Below are winter trees activities for kids that combines the outdoors, nature and art, just a few of my favorite things.
Last year we were fortunate enough to spend a few hours on a farm in Natick, Massachusettes learning about maple sugaring. My older son was totally into it. Between the farm animals, being outdoors and wandering in the forest, he was in total bliss. My younger son, at 2 years old, was particularly needy that day. He didn't want anything to do with it. So we huddled up indoors. The time we spent together was special. There was an early education class happening while we were inside. Plus we were able to hang out in a sweet little library discovering all sorts of new and wonderful books.
One book we discovered is called Winter Trees by Carole Gerber. The book takes us with a boy and his dog on their outdoor journey identifying trees in snow covered forest. The boy uses his eyes and his hands to take a close look at the shape, the bark and the leaves of seven common trees.
Winter Trees Activities for Kids
We started the activity by reading the book and taking a close look at the trees mentioned in the book. Then I pulled out rubbing plates for various leaves. Roylco's Rubbing Plates are perfect because they are a great size for children and come with a leaf identification guide.
We rubbed leaf plates with chalk pastels and black construction paper. Tape the rubbing plates down for younger children. As we worked on our rubbings, we talked about trees and leaves.
Then we bundled up and headed outside for our own winter hike. This book is geared towards the northeastern part of the United States. So we identified those trees we could given that we're in the Pacific Northwest (e.g. maple, spruce, birch, etc) based on barks, leaves and other characteristics. I pulled out Audubon's Tree Identification App on my iPhone, which is a handy tool (all their apps are if you love to be outdoors all year long identifying plants, animals, etc). I am a sucker for a great nature book too. Here is an affiliate link to the Audubon's hard copy book for tree identification.
Perfect winter learning activity! We had a blast.