Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fun nature game for kids: Tree Shake

Children (and probably you, too) will be amazed by the number and types of
bugs on a tree at any given time. Photo courtesy of Photoree.
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 Tree Shake, a favorite of kids who love bugs.

During a rest stop, lay a bed sheet or a few yards of butcher block paper (white works best in both instances) under a small tree. When selecting a tree, make sure it has branches that would move if the trunk were shaken by children.

Next, shake the tree.

Lots of material – including bugs – will fall onto the sheet/paper. Have children look amid the debris for bugs. A magnifying glass can help kids see them better.

Older children might page through a field guide to local insects (There's probably one at your library.) to identify the critters.

Safety note: Kids shouldn't touch the bugs, especially spiders and ticks.

Materials: White bed sheet or white butch block paper, magnifying glass, insect field guide (for older children)

Ages: 2 and up

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