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Arbor Day Science Ideas



Food From A Tree

Gather seed, tree, and gardening catalogs.  Talk with your children about
 the many fruits and nuts we get from trees.  Help them find pictures of
 these fruits and nuts in the catalogs. Let them cut or tear out the pictures
 and glue them to sheets of construction paper to make collages.


Nature Hunt

Go on a nature hunt with the children.  Start out by giving each of the children
 a brown bag to place all of their goodies in.   Explain to them how that bag
 was made from a tree because paper is made from trees.  Let them collect
 all kinds of leaves, twigs, etc.  Sort them when finished and discuss what each
 one found.  Let them glue the nature items on a piece of heavy construction paper.


Spring Tree

Spring means that the leaves on trees begin to grow.  Blossoms begin
 to bud and cover the trees with color.  Take your children for a walk
 around the school or a nearby park to take a peek at the trees.
  Encourage children to look for trees in different stages of spring
 growth; trees with leaves, trees with blossoms, and trees that are bare.
  Help the children identify the trunk, leaves, and blossoms of different trees.


Age of Tree

Take pieces of tree (a slice cut horizontal through the tree)
and count the rings to find out how old the tree is.


Leaf Class Book

Let the children collect leaves and glue them onto
construction paper. Make a class book for them to look at.


Recycling Box

Start a recycling box in your classroom.


Made From Trees

Materials needed:  Objects that are made from wood; objects
 that are not made from wood.  Preparation:  Set out objects
 that are made from wood, such as a newspaper, a book, a
 toothpick, a pencil and  a block.  Set out other objects that
 are not made from wood, such as a plastic toy car, a
 cotton towel, a crayon, a metal spoon and a mirror.


Tree Journal

Keep a tree journal. Choose a tree close to where you live and let it be
"your" tree. Keep a notebook of observations about your tree. How does it
change as spring comes? Are there any animals or insects living on it? Does
it loose any branches in a storm? Make a bark rubbing from your tree on one
of the notebook pages. Try measuring your tree to see how tall it is. Have
a friend help you by holding up a yardstick about 60 feet from the tree.
Position yourself six feet farther behind them, and getting close to the
ground, look where the top of the tree comes to on your yardstick. Mark
that point. The tree will be about 10 times the height marked on the yardstick.


Trees Need...

Materials Needed:
paper plates
red, white (yellow if they exist), & blue poker chips

Have the children spread the poker chips around a specific area.
Then  they each get a plate. Have them take it, place it on the ground and
stand on it (they are amongst the poker chips). Tell them that they
are trees. The poker chips are the 3 things they need - white: sun,
blue: water, red: food. They must always have one foot on the plate -
and they will use their roots (hands) to gather what they need. After
they have picked up as many poker chips as they can reach: see what
everyone has. Discuss where trees that have more/less water might live....


Age of a Tree

Count the rings on a wood round - a slice of the tree. If you look at a tree
 stump and count the rings that you see you will learn the age of the tree,
 the bark of the tree is a protective layer for the tree like our skin is for us.


Tree Observations

Make observations like a scientist —check it out!
Carefully use your eyes to study the whole tree, from the very top to
 the very bottom of it! Your eyes are like a camera taking snapshots
 of how tall or short your tree is, what kind of branches it has, whether
 it has needles or leaves, if there are any critters in it or any evidence that
 critters do come and use or live in it... Look to see what its physical
 features are.  Does your tree have a smooth or rough trunk? Long
 willowy branches or short stumpy branches? Does your tree “weep ”
 or have a rounded top or a pointed, narrow top? Are there leaves or
 needles? What exactly do the leaves or needles look like? Do you see
 any flowers, nuts, pine cones or other things growing?
 Do any critters use the tree or even live in it?


Tree Discussion

Go outside, lay down on blankets on the ground under a tree and watch the tree
 branches. Talk about the way they move, watch for birds, squirrels etc. in the
 branches. Talk about the animals, insects, etc. who live in trees, how
 important trees are to us for shade, coolness, food, etc.


Tree Homes

Draw a picture of a tree on a big piece of paper. Have the children make a list of
 things that live in the top of the tree, the trunk, at the bottom, and under the ground of the
 tree. Use craft supplies to make the different things and glue them in the appropriate places.


Parts of a Tree

On paper draw a tree and have the kids label the different parts
 of the tree. Leaves, branches, trunk, bark, roots, etc. Use sandpaper
 for the bark, brown yarn for the roots, and glue on paper leaves.


Trees, Trees, Trees

Draw three different kinds of trees. An evergreen, a palm tree, and a fruit tree.
Talk about where these trees grow and what grows on them. Glue on different
color leaves, for fall, coconuts on the palm tree, and pine cones on the evergreen.


Monthly Changes

Take pictures of a tree nearby (monthly) so the
 children can see the tree change over time.


More Science Ideas...

Have children do rubbings-bark, leaves, etc

Label the parts of a tree-roots, trunk, branches, leaves

Talk about who/what might live in a tree-birds, squirrels, insects, snakes...

Display or look through magazines things that are made from trees-wooden
 items, paper items... Place some of those things on a table along with
 plastic items and ask the children to remove those that are not made from trees.

Collect the leaves of different trees in your area.
Compare the shapes of the leaves.

Have children bring leaves from their yard or neighborhood.
Identify the leaves. Graph the results.

Grow a tree from a seed or seedling. Observe and chart its growth.

Discuss the different animals that live in or use trees.

Make a birdhouse, birdfeeder, or other useful item for the animals.

Make your own paper from recycled paper or other materials.

Sprout a small tree...seed and plant in the back yard or playground.





Pre-K Fun Theme Pages are for educational reference only! 
No copyright infringement is intended.
I do not claim any of these as my own ideas.  
They are shared from friends and fellow group members.  
Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


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