Nature Curriculum Week 5 – Autumn Leaves

img_9868This topic seems very apt looking around us in Sweden and seeing all the gorgeous rainbow colours already.  Today, having recovered from travelling, it was time to settle ourselves back into a bit of a routine again.  Having managed to drop Dadda off for his bus first thing and after having some breakfast, we got the maths and English books out, and for the first time in weeks, the mini men had the chance to have some time with me and do some.  They were very keen beans and we had a lovely time doing it 1:1  while little lady did her own work.  Afterwards, and after a bit of puzzle time, we headed out on our walk to collect some leaves of various colours.

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This week is all about the leaves and learning why and how they colour.  This morning we have learnt that each leaf has an array of pigments; green is chlorophyll, yellow is xanthophyll, and orange is carotene.  They have all three present all the time, but because in spring and summer the chlorophyll is working so hard, it masks over the other 2 colours.  We learnt about their function, how and when the pigments’ functions change, and the result of this.  After our walk and collecting of leaves, we brought them in and made a circle on the table to show the cycle of autumn leaves.  We then made a simplified version on our nature journals, so lots of drawing and colouring.  Our little lady had the bright idea of drawing the outline of a leaf, and then putting a real one underneath and doing a leaf rubbing over the top to get the network of leaf veins in the drawing.  It was a very effective idea.  We then also read this week’s story (We’re going on a leaf hunt), and poem (The Pond by Amy Lowell).  The piece of art we all looked at was The Water-Lily Pond Water Irises by Claude Monet, one of my favourites and I remember visiting the famous place of the painting when I was much younger –  very tranquil and beautiful.


After a lovely morning it was time for me to get behind the wheel and negotiate the busier, bigger roads and head into town to register at the tax office, and visit (of all places) H&M, as arriving in Sweden seems to have made our little ladies legs sprout and all the leggings we brought with us are ridiculously short now!!  All was going so well until we hit a bit of a RTA entering the city, blocking the direction I needed to take.  No one was injured, just someone had driven into a bollard but the emergency services must have been a bit bored as there were 3 fire engines, 2 ambulances, and a station worth of police.  So, I had to go driving aimlessly around the city island, getting into narrow side streets in the car I didn’t know, with the little lady at one point shouting from the back I was on the wrong side of the road – which in this case I wasn’t, just what I needed for my high anxiety levels!!  We got there though, we got registered, myself and the children, managed to get leggings, and had a play in the park (oh and had a sneaky trip to the systembolaget, the state run alcohol shop, for a large box of red wine 🙂 !).  We’ve had a lovely day today, but I am aware I now need to broaden my horizons and get us out and about into nature a bit more, in areas I am unsure of, so lets hope the moose are friendly.  It’s the weekend now and we have Dadda home for 2 days (to drive the car!!!).




The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.

Comments 2

  1. Lovely photos of them all engrossed in their tasks. Stuga looks great. Big and bright. Bet you love the bench at the table. Great idea of the ring of leaves depicting the seasons. Where did the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk come from?

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