Arbor Day is just ten days away, time to get your kids outside to learn and play!
April 30, 2021 is Arbor Day this year, and in the second year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, holidays like this are more important than ever.
The decreased human presence during lockdowns in 2020 showed us how well the environment can heal if we leave it alone and especially if we respect and help it more; an important lesson to teach your kids at a young age.
To help make your festivities both fun and educational, here are 5 simple and fun ideas and activities for you and your family this Arbor Day.
1. Learn To Identify Your Local Trees This Arbor Day
One simple and educational celebration activity is to take a walk around the neighborhood with your kids and learn to identify your local trees together. Visit a local park or forest preserve if you have one in the area.
The Arbor Day Foundation makes this simple with their own tree identifier questionnaire based on your region, as well as primary identifying features for all the possible trees around you. It’s a lot more interactive than simply printing out a sheet of paper or lugging around a massive book.
This is a perfect option during these times, in particular. You can easily socially distance while still getting fresh air, learning something new together, and building your respect for and connection to the kind of nature that we see everyday and sometimes take for granted.
2. Tree Folklore and Stories
If you and/or your child are bigger fans of reading than you are of the outdoors, or if the weather this Arbor Day traps you inside, why not read and share some of the folklore surrounding trees?
From well-known pop culture stories like Grandmother Willow in Disney’s Pocahontas, to children’s classics like The Giving Tree, stories about trees are all around us all the time.
If you’re close to your particular culture, you can even research and focus on your culture’s stories about trees and nature as a way to teach your child more about themself and where they’ve come from as well as the respect for trees and nature across all cultures through history. Maybe even have them write a story of their own.
3. Tree Leaf Pressings
Another simple celebration activity for Arbor Day that your child can admire year-round is a tree leaf pressing or craft. Though it is spring, due to wind, weather, and animals, leaves still find their way off of trees and onto the ground. If you’re feeling crafty, pick up a few leaves with your child and press them into a decoration they’ll be proud to show off.
*Note: Only use leaves you can pick up or find around you or use artificial leaves. Please do not pull leaves directly from trees.*
4. Beautify Your Natural Space
One of the more respectful and long-lasting ways you can celebrate Arbor Day is by helping to beautify your local park or forest preserve.
Litter is sadly everywhere, and safely helping to remove trash and junk from our natural areas is something that will feel good now. It will also help keep the land healthy for many, many Arbor Days to come.
5. Planting a Tree is One of the Best Arbor Day Activities
Of course, what better way to celebrate the trees than by planting a tree? By planting a tree together, your child can learn about all parts of the plant as well as its life cycle by helping to care for it and watching it grow.
If your local government restricts the kinds of trees allowed in your area or directly on your property, choosing the kind of tree becomes an even more important part of the process.
Now that you know how to make your holiday special with these Arbor Day activities, you should head out to the park with your kids and enjoy nature.
Hopefully, these ideas help to get your creative juices flowing! Remember, as long as you’re celebrating the beautiful trees and nature around you, there is no wrong way to spend Arbor Day with your loved ones.
Happy Arbor Day 2021!