I just love the trees at this time of year! Such a vast array of colours and change, which hint that log fires, fireworks and carols are just around the corner.
Last week we have talked, thought and read about trees in autumn. My elder two both chose one tree each at our local arboretum (but it could just as well have been one lining our pavement!) that will be their special tree for the year. One chose a good old English Oak and the other a Caucasian Elm.
We plan to revisit their trees at least once each season to notice the changes and for each of them to become ‘experts’ in their field. Although when I used the word ‘expert’ one of the children laughed declaring they’d need years of research to become an expert! With my husband trying to complete his phD at the moment they may have a skewed idea of how many hours of research I might be asking for!
Whilst enjoying the trees we have been looking carefully at:
- the shape and shade of the leaves
- the different bark (we did some bark rubbings – this is never very successful – any tips would be gratefully received?!)
- the seeds
- the crown of the trees
All the wonderful colours and textures lend themselves so well to creating things that we have had a few projects on the go to include into our nature journals – the internet is full of amazing ideas.
- Symmetrical Leaf Sketching: We pressed half a leaf, stuck it down with Mod Podge glue, drew a matching half and shaded it with appropriate colours. We enjoyed noticing all the detail and that leaves are not always green.
- Large Watercolour Leaf: We drew one large leaf each with a pencil, and then covered this outline with glitter glue. The next day, once it had dried, we painted in between the veins with watercolours.
- Decorating a Wooden 3D tree: We painted these wooden models before sticking on some natural leaves and some leaves carved from bark – all of which I found at Baker Ross.
Why not have a go over half term?!
Here are some books and resources that have helped us along in our tree adventures, in case you want to delve in too:
- RSPB First Book of Trees
- 50 Trees to Spot – Spotter Cards
- Charlotte Voake’s A Little Guide to Trees
- Forestry Commission’s Tree Stories
- Native British Trees Board Puzzle
We’re looking forward to returning to their chosen trees in winter when we can enjoy the changes and start learning more about their twigs.