Friday, October 7, 2011

Trees

Book Suggestions:

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry
Curious George Plants a Tree by H.A. Rey
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
A Tree for all Seasons by Robin Bernard
Winter Trees by Carole Gerber
Sky Tree by Thomas Locker
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Red Sings from Tree-Tops by Joyce Sidman

Activities:

Nature Walk:
Materials: a bag
Description: Go on a nature walk with your toddler around your neighborhood or yard. Take time to look at and touch several different trees. Talk about their size, how they feel, and the different parts of a tree. (trunk, branches, leaves, roots) As you and your toddler walk, have them collect different items from trees and put them in their bag. (bark, small brances, leaves, acorns, pine cones etc.) Your toddler can make a collage of all the tree items that they collected.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to appreciate the world around them, teach your tot sensory development, teach your tot the parts of a tree, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to compare and contrast

Trees of every different season:
Materials: construction paper, white paint, q-tip, markers, glue, cotton ball, clothes pin,
Description: Draw 4 bare trees on seperate sheets of paper. At different times throughout the week you and your toddler can create a fall, winter, spring, and summer tree.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot the seasons of the year, teach your tot how trees changes, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot language development

Here are some ways that you and your toddler can create fun trees for all the different season:
Fall Tree: Talk to your toddler, show them pictures or read them a book about what a fall tree looks like and the colors of a fall tree. They can create a fall tree by dipping their fingers into red, brown, yellow and red paint. Have your toddler stamp their fingerprints onto the bare tree to create fall leaves.


Winter Tree: Talk to your toddler, show them pictures or read them a story about what a winter tree looks like. They can create a winter tree by tearing small pieces of white paper and gluing them onto a bare tree.

Spring Tree: Talk to your toddler, show them pictures or read them a story about what a spring tree looks like. Your toddler can create a spring tree by painting pink and purple dots onto a bare tree using a q-tip. The dots represent the flower blossoms that you might see in the spring.

Summer Tree: Talk to your toddler, show them pictures or read them a story about what a tree looks like during the summer. They can create a summer tree by dipping a cotton ball into green paint and stamping it all over a bare tree.

At the end of the week, hang all four trees up next to each and label each one: fall, winter, spring, summer

Animals Live in Trees:
Materials: pictures of animals, glue, scissors, paper, crayons, markers
Description: Prior to doing this activity, cut out pictures of animals that live in trees from magazines or print them from clip art. Draw a picture of a large tree on piece of paper. Your child can color the tree. Talk with your little one about what kind of animals live in trees. Show your toddler the pictures that you cut out and have them glue the animals in their tree.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot about animal habitats, teach your tot to appreciate nature and the world around them

Tree with real leaves:
Materials: paper, brown crayon, leaves, glue
Description: Take your toddler outside to collect leaves. Now that fall is here, the leaves are starting to change colors (depending on where you live!). Have your little one gather leaves of all different colors. As they collect leaves from the ground talk to them about how leaves fall from trees when it starts getting cool outside. Once you are back inside draw a large bare tree shape on a large piece of paper. Have your little one color the trunk and branches brown. They can then glue their leaves onto the tree branches and on the ground around the tree picture. (you can also collect green leaves, like we did for our collage if the leaves around you haven't started changing colors.)
Skills Targeted: teach your tot the parts of a tree, teach your tot to appreciate nature and world around them, teach your tot to get outside

Confetti Tree:
Materials: construction paper, hole punch, white paper, brown crayon or marker
Description: Talk to your toddler about trees and how they look different during each season. Have your toddler decide what kind of tree they would like to make. In the example below, we made a fall tree. Gather yellow, orange, brown and red construction paper and punch a lot of hole using a hole punch. Gather all the confetti that comes out of the hole punch. Draw a picture of a bare tree onto a piece of white paper, have your toddler rub glue onto the tree’s branches and sprinkle the confetti from the hole punch onto the glue.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot how trees change, teach your tot all about seasons, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to be creative

