Get Outside for Tree-mendous Fun!

Arbor Day is a celebration of trees. How can you show your “tree appreciation”? Go outside and have some fun with trees!

ADOPT A TREE

What You Need
• tree
• tree guide or app
• small notecard
• pencil or pen
• plastic sandwich bag
• piece of string (about 10 inches long)

What You Do

  1. Select a special tree in your backyard or a nearby park or forest. Use a tree guide or app to find out what kind of tree it is.
  2. Make an adoption tag for your tree. On a small note card, write your own name for the tree, the type of tree it is, and the adoption date. To help the card last longer, place the tag in a plastic sandwich bag. Then poke a hole through a corner of the bag. Loop a piece of string through the hole and loosely tie the bag onto a branch.
  3. Visit your tree often. Each time you visit, write the date and an observation on the back of your tag. For example, has your tree changed since your last visit? Are there any animals in the tree? What’s happening around your tree?

EXPLORE A TREE

What You Need
• group of trees
• partner
• scarf to use as a blindfold

What You Do

  1. Stand in a group of trees with a partner.
  2. One person wears a blindfold and spins around a few times before being led to a tree by the other. (Make sure the tree doesn’t have thorns or poison ivy growing on it.)
  3. The blindfolded player touches the tree, feeling the shape, size, and texture of the trunk, branches, and leaves or needles. (You can even give the tree a sniff!) Then the partner leads the player back to the place they started from and removes the blindfold.
  4. The player tries to find the tree that he or she explored.
  5. Players switch roles and play the game again using a different tree.

BE A TREE!

What You Need
• group of trees
• friends

What You Do

  1. Gather some friends and find a group of trees.
  2. Take turns trying to look like one of the trees, without telling the others which tree. Use arms and fingers like branches. Legs can stick together, twist, or spread wide to mimic a trunk. Players could even make faces to show the tree’s “personality.”
  3. The others guess which tree the player is trying to be.

 

MORE HELP FROM TREES

Trees make life better for people, too! Here are just a few things trees give us:

More Breathable Air
Trees are sometimes called “the lungs of the Earth” because their leaves take in carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with oxygen. An acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe every day. Also, by taking in carbon dioxide as well as other gases, trees help us fight pollution and global warming.

Better Temperatures
Shade trees lower air temperatures during hot summers. And trees that lose their leaves in winter let the sun shine through to warm nearby buildings.

Cleaner Water
Tree roots hold soil in place. This reduces the amount of soil washing into streams and rivers during rainstorms.

Happier Humans
Scientists say that being near trees helps people feel happier and more relaxed. Also, kids have an easier time focusing on schoolwork after spending time outside with trees!

Closer Communities
When people get together to plant and care for trees, communities grow stronger. Planting projects give people the chance to meet and become friends. Plus, helping trees grow is fun for everyone.

For more information on community tree-planting, ask an adult to check out the Trees for Wildlife program online at  nwf.org/trees. The National Wildlife Federation, the group that publishes Ranger Rick magazine, developed this program for local organizations.