Participating in a preschool leaf exchange

Participating in a preschool leaf exchange

One of the wonderful things about online networking in early childhood education is the chance to participate in unique activities like a leaf exchange…

I hadn’t really thought about how not every state has a true fall season like we do here in Indiana. The leaf exchange is designed to share leaves that are common in your home state with others from other states.

A common leaf that can be found in the state of Indiana is the Maple Leaf.  We have Red Leaf Maples and Sugar Maples all around my community.

As you can see from the photos above, the maple leaves turn brilliant red, yellow, and red depending on the amount of sunlight and rain we get in the Fall. If the season is too dry, the leaves will turn brown much too quickly but given the right combination of sun, rain, and temperatures – the leaves make a beautiful fall backdrop to our community.

For the leaf exchange, organized by Little Wonders Preschool, I was sent a list of 20 other schools to send out one or two leaves. The instructions were to…

“Please send each preschool 1 or 2 laminated leaves. Label the leaves with what type of tree (If you know) and city & state.”

I gathered the leaves (shown above) and then printed out this little tag for each school…

I placed the tag and three leaves into a laminating pouch and ran the pouch through my very old, but reliable, laminator!

The laminated finish wasn’t perfect but it should keep the leaves in good condition for the mail…

I made 20 of these to send out and now all I have to do is write out all of those addresses and drop them in the mail!  The teachers from each school will then be able to share the leaves from all different states with their students…

The states participating in the leaf exchange include…

  • California (we have many from different parts of California)
  • Omaha
  • Colorado
  • Massachusetts
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • Texas
  • Indiana (that’s me)

I would encourage you to get involved in the online early childhood education community. As you can see here, it is a great way to find new opportunities and ideas for your class as well as meet other dedicated early childhood educators!


  • cathy@nurturestore Posted October 19, 2010 9:25 am

    What a great idea! I have a trusty old laminator too – very handy piece of kit.

  • Teresa Posted October 19, 2010 11:35 am

    Love this idea, where did you get addresses from for other schools?

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 19, 2010 12:28 pm

    This was all arranged by a teacher I met through Facebook 🙂 She asked if anyone would like to participate in her leaf exchange and I volunteered!

  • Michelle G Posted October 19, 2010 1:59 pm

    Would sh be willing to share her fb page? I’d love to be able to do this!

  • Kim Posted October 19, 2010 2:29 pm

    I am participating too and received my first set of leaves yesterday. It was very exciting for me and the children! Because I live in central California and Fall comes a little later for us, I have to wait until November to send my leaves out. I love this idea!

  • Crystal Posted October 19, 2010 3:35 pm

    How do you find a online early childhood education community?

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 19, 2010 9:08 pm

    Hi Crystal,
    There are many communities that have popped up including the community I have on Facebook – This is where I was contacted about the leaf exchange. There are many other early childhood FB pages as well and if you check them, many times the page owners will let you know when they are wanting to do something like this. But there are other communities too that you can join in…

    Educators of PLN –
    Yahoo Early Childhood Groups of all kinds
    Head Start Body Start:
    Internet for Early Childhood Educators:

    And more… If I think of more I will come back here and add to the list:)

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 20, 2010 2:01 am
  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 20, 2010 2:01 am

    I have to still get mine in the mail – I am just putting off addressing all those envelopes:)

  • Kim Posted October 20, 2010 3:00 am

    Maybe, I’ll go ahead and make labels for my envelopes while I’m waiting for the Fall leaves. I can’t wait to get your beautiful leaves. I used to live in Louisville, Kentucky and I remember how beautiful Fall is there!

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 20, 2010 11:52 am

    That would be a good idea:) I am going to try to get mine out in the mail by tomorrow.

  • Jackie Posted October 21, 2010 11:03 am

    WHat a great idea. I bet I could arrange this with my facebook friends for our children to share leaves with one another. This looks so fun. (Although, we are past peak so I might have to wait until next year!)

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 21, 2010 6:28 pm

    It is so windy here today that all the leaves are falling off the trees now!

  • nadia Posted October 22, 2010 6:20 am

    This sounds like a great exchange! If i was living closer I would definitely do this.. we have the most BEAUTIFUL Purple Jacaranda leaves falling.
    Here is what they look like

    its beautiful… all purple/lilac!

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted October 23, 2010 1:13 am

    Wow – those are beautiful!

  • erica Posted December 23, 2010 9:11 pm

    Wow so cool! This is my new favorite blog.

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted December 24, 2010 1:48 am

    Ah, that is such a sweet thing to say Erica 🙂

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