Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Evergreen Trees for Kids: Explore Christmas Trees

Evergreen Exploration: Preschool Nature Science

Save some samples from the Christmas trees and decorations for fun explorations at the preschool nature science corner. That is a quick set up that would help discovering many fascinating facts about trees!

Our activities were the extension of the Christmas Trees Nature Hunt in the neighborhood: Evergreen Trees: Nature Walk Activities for Kids.

Explore Christmas Trees

Our simple set up is pictured below:
  • sample brunches and cones with a variety of sizes and shapes,
  • a large tray for samples and a tray with compartments for sorting,
  • play dough and a roller,
  • baby wipes to wipe off hands as needed,
  • tools: a magnifying glass, a ruler, tweezers, scissors, a marker,
  • (optional) plastic bottles, water, pom poms, colored sand/glitter, grow your own crystal tree kit.

First, we explored a branch with the longest needles. We picked several needles off the branch - discovered they are growing in clusters of 4. We talked about the colors and scents; the sticky sap; discovered that the baby wipe is useful to wipe sap off as needed.

My Firefly had fun measuring and comparing the length of the needles. We measured a few and collected them into the first compartment of the tray.

Observing, measuring, and sorting needles and scales: there are many discoveries to make! We didn't try to identify the tree at this time. But we tried to notice the important details:
  • needles or scales,
  • if needles grew in clusters, how many needles in the cluster,
  • if they are long or short, 
  • if a needle feels round or have ribs when rolled between two fingers.

Evergreen Trees for Kids

Needles in play dough: this activity helped us to discover if the needles poke and if they are flexible or stiff. This activity is fun and great for fine motor skills!

Evergreen discovery bottles: they draw attention to detail and allowed us to review our previous discoveries in a fun way. The bottles look beautiful and so fun for kids to make!

The bigger soda bottle: My Firefly put a branch inside and filled the bottle with water. She could stop there - it was looking great already, but she wanted to put some colored sand and glitter inside too. That's such a beautiful sensory play!

Cones and pom poms: the goal is to observe if the cone is open or closed (wet or dry) and to find the seeds inside. By inserting pom poms, My Firefly noticed the spaces inside, and made a pretty decoration in the process.

Preschool Nature Science

I love the tree growing activity we had! It is a crystal growing experiment, but we used it to observe how the tree gets water and nutrients through the roots and up to the brunches - to grow leaves.

A store bought little box, very easy, but exciting to watch the tree growing: the paper tree is inserted into the slots of the included plastic tray. The tiny package with the solution is poured into the tray. Done - observe the tree growing in 24 hours. Amazon affiliate links:

Science for Kids Activities: Grow Your Own Crystal Tree Science for Kids Thinking Cap Activities ~ Grow Your Own Crystal Tree (Ages 12+)

Bundle (four items): Grow Your Own Gel Balls, Crystals, Snow, and Crystal Tree Kits: Bundle: 4 Items- Science for Kids Thinking Cap Activities Grow Your Own Gel Balls, Crystals, Snow, and Crystal Tree Kits

More Nature Exploration Ideas from My Bright Firefly

Invitation to Explore Land, Air, and Water
Evergreen Trees: Nature Walk Activities for Kids
STEM Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

(Click on the picture below to enlarge it.)


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