Tree & Leaf Science Activities, Tree Life Cycle for Preschool, Pre-K

Here are some Tree and Leaf Science activities for Preschool and Pre-K children.

Tree Leaf Science Activities Preschool Pre-K

Oak Tree Life Cycle Cards

This free printable set includes a book, sequencing cards and full color photos that can be used to show children the life cycle of an oak tree: from acorn, to seedling, to young oak tree, to full grown oak tree. These can be added to the science center and children can look at the book, arrange the cards in order, or put together the life cycle puzzle.

The photo cards print full page, but you can print them smaller as in the picture shown below.

Oak Tree Life Cycle Sequencing Cards and Book

Download: Tree Life Cycle

Leaf Symmetry

This activity is set up in my Science Center during our Forest theme unit in the Fall.

The wooden bowl contains unbreakable mirrors. I collected several leaves of different shapes and cut the leaves in half. Show children how to place the mirror on the cut edge of the leaf, and they will see what looks like a whole leaf.

Leaf Impressions with Play Dough

Children roll out the play dough, flat like a pancake and press leaves into the play dough. When the leaves are removed, they see the imprint of the leaf with the veins. This works best when you press the back side of the leaf into the play dough. The same activity can be done using clay. Press the leaves into a flattened piece of clay and allow it to dry. I’ve used Amaco Marblex self-hardening clay (affiliate link) and it works well.

Nut Sorting

This science center activity is great for the Fall, especially during a study of trees. Children use tongs to pick up each nut and sort the four types of nuts into the four wooden bowls. This activity integrates math, science, and fine motor skills.

Science Center Display: Things That Come From Trees

Nature collections are great for the science center. This is a collection I set up during our Forest unit because we learn all about trees, leaves, and animals that live in trees.

Things That Come from Trees: Science Display

For this display, I have a variety of tree nuts in jars. There are walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and pecans in jars. There are some leaves, pinecones, and acorns collected from a tree near our school. One word of caution: when you collect acorns from outside, you should “quarantine” them for a few days by putting them in a sealed jar. Acorns sometimes have worms inside them.

In this photo, I have a tree “cookie” and other tree pieces are from our set of Tree Blocks. (I highly recommend Tree Blocks.) The pear tree branches have tiny flower buds on them. This was taken in the Spring. When the children noticed the buds on the pear tree, we brought these in to add to our science center. A display of “things that come from trees” can be used in any season of the year.

Things That Come from Trees: Science Display

Extend the Activity

Think of tree items from your local region that you could add to your collection. Your area might have peach trees or apple trees, and you could add the seeds and the actual fruit. You could include small branches from a variety of trees for children to compare. You could add a variety of leaves of different shapes and colors. You could include pine cones of different shapes and sizes. If you do not have a variety of pine cones in your area, they can sometimes be purchased in craft stores.

You will also like these resources…

For more leaf and forest activities, check the Forest category page.


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