Hunt for nature’s treasure, the many different products made by trees! Your child will learn about nature, trees, and categorizing while having a fun nature hunt.
What You Need:
- Paper and pencil
- Container or plastic ziploc bag
- Drawing materials
What You Do:
- Tell your child that he will go on a nature hike and hunt for tree products. Surprisingly, he will look for tree products that are NOT leaves, but are other products made by trees.
- Make sure your nature hike is in a place with lots of different types of trees so that he can find a variety of tree products.
- Take the container or plastic bag along on your hike, and have your child look for some of the following tree products on grounds beneath trees or hanging from trees:
- Pods—These look like string beans or pea pods hanging from branches. They are hard and leathery when ripe, then split open to release seeds.
- Winged “Seeds”—These look like helicopter blades, and do spin when they fall off trees.
- Spiny-husked nuts or other prickly brown balls
- Note that some tree products may be seasonal or regional, for example the pods and acorns may only be around in autumn. If you live in a region with fruit on nut trees, add “Fruits/Nuts” to the above list of tree products and bring home an apple or walnut!
- Feel free to let your child find other tree products that aren’t on this list, like different kinds of bark, or something else unique. Celebrate the fun of discovery!
- Once he has his collection of tree products, he can take them home and organize them into categories as mentioned above. He can make a chart to show how many he found of each kind. He may want to draw illustrations of his finds, showing how an ideal product from each category looks.
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.