Saturday, February 8, 2014

6 Kid-Friendly Tree Activities

I couldn't keep my kiddos out of the trees this past summer, so I added some tree-related activities to the list in their Nature Study Bag.  

Here are 5 interesting activities for the junior arborist:


1. Find the age of a tree (or branch).

  • Count the rings on a tree stump or where a branch has been cut.  
  • Record observations through drawings and notes about the type of tree, its location, etc.
  • Consider the thickness of each band. 
    • Thin means the tree didn't grow much that year.
    • Thick means it was a good year for growth.
  • Research the weather and growing conditions, then compare the results to what the tree's rings indicate.
  • Find another tree estimated to be around the same age, and compare its bands to the first tree.

2.  Leaf Collecting Activities
  • Collect leaves from neighborhood trees and other places you visit.  
  • Preserve them and display in frames or a scrapbook, and include information about the type of tree, the date, and location.
  • Create a collage, mobile, local tree guide, or make leaf rubbings.
  • Observe leaf cells under a microscope, and compare the cells of different types of leaves.

3.  Tell a tree's life story.
  • Find an interesting tree-one that has been struck by lightening, fallen down, or is gnarled and twisted.
  • Draw the tree and color or paint it.
  • Record what you know about the tree: location, type of tree, what happened to it.
  • Write a story or poem about the tree and how it came to look that way.

4.  Use your senses.
  • Gather leaves and bark samples from a variety of trees.
  • Observe how each specimen looks, feels, and smells.  
  • Record the information about each specimen (what kind of tree, location, date, etc.) and describe the way it looks, feels, and smells.

5.  What does a tree do?
  • Find a big tree and observe what is going on in and around it.
  • Record the activity around the tree in your nature journal through drawings or notes.
  • Research the creatures you observe, and find out how the tree helps those animals.
  • List the jobs a tree has, then turn the list into a diagram or poster.

6.  Try tree watching.
  • Find an interesting tree or a treeline.
  • Observe the scene from the same place once a month or every three months.  
  • Record the appearance of the tree through drawings, notes, and photography.
  • Present your observations as a photo or drawing collage, scrapbook, or slideshow.
  • Try this with a newly planted tree, and record the tree's changes as it ages.


Class Discussion

Do you have a tree story? Share it in the comments!



Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd

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