When teaching the very young topics in science or history I like to start with a fun picture book to read then move into a hands on projects while I talk about the details. Here are some ideas on how to learn about trees for preschoolers.
Start learning about trees with the classic, A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry, or one of these other books.
Then go outside and make rubbings of tree parts. Place a piece of paper against the bark and rub the side of a crayon over it. Make rubbings of leaves and seeds, flowers, or cones, depending on the type of tree you have.
Walk around the yard or park and identify as many trees as you can. If you do some prep work beforehand the tree identification will go much better. Trees of North America by C. Frank Brockman or What Tree Is That? from the Arbor Day Foundation are good guides for kids and adults to use together.
As you do the tree rubbings talk about the parts of the tree: bark, trunk, leaves or needles, cones or flowers, branches, and roots. Talk a bit about what each part is for. No need to overwhelm them though.
If you have older kids as well, expect them to read more about trees and perhaps write a report or draw a diagram. Label your tree rubbings and put them into a notebook.
- Arbor Day is coming up (the exact date depends on where you live, so look it up). Plant a tree together.
- Try doing rubbings of other things. It’s so fun to see how the textures come out on paper.
- You can press leaves or flowers with a backpack plant press.
- “T” is for tree. Highlight the letter “T” or another letter that relates to your theme. You can also cover the colors green and brown.
- Collect leaves from several kinds of trees and sort them and count them and so on.