Let your children use evergreen sprigs as brushes to paint green tempera paint on paper.

Do forest rubbings with your children.  Place thin paper over a tree trunk, leaf or fern and rub the side of a paperless crayon over the paper.

Make a hollow log home from a large cardboard box for your child to use when pretending to be a small animal that lives in the forest.
Make a fishing game using a pole with a magnet on a string.  Let your children fish in a pretend forest stream.
Roll down the sides of a lunch sack and have your child glue some feathers, leaves and twigs in the bottom to create a bird’s nest.

Stick toothpicks in a glob of brown play dough to make simple porcupines.

Hide nuts for your children (pretending to be squirrels) to find.
Read a book about different forest animals and their different paw prints.
Teach your children not to litter, especially if they are walking or camping in a forest.

Make a tree puppet stage using a clean toilet tissue tube.  Cut a hole in the middle of one side.  Have your child glue on some twigs or leaves, then place his hand up the tube and stick out one finger to become an owl, bird or squirrel living in the tree.


Ask a carpenter for wood curls or obtain small wood chips from an electric pencil sharpener.
Set out the wood curls, a small piece of colored poster board or paper plate and some glue.
Have your child create a wood curl collage to hand up in your room.
Let your children make simple hand print trees using their arms and their hand prints.
Work with children one at a time if you have a group of children.
Place brown paint in a rectangular cake pan.
Have child wear a paint apron and carefully place one arm and hand into the paint.

Then have the child make a print of his arm and hand on a large piece of white paper.
Have a pan of warm water and soup for the child to wash his hand when finished making his print tree.
When trees are dry, let child glue on small leaves or let children use a small square of sponge to make green leaf prints all over his tree.
Gather some large fall leaves for your children to use for this activity.
Give each child a large leaf and a piece of newsprint.
Have the child place the newsprint on the table, then place the leaf in the center of the newsprint.
Set out red, orange and yellow paint along with paint brushes.
Have the child paint the leaf, using a variety of colors.
When the child is done painting, place a sheet of black paper on top of the painted leaf.
Show the child how to rub his hand and arm across the paper, pressing down.
When you lift off the black paper, it will reveal a colorful print of the fall leaf.
When dry, hang up the fall leaf pictures on your wall for everyone to enjoy.

Give your children pieces of light blue construction paper along with various sizes of triangles cut from green paper.
Have them glue the triangles on their papers to represent trees in a forest and to add details with crayons or markers.
Let the children create a floor for their forests by gluing on such materials as dry moss, twigs, and small pebbles.
To complete, give the children several forest animal stickers to add to their pictures.
Check out a books about trees at the library.
Look for pictures of trees commonly found in forests.
Make two photocopies of each tree, cut out the ictures and glue them onto individual index cards.
Lay out one tree card from each pair on a table.
Place the other cards in a pile.
Then invite your child to search through the pile to find the tree cards that match those on the table.

Go for a nature walk and find leaves from three or four different kinds of trees.
Bring the leaves back to your home or school and place them in a pile.
Let your children take turns sorting the leaves into piles according to the type of tree they came from.
Look through picture books about forest animals with your children; such as; squirrels, bears, deer, porcupines, raccoons, and owls. Then make animal books with your children.
Make a books for each child by stapling five white paper pages together with a colored paper cover.
Title each book “Forest Animals” and add the child’s name.

Number each book’s pages from 1-5.

Set out nontoxic, washable inkpads and forest animal rubber stamps.
Then show the children how to read the numeral on each book page and use the stamps to make that many forest animal prints on the page.

Have your children pretend they are in a forest listening to a woodpecker peck on trees to find its dinner.
Pretend to be the woodpecker and “peck” by clapping your hands behind your back.
Have your children count the number of pecks (claps) the woodpecker makes.

Let your children think of words to describe the following forest animals. Have them take turns completing the sentences below.

          A porcupine is as prickly as a ________.
          A deer is as quiet as a ________.
          A rabbit is as soft as a ________.
          A moose is as big as a ________.
          A woodpecker is as noisy as a ________.

