Kids will be WOWED with this hands-on, fall science experiment where they will learn about chromatography for kids in this Why do Leaves Change Color Experiment. This why do leaves change color for kids is such a fun leaf activity that preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students will enjoy. This leaf science is the perfect EASY science experiment for September, October, and November.
Why do Leaves Change Color Experiment
I love fall and all the leaves changing color into brilliant red, orange, yellow, and eventually brown leaves. Have you ever wondered why they change colors or why those colors? This fun, engaging, and simple leaf science experiment is perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, and grade 5 students. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will like this simple project exploring Why do Leaves Change Color Experiment. This why do leaves change color in the fall kindergarten
Why do leaves change color for kids
Autumn is by far one of my favorite times of the year. There is something refreshing about fall from the crisp air to the magical colors that fill the horizons. This week as the leaves in our front yard began to change color the kids became filled with questions. This science experiment to discover Why Leaves Change Color was the perfect solution for their curious minds.
While on your nature hunt to collect the leaves for this science project is the perfect opportunity to discuss what jobs leaves are responsible for.
- Don’t miss this leaf scavenger hunt to teach kids about types of trees
- Learn more in our Botany for Kids Lesson
How do Leaves Change Color in the Fall Science Project
To delve into why leaves change color kids need to first understand the purpose of leaves.
Plants are responsible for creating the oxygen that we breathe. They do this by absorbing water from the ground and carbon dioxide from the air. Using sunlight (through photosynthesis) they turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Oxygen is what we need to breathe and glucose is what the plant uses to grow. The term photosynthesis means “putting together with light”. The chemical that plants use to make photosynthesis is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the same chemical that gives plants their green color.
Why do leaves change color science experiment
To try this leaf science experiment, you will need a few simple materials you probably already have laying around the house. You will need the following supplies:
- Masson Jars – (Glass Jars)
- Coffee Filters – we’ve done this a couple times and the BIG ones let kids see more of the chromatography (colors in the leaves)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Notebook and Pencil to Record Observations
Why leaves change color
To find the answer to why leaves change color in the fall, children will need to collect a couple handfuls of leaves. We like to take a fun nature walk, enjoying nature, and collecting fall treasures along the way. Try to collect a variety of fall colored leaves.
Now, sort the fall leaves into containers by color. The sorted cover leaves should then be ground up or torn into pieces.
How do leaves change color
Covered with leaves with simple rubbing alcohol.The rubbing alcohol should start showing all the colors in the leaves.
Leaves changing color experiment
Make a cone shape with the coffee filters and place the pointed tip into the leaf and rubbing alcohol mixture and allow it to sit long enough to absorb the liquid.
What makes leaves green
You will immediately be able to see the coffee filters absorb the liquid.
HINT: How long it takes to completely absorb the color will depend on how many leaves and how much rubbing alcohol was used.
After 12 hours ours hadn’t fully absorbed the liquid but you could begin to see the effect.
What causes leaves to change color
During winter, the days get shorted affecting the amount of sun the leaves are exposed to. Due to this lack of sunlight, plants go into a resting state and live off of the glucose that they stored over the summer. As they shut down for the winter, the green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. For example in Maple trees the bright red that shows up is a result of excess glucose being trapped in the leaves.
Why do leaves change color in the fall kindergarten
THis is such a fun, simple leaf science project your kids will want to try again and again! Each time it is a little different as the coloration in the leaves, amount of rubbin alcohol, etc. affect the colors you will see in the chromatography. Again, we got the most dramatic show of what colors are in a leaf when we used LARGE corree filters that were almost as tall out of the solution as the mason jars were tall.
This is an experiment that is pretty fascinating no matter your child’s age.
What makes leaves change color
For a really WOW experiment, try using all green leaves, but seperate by the type (oak, birch, etc). Now see what colors they will be in the fall when the chlorophyll stops being produced. YOu will get green with yellow or green with red/mauve, etc. This is truly a WOW teachable moment!
As the liquid travels up the coffee filter it separates all the colors that were inside the leaf.
