Friday, April 25, 2008

I love trees!

Some trees are tree house trees, some are thinking-under trees, some are fairy house trees, there are climbig trees, shade trees, drawing trees, hugging trees, meditating upon trees, picnic-ing under trees, animal living in trees, playing hide and seek in trees...huge trees, and barely trees, scrawny trees and glorious trees...

Between Earthday on Tuesday, Arbor day today and the glorious April weather we have been blessed with we are spending lots of time outside.

There are so many ways that you can celebrate and honor trees. Our favorite is to take a tree walk a hike with the intention of finding a favorite tree. When either of us find one often we will stop and spend some time with "her" doing a bark rubbing, tracing/drawing the leaves, photographing, hugging, identifying and finally sitting up against her quietly to see if she has a message for us......often we will end our time together by me reading or telling Zoe a story. Out favorites for our tree walks are nature tales by Thornton Burgess.

There are so many kids books about trees, some fiction and some non. I am drawn to them all......there are the typical early science ones by Gail Gibbons or Bobbie Kalman but here are a few of our favorite with the reasons why!

- The Tree Farmer by Chuck Leavell (Author), Nicholas Cravotta (Author)
- The Old Tree by Ruth Brown: (A fun nature story with a great suprize at the end!)
- An Elm Tree and Three Sisters by Norma Sommerdorf (Author)
- Sarah's Willow by Friedrich Recknagel (Author), Maja Dus (Illustrator)
- Spirit of the Forest: Tree Tales from around the world by Eric Maddern (Author), et al. (Great campfire stories)

- Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Art- by Thomas Locker (Illustrator), Candace Christiansen (Author) (Beautiful Illustrations as we all expect from Thomas Locker)
- The Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reed-Jones (beautiful lyrical story of life around an old-growth fir tree)

Non Fiction:
- Around the Oak by Gerda Muller
- My Favorite Tree: Terrific Trees of North America Diane Iverson (Kids sharing about their special tree....somewhat of a field guide)
- A Logs Life by Wendy Pfeffer (Lifecycle of trees)
- Exploring the Forest with Grandforest Tree by Joanne Dennee (Author), Julia Hand (Author), Carolyn Peduzzi (Illustrator) (Great homeschooling book! Like no other)

Guide Books:
- Trees, Leaves & Bark (Take-Along Guide) by Diane Burns

There are so many more....already I am thinking of a few more that I really like but I have to stop.....I'll have to gather up some of my favorite from my adult collection and share a list one of these days!

After a couple of season of doing these tree walks I have found that Zoe notices trees where ever we are, " Oh that would be a great tree house tree" or "look mama that tree needs a hug".

Another way to celebrate Arbor Day is to make tree cards for your special friends and family and include a few seeds and instructions for planting a tree. For a while now I have loved to give seeds and tree planting kits as childrens birthday gifts. I like to choose plants such as giant mamouth pumpkins, fatmama sunflowers or baby carrots as well as all kinds of gourds.

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