Ask your children to think about sizes as you play this game.
First you name something and have your children think of something that is either bigger or smaller than the thing you mentioned.
For example, you could ask your children to think of something that is smaller than a tree, bigger than a moose, or smaller than a deer.
If you wish, you could ask your children to answer only with things that can be found in a forest, or you can just make sure that your things fit this category.
Turn large boxes into bear caves.
Let your children pretend to be bears and “hibernate” in the bear caves.
When you say “Winter’s here!” have the bears crawl into their cabes and pretend to sleep.
When you say, “Spring’s here!” have the bears wake up and crawl out of the caves.

            RECYCLING AND REUSING – Talk about how recycling and reusing paper can help conserve our forests.  Set out one box for collecting scrap paper to take to a recycling center.  Also set out another box for holding paper that has been used on just one side.  Encourage your children to use the blank sides for art and writing projects.

            PREVENT FOREST FIRES – Another way we can conserve our forest is to help prevent forest fires.  Check the Smokey Bear website for information about Smokey and his motto, “Only you can prevent forest fires,” to share with your group.

Pine cones are actually able to sense the weather. Pine cones will stay closed up when the weather is wet, like it is in the spring. But when the weather warms up and dries out, the pine cones opens up and releases its seeds. Help your children discover this for themselves.
If it is wet outside, collect several wet pine cones and keep them in a warm dry area for about a week.
Slowly the scales will open up.
If it is dry outside, collect several dry pine cones, noticing how the scales are open and ready to scatter seeds.
Place the pine cones in a dish of water and check them in a day or two.
Your children will notice that the scales have now all closed up.
Help your children become forest explorers. Your don’t actually need a real forest, one or two trees in the park will work for this project. Have your children use the following items to explore the trees and the area around the tree.
Magnifying Glass – use to examine the bark of the trees and its leaves.
Binoculars – use to look for birds or nests in the trees.
Clear Plastic Jar (with holes punched in the lid) and a small clean paint brush – use the small brush to gently brush small bugs and insects into the jar for examination.
Small box – use to scoop up some dirt from under the trees to examine. What different kinds of things can they find in the dirt. Use the magnifying glass to examine it closely.
Help your children keep track of their observations and discoveries by creating a journal of their experiences.
Take pencil and paper along for recording their thoughts.
Let them bring pads and pencils for drawing things they have seen.
Add these to your group journal.
Be sure to take a camera to record the group’s work.
Add pictures to your journal.
Stop periodically to ask your children to make observations about what they see, hear, feel and smell.
Put simple observations in your journal, hopefully, next to a picture.
Present the journal to your group, then keep it in a prominent place, so your children can look through it at their leisure.
Have your children observe the same tree every season.
Take a picture of the tree in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.
Include with the picture observations by your children.
Place the pictures and observations in your group journal.
Take your children on a walk through a forest or wooded area.
Discuss such things as what the forest looks and sounds like, what animals can be seen, and what it feels like to walk through the trees.
Later, make a plan with your children to plant a tree in an appropriate area.
Purchase a seedling from a local nursery.
Can your children imagine what their tree may be like when it’s full grown.
can be found at the
          Theme Station – Trees
          Holiday Station – Arbor Day
Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees.
Heat up frozen waffles and cut them into sticks.
Let your children dip their waffle sticks into small cups of warm maple syrup.

Talk with your children about the kinds of foods we get from the forest.  Such as;
            Nuts – Let your children sprinkle pine nuts on top of a green salad before adding dressing.
            Berries – Let your children eat some fresh black berries; or give them black berry jam on toast squares.
            Mushrooms – introduce your children to sliced mushrooms cooked on top of small cheese pizza rounds (made with English muffin halves).

Tune:  “The Farmer In The Dell”

Trees grow in the forest.
Trees grow in the forest.
With bark and roots and sap and cones,
Trees grow in the forest.

Animals live in the forest.
Animals live in the forest.
In logs and nests and hollow trees,
Animals live in the forest.
                        Gayle Bittinger


Tune:  “The Bear Went Over The Mountain”

Mary went into the forest,
Mary went into the forest,
Mary went into the forest,
To see what she could see.

She saw a big black bear.
She saw a big black bear.
She saw a big black bear
Hiding behind a tree.

Johnny went into the forest,
Johnny went into the forest,
Johnny went into the forest,
To see what he could see.

He saw a feathery owl.
He saw a feathery owl.
He saw a feathery owl.
Sitting up in a tree.
                        Heather McPhail
(Continue with similar verses for each of your children.
For instance;  “He saw a little squirrel – running around
A tree; or She saw a big raccoon –scampering up a tree.”)