Leaf Crafts for Kids
Looking for more fun fall craft projects? Check out these fun ideas:
- Autumn Watercolor Salt Painting Leaf Craft
- Crayon Resist Fall Leaf Art
- EASY Fall Leaf Crafts for Preschoolers
- Stunning Suncatcher Fall Leaves Craft for Preschoolers and Kids
- Lots of Fall Crafts for kids of all ages
- Edible Candy Corn Playdough
Fall Crafts for Kids
- Fall Crafts for Preschoolers
- Printable Hat Fall Craft for Preschool
- Wreath Fall Craft with free printable leaves template
- Fall Leaf Printing Activity for kids with markers
- Cute Cereal Fall Tree Craft for Kids
- Styrofoam Peanut Fall Tree Craft
- 100+ Fall Crafts for Kids
- Kadinsky Inspired Fall Leaf Art Project
- Scarecrow Printable CVC Word Mats Fall Activities for Kindergarten
- FREE Fall Worksheets for Kindergarten
- Printable Scarecrow Pronoun Game
- Scarecrow Worksheets Pack with 50+ pages of math and literacy skills
- Fall Sequencing Cards and Sequencing Worksheets
- Learning Colors Printable Fall Games
- Letter Matching Leaf Printable Activity
- Fall Worksheets Pack with 50+ pages of math and literacy skills
- Fall Theme or Fall Theme Preschool
- Cute Fall Playdough Mats
- Fall Do a Dot Printables
- Color Word Fall Worksheets
- Fall Books for Preschoolers,these fall picture books, or these fall books for kids
- Simple Fall Coloring Pages
Fall Activities for Kindergarten
- Alphabet Fall Printable
- Scarecrow Short O Words Printable
- Fall Sight Words Game
- Alphabet Candy Corn Math Puzzles – Fall Activities for Kindergarten
- Nonsense Words Fall Activities for Kindergarten
- Color by Letter Fall Worksheets
- Squirrel Fall Worksheets for kids
- Cute Fall Worksheets for Preschoolers
- Nature Fall Scavenger Hunt or this Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt
- Beginning Blends Fall Activity
- Syllable Clip Cards Fall Activity for Kindergarten
- Free Fall Writing Prompts
- Leaf Alphabet Letters Matching Activity
- Color Words Fall Emergent Reader
- Fall Science ideas for kids
- EASY Why do Leaves Change Color Experiment
- Fall I Spy Printable
- September Activities for Kids
- Counting Fall Worksheets for Preschoolers
- Fall Playdough Mats – Counting Leaves
- Skip Counting Fall Math Worksheets
- My Fall Counting Book – Fall Activity for Kindergarten
- Fall Number Words Donut Worksheets
- Fall Counting Book for Pre-K
- Acorn Counting Game
- Acorn Cut and Paste Fall Math Worksheets
- Multiplication Candy Corn Math or Addition/Subtraction Candy Corn Math Puzzles or Candy Corn Fall Math Number Puzzles
- Count and Clip Fall Math Activities for Preschoolers (or this pumpkin set)
- Fall Math Counting Crows Activity
- Addition Fall Worksheets with Stickers (sticker alphabet fall worksheets or number recognition fall worksheets or color recognition fall worksheets)
- Fall Activities sorting pretty leaves by shape
- Printable Fall Number Game for Preschoolers
- Fall Color by Number
- Number Tracing Fall Worksheets
Pumpkin Activities for Kids
- Phonics Printable Pumpkin Activities
- Pumpkin Activities Printable Shape Matching Game
- Parts of a Pumpkin Craft
- Pumpkin kindergarten sight word games online
- Number Bonds Pumpkin Math
- Pumpkin Matching Game
- October Crafts for Kids
- Counting Free Pumpkin Activity Printables
- Candy Count and Trace Pumpkin Activities
- Pumpkin Printables Counting Mats
- Learning Shapes Pumpkin Playdough Mats
- Word Family Pumpkin Activities
- Shape Game – Pumpkin Activities for Preschoolers
- Counting Spider Activities
- Pumpkin Traceable Letters
- Printable Pumpkin Math for Kindergartners
- Letter Find Pumpkin Worksheets
Apple Activities for Kids
- Find the Letter Apple Worksheets
- Number Apple Coloring Pages
- Apple Sight Words Tree
- Apple Browning Experiment with FREE Oxidation Worksheet
- Stunning, Easy Apple Craft for Preschoolers and Kids
- Fun Paper Plate Apple Craft for kids
- Easy Apple Core and torn paper Paper Plate Apple Craft
- Hole-Punching, Count to 20 Apple Activities for Preschoolers – free printable
- Alphbet Puzzles – Apple Activities for Preschoolers
- A is for Apple Printable Book for working on beginning sounds – print in black and white or color
- Skittles Apple Science Experiment for Kids
- Free Printable Apple Experiment Worksheet
- Yellow Fluffy Apple SLime
- Scented Apple Playdough Recipe
- Amazing, heat-sensitive color changing slime
- Lots of really cool dry ice experiments to try at home
- Paper Plate Apple Craft for Preschoolers
I think this is fabulous experiment. I learnt a lot from it too. Cant wait to try it out! Keep up the great work.
Hi, what did you use to grind up the leaves?
Thank you for posting so many great free printables. I work with special needs preschoolers at a non-profit and can use a lot of your wonderful ideas with my kiddos. You produce top quality activities and fabulous explanations. Thank you so much for your dedication to inspiring young minds. Yours is the first page I turn to for supplementing my ideas.
Are there printable instructions for the Fall leaf experiment? Could not find a link.