Using Trees to Help Your Child Learn

Going outside for the day, looking for a way to engage your child. You can’t think of any games to play or songs to sing? Try some of these tidbits that uses trees and language to make a fun day at the park turn into a learning adventure.

The next time you are at the park, turn to the closest tree and play a guessing game with your child!  This activity accomplishes two goals:

1. Teach the phrase, What is this?
2. Teach the parts of a tree
Vocabulary:tree, trunk, branches, leaves, roots

Simple Steps:
1.What is the name of that thing over there? or What is this things name in English? (This can be said in your native language.) You want the child to guess the word in English.
2. Then tease them a little, “I bet you can’t guess what these are?” (Point to the leaves.) If your child knows this then great! Keep going in this same manner. Point out all of the parts of the tree. Then play “Simon Says”. Simon Says is a great game to check for understanding, reinforce vocabulary, and work on listening skills. Here is a rather fast-paced video to help you with the rules:

If that was too fast for you, then check out these rules here at ehow.com!

I also wrote a little song called, Parts of a Tree:
(Tune: Here we go around the mulberry bush)

These are the parts of a tree,
Parts of a tree, parts of a tree.
These are the parts of a tree,
Branches, roots, and leaves.
These are the parts of a tree,
Parts of a tree, parts of a tree.
These are the parts of a tree,
Trunk, roots and leaves.
These are the parts of a tree,
Parts of a tree, parts of a tree.
 

Extending this activity: If your child knows the parts of the tree, then teach them these words:
sap- The watery fluid that circulates through a plant, carrying food and other substances to the various tissues.
sapling – a young tree
twigs -small leafless branch
Point out different types of leaves and include words like pointy, oval, wide, narrow, etc.

Depending on your child’s age check out this website http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/index.cfm and click on Games & Activities!
Hope that helps!

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About Michaela Chatman

Michaela Chatman is the founder of Camp Roadless Summer Visual and Performing Arts Summer Camp based in the Tokyo area. She has taught in Chicago, New York City, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. She has worked with children from ages 5-16. She is a dedicated fan and supporter of the arts. She performs locally in Tokyo with Kaguratei, a blues band. She is an active member in TELL:Exceptional Parents Group, Japan Affiliate of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (JASCD), Tokyo Investment Group, and Pink Cow Connections Networking Group. For fun she organizes The Tokyo Lovers Pizza Meetup Group.
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