I grew up in Oregon with lush greens all around. And while there is so much beauty and nature here in Southern California, I mean, the beach – HELLO!, it’s not the same. There is a different connection you get to Mother Earth when you are around trees. Trees give us shelter and clean air. They come in all different shapes and sizes. They create a space for climbing and adventure. I was so excited when I came across this activity from Education.com last month for Earth Day.
Cora and I have been exploring our trees regularly now. I sing her “Dream a Little Dream of Me” as a lullaby, so she is always on the hunt for a Sycamore tree. We are lucky to have different trees in our yard. The best is the avocado tree, among our orange, lemon, passion fruit, and pomegranate. The trees at the park are more exciting though. So we climb and collect leaves. We see what bugs and animals we can find. Birds, squirrels, and butterflies are our favorite. This activity is great for a walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the park. We’ve even discussed trees on our car rides. It’s been so nice to see Cora form an interest in the nature around us. I hope you give it a try with your little one!
Going On a Tree Hunt
Earth Day is coming up again soon – do you have any family or community plans to celebrate it? This is always a great time to teach the family about nature and taking care of the earth. With young preschool-aged children, the world can be very abstract. So when teaching a young child about the Earth and its elements, you can increase relevancy by teaching her about her immediate surroundings and environment. On this tree hunt, your child can learn about science in a dynamic, playful, and tangible manner. Will you take your child on one?
What You Need:
- Digital camera
What To Do:
- Take the camera with you on a walk around the neighborhood or anywhere you know you will see many different types of trees.
- You can do some research on trees before going on the walk, or you can see what interesting features your child finds and then research together afterward.
- Have your child observe the trees. Make sure you will have plenty of time to dedicate to the walk, so she won’t be rushed.
- Start by observing a tree’s height, branches, trunk, leaves, etc. During the walk, talk about how trees grow, and their importance for humans and animals.
- To include more geology into the walk, you can discuss the pedosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. These are all elements of the Earth necessary for the growth of plants.
- During the walk, encourage your child to take pictures of trees and their parts that spark her interest.
- Later, print the pictures to compare and discuss the trees she saw.
Bonus: See if either of you can find trees with lichen, a composite organism consisting of both alga and fungus.
Pin this to your Pinterest board or share with your Facebook friends, and tell us what you and your kids do to get in touch with your tree-hugging side in the comments below.