Celebrate National Arbor Day on Friday, April 24, 2020

What is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day is the time for planting new trees in yards, parks, neighborhoods, and communities. National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, but the date of each state's Arbor day can vary depending on the growing season. Arbor Day is also a time to appreciate trees both for their beauty and their usefulness. Talk with the children about how trees provide us with shade, food, and firewood as well as wood for making such things as paper, houses and furniture.

Book List

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Songs, Poems & Fingerplays

Tree Hugging

Take kids on a walk or to a park to look for trees. They can even give the trees big hugs. Have them compare trees by sizes, colors, types of bark, types of foliage. Here's a poem to go with "tree-hugging"

Why not hug a tree today
Or pat it on its bark?
Give a tree a great big squeeze
At home or in the park.

Find the tree you like the best
And stand beneath its shade.
Stretch your arms around its trunk
And hug until you fade.

Imagine the birds that have lived in your tree,
Imagine the squirrel in its nest.
A tree is a home to all that come,
The perfect place to rest.

So put your arms around your tree,
Whether it's short or tall.
Hug your tree - you'll feel so good,
Winter, spring, summer or fall.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Arbor Day - written by: Kate Louise Brown

The sunbeams are twinkling;
The air, soft and free,
Is telling a message
To you and to me.
Come out! Come out!
We're planting a tree;
Come out! Come out!
Let's all plant a tree.

Though now it is slender,
No taller than I,
It soon will be growing
Straight up to the sky.
A tree! A tree!
That reaches so high;
A tree! A tree!
That touches the sky.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

If There Were No Trees - written by: Virginia Baker

A little bird sat upon my window sill
And swayed and swung in the morning breeze,
And this is the song, this is the song,
The song that he sang to me:
"Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?
Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?"

"Oh, tell me where would we build our pretty nests,
And where would we cradle our baby brood,
If never a tree, never a tree,
Throughout our fine country stood.
Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?
Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?"

"Within the bark upon our sturdy trees
We find the food that we like to eat,
And sheltering leaves, sheltering leaves,
Protect from the sun's fierce heat.
Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?
Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?"

"You little children, all you boys, and girls,
Who love the birds and want them to stay,
Oh, plant many trees, plant many trees,
On this sunny Arbor Day.
For what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?
Oh, what would we do, what would we do
If there were no trees?"

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


On stormy days
when the wind is high
Tall trees are brooms
sweeping the sky
They swish their branches
In buckets of rain
And swash and sweep it
blue again.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Phyllis The Forest Ranger - sung to "Clementine"

Phyllis is a forest ranger,
And she takes care of the trees.
She's a friend to every creature,
From big bears to little bees.

When I go to see the forest,
Phyllis takes me on a walk.
I learn all about the wildlife,
When I listen to her talk.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Arts & Crafts

Art Mural Forest

To make a tree, press a child's hand into green tempera paint. Keeping the fingers & thumb close together, press the hand on a rolled piece of white butcher paper, making the tree, leaves, and branches. Have the children print their hands as many times as they would like on the same paper to make a forest. Use a brown maker sideways, print the child’s names under their trees to make the trunks.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Easel paint using evergreen branches for brushes.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

TP Trees

Materials: Toilet paper roll, Brown paint, Leaves, Construction Paper

What to Do: Cut toilet paper roll in half long ways. Paint it brown, Let dry. Glue to Construction paper as a tree trunk then glue real or paper leaves around to make it look like a tree.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Leaf Rubbings

Place a leaf under a sheet of paper and color over the top with crayon until the pattern of the leaf is clear.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Theme Ideas

Leaf Observation

Collect leaves from a variety of trees. Place them and a magnifying glass on the science table for the children to explore.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Interesting Facts:
It takes 17 trees to make one ton of paper.
The largest tree on Earth grows in Redwood National Park. It is taller than the Statue of Liberty and is more than 600 years old!
One oak tree may have 400 species of plants and animals living on it.
The smallest tree is the snow willow. It grows in the Arctic, in the cracks of rocks. Only a few inches high, its trunk is about as thin as a pencil.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Sprout a small tree, seed, and plant in the back yard.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Dramatic Play

Turn the dramatic play area into a greenhouse, provide pots, watering cans etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Feely Box

Make a feely box with parts of a tree inside, bark, seeds, flowers, etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Count the rings on a wood round - a slice of the tree. If you look at a tree stump and count the rings that you see you will learn the age of the tree, the bark of the tree is a protective layer for the tree-like our skin is for us.

Talk about all of the uses for trees: Paper is made from wood, homes, boats are built from wood, we can burn wood to provide heat for warmth or cooking.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Bulletin Board Idea

On a large inside bulletin board or wall have the children create a tree. Cut out the trunk from brown packaging paper. Have the children work collectively to paint this large piece of paper. Put out different shades of brown paint so that the children can see how they blend. Then cut out a large top for the tree. The children, once again, work collectively to paint the top green in all different shades of green paint. When dry attach to the wall. Take pieces of the brown paper and cut wide strips. Then dampen them and twist them. Let them dry overnight. When completely dry (and wrinkled) they look like wood branches. Staple them on the green top of the tree to look like branches. Leave this tree up all year long & extend the activity to include: making apples to put on the tree in fall. In winter, attach white cotton balls for snow. Or place snowflakes and aluminum foil icicles to the branches. In the spring, make flowers, insects, birds, etc. and they go onto the tree.

Tree - Have the children make a tree by gluing toothpicks on a piece of paper. Use a sponge and green tempera paint to add leaves to the top of the tree.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Leaf Match

Use a glue stick to glue leaves plucked from 4-6 different trees on to a poster board. Cover with clear contact paper. Sandwich leaves of the same size and variety between two pieces of clear contact paper. Trim around each leaves leaving a 1/4" sealed edge. Set the board and leaves on a tray. The children match the leaves.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Sensory Science - Discovering Evergreen Trees

On a tray, set out branches from three different kinds of evergreen trees to compare. Provide magnifying glasses for examining. Smell the branches. Point out the differences in needles and pine cones if attached.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

In the Kitchen

Have tree shaped foods for lunch and dessert: Broccoli, celery stalks/green gumdrops stacked like a pine tree or inverted sugar cones placed on some crushed oreo cookies (for dirt).

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Arbor Day Theme -
Arbor Day Crafts - Enchanted Learning
Arbor Day Preschool Activities and Crafts - First-School
Arbor Day Song Lyrics - KIDiddles
Arbor Day Theme for Preschool - Preschool Plan-It
The National Arbor Day Foundation

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