jars containing liquid and leaves

PBS KIDS for Parents Autumn Activity: Experiment With Leaves!

September 29, 2021 Becky Marburger Leave a Comment

Fall is here, which means the leaves are changing color and decorating the ground. Use the leaves from your yard to ignite your child’s curiosity with this simple science experiment!

This activity invites your child to ask questions, wonder “What will happen if…”, and develop an experiment to answer their questions. They will place leaves in different liquids, make predictions about what they think will happen, and compare their predictions to the results.

Find this PBS KIDS for Parents activity along with other learning resources, parenting tips and more on pbs.org/parents.

Materials

  • Glass jars with lids
  • Marker
  • Masking Tape
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)
  • A lime (optional)
  • Spoon
  • Leaves from the yard

Before the Activity

Talk to your child about how sometimes we don’t know all the answers, and that’s great! When we don’t know something, we get the opportunity to ask another person or look up the answer on the computer or create an experiment to help us understand. When we don’t know something, we get to be scientists!

Directions

  1. Look around your kitchen and decide on a few liquids to use in your experiment. (We tried water, salt water and water with lime juice.)
  2. Pour liquids into the glass jars. (In this step, we poured water into three glass jars, then added salt to one and lime juice to another.)
  3. Add a leaf to each jar, cover with a lid, and label the jars so you remember which liquid is in which jar.
  4. Make predictions! Ask your child what they think will happen to the leaves and write down your predictions.
  5. Set the jars near a window and let them sit for 48 hours.
  6. After two days, it’s time to record your results! What does the water look like in each jar? What about the leaves?
  7. Write down what your child observes and compare it to the predictions. Were any of your guesses correct? (“Our salt water changed color!”) Did anything surprise you? (“We thought the lime juice might make the leaf squishy but it didn’t!”)

Source: PBS KIDS for Parents. “Kitchen Science With Fall Leaves.” Found at: pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/kitchen-science-with-fall-leaves.

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