing our campus. Our walks have now expanded into our woods which offer more sensorial opportunities to experience Fall – the way the leaves crunch under our feet or how the wind rustles the branches towering over us. 

The sheer awe and excitement that nature generates in our children inspires me to reflect upon the beauty that surrounds us each day and to appreciate the simple pleasures that provide great nourishment to our souls. Sometimes our children can be our greatest guides to finding perspective and appreciation in the seemingly mundane.