Make a backyard leaf guidebook


By Caitlin Murray Giles


Use fall foliage to teach your children about the many different trees in our area. If you need a refresher on the different types of leaves that are typical to the Chicago area, use a guide to trees based on leaf shapes such as Identify a Tree by Leaf Silhouette.


  • Construction paper or card stock paper
  • wax paper
  • iron
  • kitchen towel
  • leaves
  • hole punch
  • string or ribbon
  • scissors
  • crayons


  1. Gather together a variety of leaves with the kids. Once you have a good assortment assembled, place each leaf between two sheets of wax paper and cover with a thin towel.
  2. Iron until a wax paper seal forms (using the hot iron is an adults-only job).
  3. Trim around the seal in the shape of the leaf.
  4. Glue each leaf to a piece of construction or other heavy-weight paper to make your book.
  5. Write the name of the tree of origin next to each leaf. Decorate a cover for your book and give it a title (we used "The Trees in My Neighborhood").
  6. Use a hole punch to make two holes along the left side of the paper and secure with a ribbon or string. Add to your book throughout the season as you find new leaves.
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