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Story Time: Leaf Jumpers


Watch the leaves turn while doing fun math, science, language and craft activities to supplement Carole Berger's picture book Leaf Jumpers

With simple vocabulary and lush illustrations, Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber will have your littles pumped about autumn.  Maybe even as excited as I am.

Maybe not.  But it could happen.

I can’t help that all my favorite-ist things happen in autumn.  The world turns a billion shades of red and gold.  Leaves fall en masse (my favorite is when I’m driving and they fall in front of my car).  Pumpkins ripen.  Indian corn abounds.  Apple cider is available.  Pumpkin Pie or Homemade Maple Cream coffee creamer (I only take creamer in autumn.  The rest of the year I drink my coffee black).   Also, you probably need my recipe for that yummy Maple Creamer, so scroll down and I’ll add it in here.

I’m cool like that.

Story Time: Leaf Jumpers includes math, science, language, and craft activities to supplement the picture book by Carole Gerber

Leaf Jumpers Activities

My favorite Story Times involve autumn books and I was so glad to come across Leaf Jumpers and have a little fun with it.


Rather than do a worksheet for this wondrous book, have your child write the first letter of his or her name on a piece of paper.  Then go through the book and see if they can find the shape of the letter in the veins of the illustrated leaves. This is a great way to get them practicing letter recognition.  You can use it for every letter in your child’s name!


Leaf Jumpers is all about autumn leaves, which might make your littles wonder why leaves change color. With this experiment, they can quickly see how to tell what colors leaves will turn in fall.  All you need is a few fresh green leaves and some household products and your kiddos will see the fall leaf color appear like magic.

Coffee Filter Color Change Experiment

Coffee Filter Color Change Science Experiment helps kids learn about why and how leaves change color in fall. Part of Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

What you need:

  • 3 green leaves
  • Small jar
  • Alcohol
  • Bowl of hot water
  • Plastic wrap or sandwich bag
  • Rubber band
  • Coffee filter

What you do:

  • Have your littles tear the leaves up into little bitty bits
  • Drop the bits into the jar
  • Pour alcohol over leaves until just covered
  • Use the back of the spoon to mash the leaves into the alcohol
  • No, really get in there and mash ’em up
  • Cover top of jar with plastic wrap and secure with the rubber band
  • Place jar in bowl of hot water
  • Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, shaking the jar occasionally
  • Remove the plastic wrap and take the jar out of the bowl
  • Cut a strip from the coffee filter
  • Place one end of the strip into the jar (we taped the other end to the outside of the jar so it wouldn’t fall in)
  • Leave it alone for about an hour
  • When you come back, the colors of all the chloroplasts in the leaf will have been left behind as the alcohol traveled up the filter and evaporated

You can see in the picture that our leaves will turn yellow in a few weeks.  How cool is that?


Story Time: Leaf Jumpers includes fun math activities to go with the picture book by Carole Gerber

There are several math activities you can do with leaves, and they’re all fun

Sorting If you have a preschooler or kindergartner, go gather some different-colored and different-shaped leaves.  While you’re at it, pick up hickory nuts, acorns, or twigs.  Grab a divided tray and have your little sort by color, shape, or object

Measuring Even leaves from the same tree can be different sizes.  Have your littles measure their leaves and see which one is biggest

Graphing Counting the leaves and graphing them by color or shape is great math practice!  And it’s so fun, they’ll barely notice they’re learning.


Fall Leaf Placemat Craft for kids goes with Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

Fall Leaf Place Mat

What you need:

What you do:

  • Print out the template

Fall Leaf Placemat Craft for kids goes with Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

  • Use a large paintbrush to wet the sheet of white paper

Fall Leaf Placemat Craft for kids goes with Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

  • With the dropper, drop the various colors of tempera paint onto the wet paper
  • Place onto paper towels and allow to dry completely

  • While it’s drying, trace leaf templates onto brown construction paper

Fall Leaf Placemat Craft for kids goes with Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

  • Cut them out without cutting the edges of the paper (leave about an inch all the way around for the border–if you use an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of white paper, it will be smaller than the construction paper)

Fall Leaf Placemat Craft for kids goes with Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

  • When painted paper is dry, run a bead of glue all around the outside edges
  • Glue construction paper atop painted paperFall Leaf Placemat Craft for kids goes with Story Time: Leaf Jumpers


  • If you want to laminate your placemat, you may have to trim the edges first
  • If you laminate it, you can write people’s names on it with dry erase markers and you have instant place settings!



Maple Brown Sugar Brownies Recipe is part of Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

Maple Brown Sugar Brownies

Nothing says autumn to me like maple flavoring.  I’m just gonna warn you, though–you need a definite sweet tooth for these yummy brownies.

What you need:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Mix butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy
  • Beat in eggs one at a time
  • Beat in maple extract
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until blended
  • Spoon mixture into a greased 9×13″ pan
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in teh center comes out with just a few moist crumbs
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack
  • Cut into squares

Bonus–Homemade Maple Coffee Creamer

What you need:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • Quart sized-jar with lid

What you do:

  • Pour all ingredients into jar
  • Put the lid on it and shake to combine
  • Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks
  • I mean, use as much of that delicious stuff in your coffee as you want to

Can’t you just taste the fall in the air?  Get your littles ready for it with all this yummy fun stuff!

I am not wishing summer away.  If I was, I would never admit it!

Love wins,


Looking for more autumn fun? Check out:

Story Time: Leaf Man includes 29 pages of free printables, language, science, and craft activities, and a snack recipe for Apple Cider Biscuits

Story Time: Leaf Man

Story Time: Because of an Acorn - Crafts and activities for the picture book

Story Time: Because of an Acorn

Learn about the moon with 3 free printables, 2 craft tutorials, and a moon pierecipe in Story Time: Hello, Harvest Moon

Story Time: Hello, Harvest Moon

Story Time: Our Apple Tree

Story Time: The Littlest Pumpkin - Crafts and activities from Lit Mama Homeschool

Story Time: The Littlest Pumpkin

Story Time: In November Crafts and activities for the picture book by Cynthia Rylant

Story Time: In November

Story Time: Twilight Comes Twice with crafts, activities, printables, and recipes to engage your littles while they read the picture book.

Story Time: Twilight Comes Twice

Story Time: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - Crafts and activities to go with the picture book

Story Time: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything



KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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  1. Thanks for sharing your creative learning ideas with us at #overthemoon link party. Have a great weekend.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond recently posted…Celebrating a milestone birthdayMy Profile

  2. Wow. It looks like learning at your house is lots of fun! I’m going to look for this book at my library.

  3. I just LOVE fall it is my favorite season by far. I love the colors of the laves, the cool crisp air that lets me enjoy hoodies and warm sweaters, apple recipes abound. All of it; this post is excellent! Pinned.

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