PBS KIDS Fall Activity for Parents: Experiment with Leaves!


September 29, 2021 Becky marburger

Autumn is here, which means the leaves are changing color and decorating the ground. Use the leaves from your garden to arouse your child’s curiosity with this simple science experiment!

This activity invites your child to ask questions, to ask himself, “What will happen if …?” And to develop an experience to answer his questions. They will place leaves in different liquids, make predictions about what they think is going to happen, and compare their predictions to the results.

Find this PBS KIDS for Parents activity along with other learning resources, parenting tips and more at pbs.org/parents.


  • Glass jars with lids
  • Marker pen
  • Masking tape
  • The water
  • Salt (optional)
  • A lime (optional)
  • Spoon
  • Yard leaves

Before the activity

Talk to your child about the fact that sometimes we don’t know all the answers, and that’s great! When we don’t know something, we have the option of asking another person or looking up the answer on the computer or creating an experience to help us understand. When you don’t know something, you become scientists!


  1. Look around your kitchen and choose a few liquids to use in your experiment. (We tried water, salt water, and water with lime juice.)
  2. Pour the liquids into the glass jars. (In this step, we poured water into three glass jars, then added salt in one and lime juice in the other.)
  3. Add a leaf to each jar, cover with a lid, and label the jars to remind you which liquid is in which jar.
  4. Make predictions! Ask your child what will happen to the leaves and write down your predictions.
  5. Place the jars near a window and let them sit for 48 hours.
  6. After two days, it’s time to record your results! What does the water look like in each pot? And the leaves?
  7. Write down what your child observes and compare it to the predictions. Were any of your guesses correct? (“Our salt water has changed color!) Did something surprise you? (“We thought the lime juice might make the leaf spongy, but it doesn’t! “)

Source: PBS KIDS for parents. “The Science of Cooking with Fall Leaves.” Found at: pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/kitchen-science-with-fall-leaves.

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