Last week, Little Bee and I started on our adventure of tree exploration! It has been on my list of life-time goals to begin studying botany for my own enjoyment and also for the purpose of being able to teach Little Bee about the beauty of nature. On our daily nature walk around the neighborhood block, I gathered leaves, bark, and seed pods from the various trees. This was a great way to begin our tree exploration... right in our own neighborhood! This simple study, I am going to share with you, is only the beginning of our fun adventures of learning botany! As Little Bee gets older, our tree exploration will become more and more detailed. Enjoy! 🙂
I decided with all the leaves I had gathered that they would hold up better to exploring toddler fingers if I laminated them. I had never laminated leaves before, so I wasn't sure how it would go. I learned that using the small laminating pockets and the smaller leaves worked best. (See the picture above for an example.) I used my laminator that I bought at Costco called, "Purple Cows." It worked great for the smaller leaves! When I tried to laminate a giant leaf in a letter sized pocket, it jammed inside the laminator. The leaves have held up well after being laminated. They do sweat a little bit inside the plastic and fad in color over time, but overall the leaf laminating was a success!
Little Bee had fun exploring the tree sensory bowl I put together for him. He examined the leaves by turning them both directions. It is wonderful to talk about the beauty of the tree with your toddler and explain how they have veins that carry life to their leaves. Leaves on a tree are kind of like our hands on our body. He also loved touching the different textures of the bark. When Little Bee is older, we will play a fun matching game by finding the leaf that matches the bark and seed pod.
I set up a couple matching games for Little Bee. He is starting to explore different shapes of objects. It is so fun that each leaf has a different unique shape. Little Bee has not mastered these matching games yet. I do not expect him to be able to make all these connections at his young age, but I think he is having fun learning that each leaf is different in its own unique beauty. I hope you enjoyed our botany lesson. Have you explored botany with your toddler or preschooler? Please share your botany story in the comment section below. Also, if you have any questions about our study, please feel free to ask! 🙂