Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Evergreen Trees: Nature Walk Activities for Kids

Christmas Trees Nature Hunt

November nature walk: kids' recent experience with autumn leaves allows for a great opportunity to observe and find the evergreen trees. Our Christmas Tree hunt was a success. We found the trees and shrubs that loose leaves or stay green, learned the word "evergreen", found out that not all evergreens are trees, and not all of them have cones.

Hunting for Evergreens in the Neighborhood

For this activity we needed:
Warm cloths, a bicycle, a camera, a basket for the found treasures, a clipper.
Some kids might find fresh cones or branches "sticky - yucky" and baby wipes helpful.

The goal for our Evergreens Hunt was to find the trees that are green and are going to keep their leaves through the winter. This might not be as easy for preschoolers as it sounds.

My Firefly found all kids of plants.
  • There were trees with no leaves,
  • trees with some leaves that changed colors,
  • trees with some green leaves left, but not evergreens (this was the tricky one),
  • evergreen trees with needles and cones,
  • evergreen trees with scales and no cones,
  • evergreens that are not trees, but shrubs,
  • the small evergreens that are trees.

Typing this makes me smile: we had to sort through a lot in 20 minutes of our regular bicycle ride.

Pictured below, these are evergreens. We discovered that they are shrubs, but they don't have prickly needles. There were no cones found and a picture taken.

Evergreen trees do loose their needles or scales, only gradually, not at once. We found lots of brown scales inside these shrubs, or brown needles on the ground.

Observing Evergreen Trees on a Nature Walk

My Firefly discovered many "miracles" when observing Christmas trees. We compared the size of the trees, the length of the needles and if they are too prickly or OK, the size of the cones. She noticed the cones on the tree and on the ground. The color of the trees is still a challenge to compare: light green vs. dark green.

It was fun to hunt under the trees. Some cones, brown needles, rocks, a fallen branch were found and collected. We used clippers to get a sample of the fallen branch and talked about protecting and not hurting life trees.

Pictured below, our "treasures" are ready for the observations on the nature table inside.

Experiencing the trees and connecting with the nature (even for a short while) is wonderful!

More Winter Science Ideas from My Bright Firefly

P is for Pinecone Parrot. Invitation to Play: Compare and Contrast.
Play with Light at Home: Northern Lights
(Click on the picture below to enlarge it.)

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