In between the rainfall, we went outside to take a proper look at one of our local street tree. We have three oak trees in our garden but we also have an outdoor green near our house with a few big trees on it, so we headed there to take a closer look at a local street tree.
I got the idea from a worksheet which you can download from The Wildlife Trusts Wildlife Watch website – My Street Tree. There’s lots more wildlife activities on the Wildlife Watch website too if you want to try something else.
First F wanted to climb the tree, so I helped him up into the lower branches. I don’t think many kids climb trees now which is a real shame. I understand that it is risky but then so is a climbing frame in a playground? Some of my favourite childhood memories involve clilmbing three trees of varying difficulty in my local park. It felt like another world and each tree had it’s own quirks and challenges and felt different to the other.
Then we had a little look around the tree to see if we could find any creatures. We found a woodlouse on the bark, some fungi around the roots and could hear some birds high up in the branches. We were also on the hunt for worms as it’s been raining, but we could not find any. Where have they gone?!
Then we went back home and drew our local street tree, coloured it in and sellotaped a fallen leaf next to it. We looked up what tree it was using The Woodland Trust’s Tree ID app, and thought it was probably a Red Oak tree.
Other things you can do are measure the tree’s trunk and estimate its height, do some bark rubbing, and water the tree (I don’t think we really needed to do this last one on this occasion!).
This was a really fun and quick outdoor activity. It doesn’t take any effort at all to do it, and is a good after school activity when you are short of time but want to get your kids outdoors for a bit. My older son, who is five, particularly loved it and wants to do it again with another tree. B, the toddler, was admittedly more interested in poking about in the mud at the bottom of the tree but that was fine with me too!