that a child who has an awareness of nature from an early age will continue to be environmentally conscious throughout their life and, in this day and age, children that care about the environment are exactly what we need. But how do you go about instilling this awareness into a child in a way that they find enjoyable? We would recommend starting with trees – here are some ways to do exactly that.
Most kids love a good mystery and trying to identify a tree that’s unknown to them will trigger that excitement. To help them do this, you’ll need to point out the different features of each tree in your garden that help with identification. Whether it may be a bottle-shaped trunk, which points to a , or zingy-scented flowers from , put together a tree identification chart that your children can follow, based on the garden trees that you have.
Collecting Flowers and Seed Pods
Children enjoy searching for and collecting different items. To them, it feels almost like a treasure hunt. Turn this into a tree-related activity by focusing their attention on the flowers and seed pods shed by your garden trees. Collect some up and then take them indoors to examine them closer. Teach your children about the different parts of (a is great for this) and open up those seed pods to show them what’s inside.
Knowing how to is a skill that your children will turn to throughout their lives. We would recommend going with a young sapling when tree planting with your kids. Not only will this be an adequate size for them to handle on their own, but they’ll be able to watch it grow while they grow too!
Children love getting creative, which is why art-related activities usually tend to be a big hit. So, this time, focus your art session on trees. There are endless ways in which you could do this. Sketching the trees in your garden is one, or you could help them to make collages using photographs that they’ve taken of your trees, even incorporating parts of the trees themselves, such as the leaves. Speaking of leaves, making leaf rubbings is always a fun activity, as are creating leaf prints.
The History of Trees
If your kids enjoy learning about history, teach them about the rich stories that lie behind some of your garden trees. For example, the played an important role in aboriginal history, as did the , whose fibres were used for handcrafting. Just about every tree that you see will have a story behind it. If you don’t know what that story is, then spend some time researching that tree with your child – it’ll end up being a rewarding educational experience for both of you!
No matter how old your kids are, it’s never too late to get them interested in trees. These five activities are a great place to start. Once you do, you’ll likely end up with several more ideas on how to encourage your child’s love of nature, which is something that will stay with them for the rest of their life.