Children's Activities   Edward Frank
  Jul 17, 2006 19:14 PDT 

I have been looking for information on Children's' Activities related to forests and trees. I would like to have a short section on the website. There are several categories to be considered. Some may be appropriate for classroom activities. Some may be appropriate for family activates. Others might be something that could be done as an afternoon activity - such as one of the presentations Dale does at Cook Forest Park. Obvious long term activities might include leaf collections. In this time of digital cameras children could collect photos of trees. There are crafty type activities (that I am not really keen on like making pine cone wreaths). There are things like making leaf rubbings or bark rubbings from trees. Leaf prints can be made and transferred to tee-shirts. I have found a few links below. It would be nice to synthesize the best of these examples and rewrite them to meet out purposes. The more detailed ones can be referenced by a hyperlink to the appropriate website. How about it? Do you have other links you want to add or could you volunteer to write-up an activity. One thing very impressive at Craters of the Moon National Park was a series of outside displays at the visitors center. 

The displays consisted of a series of drawing by children who had participated in park activities on themes ranging from the volcanoes to how animals survived in the basalt expanses of the park... Neat stuff.

Ed Frank

Nature Activities for Children



National Arbor Day Foundation
Teaching Older Children and Youth About Trees

Trees Craft, Learn Shapes
National Arbor Day, Earth Day and Word Environment Day
Preschool Lesson Plan Printable Activities

Children's Outdoor Play & Learning Environments:
Returning to Nature

Cooperative Learning Activity - Students will work as a group to demonstrate their understanding of all four seasons, differences between them, and how these differences effect people, animals, or plants.

Project Learning Tree

Trees Are Terrific...Travels with Pierre, is designed to help young children (5-8 years of age) gain an appreciation of trees, observe trees in their every day lives and develop an interest in learning more about trees. It is intended for adults to work with children to explore the wonders of trees.

Just for Kids from University of Illinois Extension
Dr. Arbor Talks Trees ? Great Corn Adventure ? Great Plant Escape ? Let's Talk about Insects ? Out on a Limb ? Secret Life of Trees?

Little Park Project

Project Learning Tree - Learning about forests

Teaching through nature

Forest Gallery Kit. Part 2, Learning activity ideas - Learning to to know
Learning in order to know, to make sense of the world around, to become informed about contemporary issues, to make connections between past, present and future, to understand complex systems which act npredictably at times.

Trees and Insects - A Rotten Place to Live Lesson Plan
Unit Abstract. Academic Areas: Science, Social Studies, Math and Computers. ... occupations where learning about insects and trees will come in ... activity: This activity was developed for...

Children's Use of New Technology for Picture-Taking by Ruth Garner, Yong Zhao and Mark Gillingham

Nature Conservancy Study Finds Today's Kids Are Choosing TV Over Trees

Edward Frank

Re: Children's Activities   Michele Wilson
  Jul 18, 2006 06:19 PDT 
Just did a quickie perusal of the study below. As far as "connecting" the kids to nature activities, the effort would go a long ways towards such if the parents would shut off the TV, the video games, the computer simulations of waterfalls, etc., forget about their lives of hustle and bustle and convenience, and pack up the kids in their SUV's and head off to nature for a few days...several times a year. And perhaps give up the docked boat at the resort, if there must be a financial tradeoff!


----- Original Message -----
From: Edward Frank
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 11:06 PM
Subject: Re: Children's Activities

Nature Conservancy Study Finds Today's Kids Are Choosing TV Over Trees

Re: Children's Activities    Andrew Joslin
   Jul 18, 2006 07:31 PDT 

I've done training to facilitate tree climbing activities for child (and teens and adults).
Getting kids on ropes and climbing into trees is a direct way to help them become more 
aware of trees. Kids love it! The youngest I've brought into a tree is 5 years old. For 
teens it is most gratifying to see them (sometimes with their classic listless pose) come 
out of the tree with eyes sparkling. All thoughts of television and cellphones go away 
during the climb, the connection with trees and nature is inevitable.

Genevieve Summers is the premier teacher and practitioner of this type of climbing activity in
the U.S., there is excellent info on her web site:

There's good info here as well in the Tree Climbers International web site (Peter Jenkins)
which addresses questions about children and tree climbing:

There is an organization in England that has come up with some novel ways to get people 
interacting with trees, more equipment intensive but cool activities nonetheless:

Andrew Joslin
Jamaica Plain, Ma