Tree Activities for Young Kids {Tree Unit Study}

Whether you are celebrating arbor day, earth day, or just planning a tree-themed study plan tree activities are a must do with young kids.

Through crafts, books, yoga, and other activities kids will develop a love of trees, nature, and can learn how to help protect them.

kids excited in front of trees

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These activities should all be great for preschool and kindergarten age kids. Older toddlers can also do many of these activities.

Try them all as a full week-long tree study or just pick and choose your favorites! Grab out 7 page printable at the end of the post to help with your tree learning.

Be a Tree

Get ready to learn about trees by becoming one yourself. Teach kids how to do the yoga tree pose. There are variations to make it easy for kids.

Focusing on their bodies may also help calm them down and get them ready to learn about trees.

Tree pose is pretty simple. You put your foot flat on the opposite leg with your knee turned out. Then you grow your branches upwards.

You can either keep your hands pressed together overhead or spread your arms wide in a U or V shape to make tree branches.

illustration of teacher and kids doing tree pose

If you want to add more tree based movement check out this cute apple tree movement sequence that uses the tree pose.

Check out these other easy yoga moves for kids once they’ve mastered tree pose.

Take a Nature Walk

A great way to start learning about trees is to get outside and see the real thing. Examine what they look and feel like. What happens when the wind blows? Do they make a sound?

Notice any animals or other plants that live on or around the tree.

What colors are the trees? Do they have flowers on them?

If you’re doing this with a class this may need to be a homework assignment where they take a walk at home and then report back on their findings and share them with each other.

Read Books about Trees

Books are a great way to introduce a new idea or subject to kids. There are lots of books about trees that are great for preschoolers, both fiction and non-fiction.

Books can teach kids about the trees themselves, the animals that live in them, and why trees should matter to them.

Check out our list of 10 great tree books to get you started.

collage image of 4 tree book covers

Make a Tree Craft

Any good tree study has to include a tree craft…or more than one! You can choose something super simple that uses a template where kids just color it and maybe draw or glue on some leaves.

Then there are more complicated ones that might even be 3D.

Here are 15 tree craft ideas that are perfect for preschoolers.

collage image of 6 easy tree crafts

Learn about the parts of a tree

Trees can be broken down into just a few simple parts that are easy for kids to learn. You can go super basic and just do roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. If you want to add a few more try twig, crown, flower, fruit, and seed.

Print out a picture and help them label it or go outside and identify the parts on a real tree, just try to find a short one so the kids can reach the different parts.

You can download our mini apple activity pack at the end of this post which includes this activity.

tree parts diagram

Learn the tree life cycle

One of the most fascinating things about trees is how big they can get even though they start from a tiny seed.

Teach kids about the various life cycle stages a tree goes through and maybe even sprout your own seeds! (I did some quick research and it looks like most tree seeds take quite a while to sprout. So maybe choose a seed that will sprout quickly even if it won’t eventually be a tree.)

Our apple activity pack also includes worksheets for learning the tree life-cycle. (Download at the end of this post.)

apple tree in various stages of growth

Find the seeds

Halve various fruits and let kids find and examine the seeds inside. They can see in a hands on way just how small the seeds are that are the start of giant trees.

Have them talk about what they feel like and look like. How are they alike and how are they different?

Talk about how trees change during the seasons

Using trees to learn about the different seasons is a popular activity. It’s sort of an extension of the tree life cycle. In a lot of places you can tell that the seasons are changing by what the trees are doing!

Check out my Tap the Magic Tree book activity to grab printable trees to decorate for each season.

Learn how to tell how old a tree is

Maybe you’ve heard that you can tell how old a tree is by counting the dark rings inside the trunk. I looked it up and it is true that these rings can help you tell the age of a tree.

You can either print out an image of tree rings and have kids count them or for a more hands on approach purchase some on Etsy or Amazon.

When you’re done using the wood slices to count rings you can always paint them and turn them into little works of art.

cross image of inside a tree trunk

Talk about things we make with trees

Now that you’ve covered the parts of trees and how they grow you can talk about things we use that are made from trees.

Some examples are:

  • paper
  • cardboard boxes
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels
  • books
  • houses

It’s amazing how many things are made from parts of trees. These are the more obvious items but the list is long.

Talk to kids about how much we rely on trees and why it’s important to protect trees, plant trees, recycle, and use less of these items.

Make Paper

Did you know you can make your own paper at home…out of old paper.

I remember doing this activity in my after school program when I was young. It’s a fun activity but will require some set up so watch a video or two and have everything ready ahead of time.

Here’s a video from the Boston Children’s Museum which will show you one way to do it.

Build A Tree (STEM activity)

Now that they’ve learned a lot about trees try this easy STEM activity using popsicle sticks, playdoh, and leaf stickers. Check out The Preschool Toolbox for full details on this one.

popsicle stick tree stem activity

Learn about jobs involving trees

The last idea on our list is to talk about jobs you can have where you work with trees.

Lumberjack: They cut down trees and prepare them to be made into different things.

Arborist: Sort of like a tree doctor. They study trees and try to improve their health. The nickname for this job is actually a “tree surgeon” but tree doctor is probably easier for kids to understand.

Forester: A person who looks after and takes care of forests.

Conservation Scientist: They protect trees and other natural resources and help us learn how to use them better and use less of them.


Printables are for personal use only. All printables on Tot School Resources website are the property of totschoolresources.com and may not be sold, used for commercial purposes, or given away for free on your own website.

Want some worksheets to use for your class tree unit study, homeschool study, or just for a kid that loves trees? Join our list and we’ll send you 7 pages of tree filled fun!

collage image of 6 worksheet pages on green background

Enjoy learning all about trees!

illustration of kids in tree with words "preschool tree unit study"

Tree Study for Preschool

Thanks for sharing!

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