Preschool Outreach: Cycle of Seasons

During today's preschool outreach, Cycle of Seasons, children had the opportunity to take part in hands-on activities to discover about changes that may occur during the different seasons. Altogether we discussed what the word "seasons" means and how seasons never end; they keep going. As the seasons change from one to the next, we notice that the weather changes and that we may have to wear warmer or cooler clothes.

We explored the book, Sky Tree by Thomas Locker and Candace Chrristiansen, that illustrates and describes how a tree changes throughout the year as the seasons change. The tree's leaves change colors, fall off, and grow back. We furthered our exploration with leaves.

Sky Tree


Leaves have different colors within them that can be seen at different times of the year. During fall as days become shorter, you can see leaves turning orange, and yellow, and red. Just as leaves have different colors within them, so do markers.

Children were given a variety of materials to explore this concept: coffee filters, markers, pipettes, water, watercolor paint, paintbrushes, a tree branch, and a mirror.

Tree 1


Children used markers to draw on coffee filters to represent leaves. Then they used pipettes to add water. The water helped children see the different colors within the markers. They also used watercolor paint to further represent colors of fall on the branch.

The children could then take their leaves and place them on or around a tree branch to represent fall time. This child is trying to decide where to carefully place her leaf.

Tree 2


They had a blast investigating the different colors within the markers and leaves, and adding their own creation to the collective tree branch. They made predictions about what colors they would find within each marker and some were surprised by what they found. They used fine motor skills to weave their leaves around and through the tree as well.

Here's the final product:

Tree 3

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About the Author

Photo of Erica Gilbert.

Erica Gilbert

Erica Gilbert is the Manager of Early Childhood Outreach. Erica has been a team member at COSI since 2010. She travels out to early childhood centers in the community to facilitate hands-on programs for young children. Erica holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys traveling, painting, and being outside!

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