Neighborhood walks are one of my favorite things to do with young children. It is especially interesting during the fall when children can play in the leaves.
Collecting leaves during this time will create great learning opportunities for the children in your care. Before you set out, give each child a large plastic baggie so s/he can collect his/her own leaves. Many children will stuff their baggies and others may pick leaves very carefully and consider options before committing to putting them in their bag. Both of these systems is fine, as the goal is to have several leaves to bring back to the center.
Once inside, I would have the children sort through their leaves. You could suggest that they put “like” colors or sizes together. The goals is “sorting”. You could then graph their leaves based on how they were sorted.
Another way to look at the leaves would be to try and match them by comparing their attributes to a leaf template like the one below. Be sure to encourage the children to look for similarities and differences to find the closest match.