Spring Into Tree Observation!

Stimulating your child's interest in nature by honing observation skills

From a very young age, I’ve always loved nature. I would spend days admiring how the birds flew, how the wind moved leaves, and how ants carried objects that were ten times their size back to their nests. With spring in the air, I thought I would share a very simple nature activity to get your young ones involved and stimulated by the beauty of our world.

Tree Observation Activity:

Activity: individual or in small groups

Suggested age: 2+ years

Materials Needed: None

The goal of the activity is to peak your child's interest in nature by helping them develop basic observational skills. 

·         Ask “where”?

  • Is the tree in the parking lot, a children’s park or in the forest?
  • Do you see a tree on a poster, in books or in the newspaper?

·         “When”?

  • When on the move and in the presence of trees, simply ask questions such as: “did you see the tree”? “What color was it”? “Did it have leaves or needles”? “Can you see the spider climbing on its trunk”?

·         When the child/children are interested in the tree, engage their senses.

  • Name the different parts of the tree (the trunk, the branches, the leaves)
  • Ask child/children to look at the tree, touch the tree and describe what it feels like, smell the tree (what does it smell like).

This activity encourages children to pay attention to nature and to respect it. It also permits children to:

  • Verbally express their opinions and comments
  • You can engage them to use their imagination and creativity by asking them to draw what they remember seeing (this further stimulates fine motor skill development)
  • Helps children comprehend the world that surrounds them and how we are all connected (depending on the age of the child/children, you can explain how trees clean our air, etc).
  • This activity will also expose children to new vocabulary.

I firmly believe that the best activities often come with minimal preparation and effort. Daily, we are surrounded by living things, objects and buildings that can be converted to conversation and educational pieces.

As the famous Chinese Proverb states: “A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark”.