A Child's View: Preserved Leaves

Hi, kids! Fall is on the way. The leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter, and the wind is turning blustery. We often think of spring as the season of newness with the daily rain showers that bring beautiful floral growth. On the other hand, we may think fall as the season of closing as nature prepares for winter. We watch the trees release their leaves to prepare for a time of rest and recovery. After an important person in our life dies, we also need time to rest and recover. In the cycle of seasons, the harshness of fall reminds us that the regrowth of spring is just around the corner. We can see that this is true in grief as well. Just like the seasons, our grief and feelings can change over time. Experiencing the big feelings of grief can feel exhausting, and that is normal! It is important to take care of our minds and our bodies during this time. One way to do that is to use our creativity. Since the trees are giving us so many leaves of various colors, textures, and sizes, you can try to keep them fresh long into winter by preserving them. Take a nature walk to gather leaves for your project. Notice the colors – do you have a favorite? What about the textures? Some may be brittle, and others may be soft. While walking and gathering your leaves, think about the memories you have of your special person. Share these memories with a trusted adult or friend if you feel comfortable. With permission and a little bit of help, use the directions below to preserve the leaves you have gathered. 

What you will need:
  • Fall leaves
  • An iron (get help from an adult to use the iron)
  • Wax paper
  • 2 Dish towels
  • An ironing board or other hard surface

  • Turn the iron on a low setting with no steam
  • Place one dish towel on your hard surface
  • Place one piece of wax paper on the dish towel – waxy side UP
  • Arrange leaves on top of the wax paper and cover with the other piece of wax paper, waxy side DOWN, facing the leaves. Leave some space between leaves if you want to cut them out later
  • Cover with a dish towel
  • Iron for 15-20 seconds going back and forth along the dish towel
  • Let everything cool down
  • Cut out the individual leaves but leave a small edge around each to maintain the wax seal
  • Enjoy your preserved leaves!
Use your preserved leaves to decorate the pages of a journal or scrapbook with photos of your special person. Or attach leaves to a piece of poster board or other material to decorate your room with a spot of color for dark days. 

We Can Help

Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

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