Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fun activity for kids on hike: Trail Tree Guide

What kind of tree is it?
Generally, exploring and discovery is enough for kids, but sometimes even they can grow bored with that and become restless. Remember that they naturally have shorter attention spans than adults.

Fortunately, there are lots of tried and true activities you can do on the trail that’ll keep kids from getting bored. Among them is Trail Tree Guide.

Older elementary and middle school children who like to write and create books will love this activity.

During a hike, create a tree guide for the trail. This can be done by making a bark rubbings and collecting a leaf/needles from each unique tree spotted.

Bring paper and crayons for the bark rubbings and re-sealable plastic bags for collecting the leaves.

Once home, have the child collate the bark rubbings and collected leaves/needles into a book, either made of paper or as an online gallery. The child can look up the trees in the guidebook and label the pages/uploaded pictures. Adding a map indicating where the trail is located (with a notation about when it was hiked) is a nice touch as well. Be sure to make a book cover!

If using paper, the booklet’s pages can be stapled together.

Younger siblings can contribute, too. Have them make some of the bark rubbings and help collect leaves.

A set of trail tree guides can make for an excellent memento years later for grown children recalling the hike.

Materials: Paper, crayons, re-sealable plastic bags, stapler (optional) and staples (optional)

Ages: 10-14

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.