Tree Time: A Kids’ Guide to Tree Facts and Fun

from Wildlife Promise

Child hugging tree, North Carolina

The photographer’s grandson exploring the woods behind their North Carolina home. Photo by Em Sartor.

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree,” wrote poet Joyce Kilmer. In addition to their beauty, trees are regal and leafy friends that play an important role in our environment and serve all kinds of useful purposes. March 18-24, 2013 is National Wildlife Week and we are celebrating trees!

Did You Know?

  • Trees provide a comfortable home for all sorts of animals and birds
  • Trees offer us shade and protection from the elements
  • Trees give us fruit and nuts to eat
  • Trees are natural monkey bars for kids to climb on
  • Trees help keep our air safe and clean

Now that you know a little more about trees, here are some Activi-trees to do in your own backyard or local park!

Poe-tree

Some wonderful words have been written about trees. Use your creativity to dream up the perfect ode.

What you need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • “The Giving Tree,” by Shel Silverstein, “Trees,” by Joyce Kilmer, “The Lorax,” by Dr. Seuss

 Steps:

  1. Read a book with tree verse like the ones listed above.
  2. Go outside and look at a tree for inspiration.
  3. Brainstorm about what you think and feel about trees.
  4. Write your ideas down in a poem—it doesn’t have to rhyme!
  5. Ask mom or dad to type it for you, if you want.
  6. Invite your friends to a Poe-tree Reading!

Adopt-a-Tree

Make nature your own by getting up close and personal with one special tree!

Tree photo by Susan Koomar

Susan Koomar

What you need:

  • A small notebook
  • Pencil
  • A tree in your backyard or local park

 Steps:

  1. Ask your mom or dad for a small notebook.
  2. Find a favorite tree.
  3. Visit the tree in each season to watch its progress.
  4. On each visit note how the tree changes, and sketch a picture.
  5. Introduce friends to “your” tree and see what they observe!

Tree-rific Picnic

Trees give us so many delicious foods. Create a tree-theme picnic and you’ll have it made in the shade.

What you need:

  • A tree in your backyard or a local park
  • A picnic blanket
  • A picnic basket, backpack or tote bag
  • Tree foods such as apples, pears, almonds, and olives

 Steps:

  1. Research what kinds of foods grow on trees.
  2. Ask mom or dad to help you pack a tree-theme picnic.
  3. Bring your picnic to a shady spot under a tree and enjoy your snack!

Plant a Tree

Spring and Fall are the best times to plant a tree. NWF wants to plant 75,000 trees this year and you can help. Visit Trees for Wildlife and order tree kits or get step by step instructions on how to plant and care for a tree. It’s as easy as one, two, tree!

Trees are pretty special, so why not find one to play with today? Whether you swing from a tree tire swing, watch birds make a nest, climb up a tree or just give one a hug, it’s good for you to Be Out There and tree-mendously entertaining!

Celebrating trees are just a few of the ways to help NWF get 10 million kids outside by 2015. Learn more about why you should Be Out There at nwf.org/beoutthere. Learn more about trees and download an awesome tree poster at nwf.org/wildlifeweek.