Here are some Tree and Leaf Science activities for Preschool and Pre-K children.
Oak Tree Life Cycle Cards
These cards can be used to show children the life cycle of an oak tree: from
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
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
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.
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.
For more leaf and forest activities, check the Forest category page.