Relative size is a natural learning opportunity in the fall. The children are so enjoying the weather, the leaves, the pine cones, the pumpkins (still), and are wanting to bring the outdoors inside. Let them! The science table or even a box can hold all the treasures and the children will show you what they are learning if you provide time and sorting trays or baskets. Relative size is relative after all, and the children are going to be comparing, observing, noticing textures, discussing colors, and even thinking about the weight of the objects. Every walk becomes a treasure hunt when nature items are readily available and on the ground. What will they find? What will they learn? 
Fall for Learning about Relative Size

Instead of letting the leaves crumble which can cause some heartache for a child who collected them, we laminated ours. They are all in one basket for sorting by size as in small, medium, large. Of course, leaves can also be sorted by color or even shape. Is the leave rounded or does it have points on the tips? Is it larger or smaller than the child’s hand? Is there anything else in the room about the size of the leaf? There is much to discover and observe. No vacuuming is required when leaves are laminated!

sorting-laminated-leaves-small-medium-large (3)

What is it about pine cones? Children do love to look at them. Later we will watch to see if it will rain when they are fresh, paint them, decorate them with pom poms, and even dip them in glue and glitter. If different kinds are available, they can be compared and contrasted for texture, size, openness, color, and size of the scale. Any nature item such as rocks or pine cones can become a treasured collection.


The sizes of pumpkins may be compared with pine cones and other objects. A tray for large, medium, and small helps keep the items in groups. A few fairy lights can help engage children in learning.

relative size

I kept seeing black trees in the dollar bins in October and decided to buy one. We added fairy lights, glow in the dark beads, and orange pony beads. It was a fun decoration, especially in the evening, and it wasn’t scary.


Adding peg people and pumpkins, a play scene was set up for imaginative play. Would this be a provocation for Reggio learning? Maybe. Fall for learning about relative size by allowing children to touch, discover, hold, and work with fall science objects.

The same tree could be decorated with red, green, white beads for a winter play scene, as well.

play scene for winter

We hope you have the opportunity for some fall hands-on learning led by the children, too.

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

Fibonacci Sequence Nature Letter Size Posters
Fibonacci Posters
Fall for Learning about Relative Size
Relative Size
Cranberries Revealed by Wayne R. Martin Review and educational freebies
Two Cranberry Freebies
Butterfly Matching Montessori Inspired Free PDF
Butterfly Matching
Flower or Butterfly Sorting and Coloring Free PDF
Flower or Butterfly
Free Gardening Color and Activity Pages
Gardening Freebie
Free Printable for Diary of a Fly
Diary of a Fly
Printable Numbers 1-10 Bee Preschool Theme Free PDF
Bee Theme 1-10
Invertebrates and Vertebrates Card Sort Free PDF
Card Sort
BUZZ! A Book About Insects, Hello Reader Free Printable
My Insect Booklet
How to Easily Grow Garlic to Spice Bread at Home
Grow Garlic Scrapes
Insect or Spider Play Dough Mats and Free PDF
Play Dough Mats Plus
Earth Day Printable for K-1 Free Sorting PDF
Earth Day Activities
Matching Color Palettes for Flowers and Butterflies
Match Colors
Monarch Butterfly 3-part Cards Printable Free
Monarch 3-part Cards
Flowers Give Us Beauty Thoughts for Children and Free PDF
Flowers Beauty
Amaryllis Plants for Fun Measurement Project and Free Sequencing Cards Printable PDF
Sequencing Cards
Leaves Shapes Botany 3-part Cards Free PDF
Leaf Shapes Freebie
Are You a Grasshopper? Free Printable
Are You a Grasshopper
Free Book Companion for First Grade Ladybugs Book
1st Gr Ladybugs
Pressed Flowers and Leaves Project
Pressed Flowers
Diary of a Worm free educational quotation marks printable
Diary of a Worm
Cherry Blossom Craft and Painting Ideas Blog Post
Cherry Blossom Craft
Plant a Pocket of Prairie Free Printable
Prairie Printable