Spring is one of my favorite learning times, as the world comes alive again. Flowers bloom, trees develop leaves, and birds start to sing more. It's a great time to teach your kids about trees and their life cycle.
Every spring, my kids and I spend time focusing on the rebirth of the trees after a dormant winter. We learn about why trees go dormant in the winter, how leaves develop, and the photosynthesis process.
Some of this may be too advanced for your children, depending on their ages. You can adapt almost all lessons for your kids. Here are a few ways to teach your kids about trees that almost all ages enjoy.
Read Books about Trees
One of the first things you should do is grab a few books about trees. I like to have a guide that helps us identify trees when we're on a nature walk. Then, I gather books about the tree life cycle and parts of the tree. It's great to provide a general overview with books for your kids.
A few book suggestions include:
- The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups
- Trees, Leaves, and Bark - A Take Along Guide
- Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids
- Be a Friend to Trees
- A Tree is a Plant
- Learning About Trees (The Natural World)
Draw the Buds in Your Nature Journal
Starting a nature journal is a great project for the springtime because everything is coming back to life. There is so much to document!
Look for tree branches in your yard or along your nature walk that is full of buds about to blossom into leaves. Take a picture or sit down where you are and have your children draw what they see! Look at the small details. Don't forget to get a nature journal for yourself and document with your kids.
Do Leaf Rubbings
Kids of all ages love leaf rubbings. They're simple and a versatile project that keeps children occupied.
All you have to do is get some plain paper, a variety of leaves, and crayons or pastels. Put the leaves under the plain paper and rub the crayon or pastel over the leaf. The details will show up, and little kids love to do this! bn
Look at the Trunk
The trunk is one of the most important parts of the tree, so why not investigate it? If you have access, look for a cut trunk that shows the rings inside. Count the rings! Show and label the parts of the trunk
Another project is to draw the inside of a tree trunk in your nature journal. Make sure your child labels the parts of the trunk. He can also make a hands-on diagram with construction paper!
Make Leaf Identification Cards
If you have a laminator, you can make your own leaf identification cards. First, make cards with the tree name, leaving plenty of space below that to put the leaf.
Then, go on a leaf hunt! Once you find the leaf you want, put the card you made and the leaf into the laminator pouch. It will seal it shut, creating your own identification cards! Such a simple, yet enjoyable, project.