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A Tree for Me!
Trees are wonderful and amazing! Here is a chance to claim your own personal tree and observe it change during the seasons!
This activity is pulled from our Virtual ExCEL Camps happening summer of 2020! While these activities are written to fit into the larger lesson plan of the camp themes, you can complete them with your little one at any time. Learn more about our Virtual ExCEL Summer Camp here!
Appropriate Age Range: any age
Materials Needed: a tree of any size or shape
Try looking these words up if your child is unfamiliar with them: rough, smooth, dappled, light, dark, branches, bark, leaves, serrated, green, yellow, red, brown, crunchy.
- Select a little tree in your yard or neighborhood that your child can reach the branches.
- Take a tactile marker with you on a string or shoestring to “mark the tree.” (Beads on a shoelace, a little plastic toy, a squishy ball on a keychain, etc.) Tie the item onto a branch of the tree that your child can touch. Now, this is “Katie’s or Zayden’s tree.”
- Check this tree frequently with your child as the seasons change to see what is happening. Are the leaves starting to get dry and falling down? Are almost all the leaves gone? It’s fall/autumn. Check the tree in the winter. Verify that it’s the same tree by locating the “tactile marker.” If it’s cold outside, there is sometimes snow under the tree, and there are no leaves on the tree, it’s winter. Find the little buds on the tree that tell you that spring is coming! Are the buds getting bigger? Are baby leaves starting to grow on the tree? Are they getting bigger? It’s spring! You get the idea. Later, find a pine tree and discover that coniferous trees shed some needles, but keep their needles, which are their leaves all year long.
Outcome: How did your child react to their tree? Did they start to recognize their tree by the tactile marker? By listening to the branches and leaves sway? By the touch of the bark, leaves or branches? By the way the sunlight filtered through the leaves and branches?
Andrea Amestoy, Registered Nurse/Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired outreach and Certified Orientation and Mobility Instructor at Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind
Jessica Chamblin, Teacher of the Blind/Visually Impaired. I have worked in the field of Deafblindness for five years in a variety of roles including Interpreter, PCA, Intervener and TBVI. I work for Intermediate School District 917 in Rosemount, Minnesota. I have completed the Intervener training series provided by the Minnesota Deafblind Project and currently serve on the Deafblind Community of Practice for the State of Minnesota.