Today is Arbor Day. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated to encourage tree planting and care. Here are five ideas for celebrating Arbor Day with your children:
Plant a Tree and Give it a Name
This is the classic Arbor Day activity. Whether you plant a native tree or an ornamental in your yard, children love to plant trees and monitor the tree’s growth in comparison to their own. In our family, we name our trees, such as Maggie the Magnolia. This little bit of personification causes children to become attached to the their tree and provide it with lots of loving care.
Make Your Own Field Guide
Take your children for a nature hike or just a walk around the neighborhood. Collect a few leaves from the trees you see, then take them home. Identify the trees, attach the leaves to pages, and create your own field guide. We did this my first year teaching for all of the different oaks that grow in our valley. If you don’t have a book that can help you identify the tree species, you can also look it up on the internet.
Write an Ode to a Tree
My daughter is really into poetry right now, and she has written many beautiful poems about spring. Inspire your child to write a poem about a tree and then read it to the tree.
Hug a Tree
Of course, trees need water, sunlight, soil, etc., but they also need affection. Teach your child to hug trees. Not only is it good for the tree, it is good for your soul.
Make a Leaf Rubbing
Take a leaf and place it under a piece of paper. Rub a crayon over to top, and voila, the leaf is revealed.
Do you have any fun ways to celebrate Arbor Day with your children?