Plant a Tree
- The most obvious activity for preschoolers to do on Arbor Day is to plant a tree. If you have space to plant a tree on school grounds, purchase a small, partially grown sapling. You can also try planting a seedling, but they often don't survive as well. Choose a native plant, and pay attention to the placement of the tree. You can discuss all of this information with the children, as well as the importance of caring for trees and what they contribute to the environment. If you can't plant a tree, then consider adopting a nearby tree. Learn everything you can about the tree and visit it several times during the year to see how it changes with the seasons.
Decorate a Tree
- Gather some leaves from the ground or pull a few leaves off of a large tree (this is a job for an adult). Take the leaves inside. Have the children draw a large tree trunk from paper. You can also cut out a tree shape from paper ahead of time. Allow the children to glue the leaves to the tree. Discuss how the tree receives nutrients and sunlight through the leaves and how trees need leaves to stay alive.
- Gather leaves from several different kinds of trees. Try to use fresh leaves for this, as brittle leaves will crumble under the grip of a preschooler. Spread the leaves out on a large surface. Have the children try to find matching pairs of leaves. Once the children have found matches, discuss which leaves belong to which tree. Show the children a picture of each tree to which the leaves belong. Allow the children to pick their favorite tree and draw a picture of it and its leaf shape.
- This activity is a good tie-in with themed alphabet weeks. Share with the children that the word "tree" starts with the letter "t." Draw the letter on a large board or chalkboard. Tell the children that the letter "T" actually looks a little like the trunk of a tree. Allow the children to draw tree "Ts" onto paper. Allow them to decorate the "Ts" with leaves if they wish. You can also use this activity as a finger painting project.