Bird Feeder:
Materials: Pine Cone, peanut butter, bird seed, string, popsicle stick
Description: Take a walk outside with your toddler and find a pine cone that has fallen from tree. Talk about how birds live in trees. You and your little one can make a bird feeder. Simply have your toddler spread peanut butter all over the pine cone using a popsicle stick. Next sprinkle bird seed all over the pine cone. It will stick to the peanut butter. Attach a piece of string to the smaller end of the pine cone and hang it from a tree branch. (You could hot glue a stick to the bottom of the pine cone as a perch for the birds to stand on also). Throughout the week, watch to see if birds visit your toddler's feeder.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to appreciate nature, teach your tot to be kind to animals, teach your tot that animals live in trees, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot sensory development

Coffee Filter Fall Tree:
Materials: red, orange, yellow, brown food coloring, brown construction paper, paper
Description: Cut a tree trunk from brown constrution paper. Your toddler can glue the trunk to a large piece of paper. Talk with your toddler about leaves changing colors during the fall. Brainstorm the different colors that leaves change with your toddler. Fill several cups with water and add yellow, red, orange or/and brown food coloring to each cup. Using a water dropper, have your toddler drop each colored water onto the coffee filter (if you want the colors more vivid, your little one could simple squeeze the food coloring onto the coffee filter straight from the container). When it dries, glue the coffee filter to the top of the tree trunk.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot your tot that trees change colors, teach your tot color recognition, teach your tot motor skill development, teach your tot to be creative

Family Tree:
Materials: paper, markers, pictures of family members, glue
Description: You and your toddler can create a family tree this week. Simply draw or print a picture of a tree onto a piece of paper. Have your toddler color the tree. Glue pictures of family members onto the tree. As your do this have your little one tell you the names of each person.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to recognize loved ones, teach your tot language development, teach your tot motor skill development

Compare leaves:
Materials: three different size leaves
Description: Take your toddler outside. Talk about the trees that you see. Have your toddler pick three different leaves. Let your toddler touch and look at the leaves. Have them put them in order from biggest to smallest and then from smallest to biggest. Talk with your toddler about the colors of the leaves and count them together.
Skills Targeted: teach your tot to count, teach your tot color recognition, teach your tot compare and contrast, teach your tot smallest and biggest, teach your tot language development, teach your tot sensory development

Songs and Fingerplays:

Trees Trees Trees:
Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells

Trees Trees Trees
Trees Trees Trees
Most trees are tall.
Trees have branches
and leaves on them all.

Trees Trees Trees
Trees Trees Trees
Have big trunks
That are covered with bark.
I see trees at the park.

Trees Trees Trees
Trees Trees Trees
Squirrels live in trees.
Owls live in trees too.
Lots of birds do.

Seasons
Sung to the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush

All around our town
I see lots of trees.
When its hot
during the summer
The trees are green.

All around our town
I see lots of trees.
They turn orange, red,
yellow and brown
With the cool fall breeze.

All around our town
I see lots of trees.
When it gets cold
in the winter
The trees lose their leaves.

All around our town
I see lots of trees.
They bloom buds
and flowers too
In the warmth of spring.

10 Little Trees:

1 little 2 little 3 little trees
4 little 5 little 6 little trees
7 little 8 little 9 little trees
10 little trees in the woods.

Online Fun:

Coloring Trees:
Check out coloring.ws for a variety of tree coloring pages.

Recipes and Snacks:
Bird Nest Treats:
Ingredients: La Choy chow mein noodles, one bag of butterscotch chips or chocolate chips (your choice!)
Directions: Heat the butterscotch or chocolate chips in a saucepain until melted. Poor over chow mein noodles and mix gently. Have your toddler help you spoon onto wax paper. Your little can press a candy egg into the middle of each one. While you are making these talk with your little one about how birds build their nests in trees.

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