Category: Developing Talents

Duration: 2 meetings a few weeks apart (1 hour each)
  • Unwanted hardback book, one for each girl (ask your thrift store or library if they have ones they are going to discard)
  • Rubber bands
  • Photo album with sleeves, or several sheet protectors.
  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
  • Access to or a tree identification book (check your library)
  • Ladder (if the trees are too tall to reach the leaves from the ground).


  • Look and see if there are at least 6-8 different types of trees within walking distance of your church building. If not, you may need to take a field trip (or have the girls collect the leaves on their own).
  • Ask permission in advance if you can take leaf samples from yards.

1. Ask the girls what they know about trees, and what types of things trees do for us/give us. Discuss the job of an arborist.2. Walk around the outside of your church building and collect fresh leaves from each type of tree – go for two for each girl if you can. You can try to do tree identification as you go, or (much easier) wait until the next meeting when all the leaves are flattened.

3. Once inside, place each leaf inside the pages of the book with several pages in between each one.

4. Once all the leaves are inside, secure with many rubber bands until tight and no leaves will fall out. Stack the books on top of each other, or if possible, put heavy items on top of the books,

5. Wait until the next meeting, or even a month or more to ensure that all the leaves are dry.

6. Have the girls carefully remove their leaves from the book and place them in their photo album or sheet protectors.

7. Identify the leaves using a website or book, and write labels for each leaf.

8. Encourage the girls to increase their leaf collection (let them keep the old book and rubber bands if they want, and tell them they can show off their larger collection at recognition night).
More Ideas:
  • Make things easier on yourself by finding out who does the landscaping for your church building and asking them what trees there are. Perhaps the landscaper would even be willing to come and explore the trees with you or identify other plants with leaves to sample, such as bushes.
  • You may be able to find a local arborist to come and speak to the girls for 10-15 minutes about their job, especially if you tell them you will pass on an advertisement flyer to the girls’ parents.
  • If you have a group of girls who really like art, skip the pressing and drying and instead do this Leaf Relief project after identifying.
  • Learn how to plant a tree and plant one somewhere.
  • Take a tour of a local plant nursery or even the garden section of a hardware store (since they would be open in the evening for an activity).
  • Try tasting one of the leaves of these edible leaf trees (making sure to emphasize that they shouldn’t go out an eat strange leaves after this).
  • Learn how to make recycled paper to appreciate the wonders of wood a little more.

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