Our house hold is getting so excited about Christmas. Every day Noah has asked if we can put the tree up, but with the twins and the mayhem they cause I really want to leave it as late as possible to prevent a beautiful looking tree, becoming a very sorry for itself looking tree.
The talk of Christmas trees got Noah asking questions which I love so I decided to embark on a mini Christmas tree exploration task! This is perfect for pre-schoolers!
You will need:
A mini Christmas tree (I got my little conifer from the pound shop!)
A pair of scissors
A ruler or tape measure
A magnifying glass if you have one
First of all you can look at the tree and describe it..it’s colour it’s branches etc. Ask them what happens to tree’s leaves in winter? Ask them what is different about this tree? The fact that it still has green leaves!
The Science Bit!
Evergreens are adapted to survive the cold weather. Most evergreen tree do not regular leaves; they are needles or really hard leaves,which have a think-skin, with an ‘antifreeze’ chemical in the leaf to keep it from freezing.
They produce chlorophyll (which the is the green pigment that makes leaves green) all year around, and chlorophyll helps with photosynthesis (which os the process of making their food). Therefore that is why the evergreens stay green all year long.
You can then move on to getting them smell the tree – Noah bizzarly kept saying it smelt like chocolate, but I actually think this is because we had just made whoopie pies!
Then you can get them to feel it and describe the texture.
Then look at the roots..take it out it’s pot and explain that the roots absorb (suck up like a straw) water so it can have a drink, which is why we water plants.
The you can measure it. (This was a little advanced for Noah who is three but would be great for five year olds) How tall, how wide, length of branch, width of leaf etc. You could even produce a little graph of your data if you wanted to!
You also use a magnifying glass to look at the leaves in more detail, which is actually something I need to add to my science kit.
Then to the trimming part…Noah’s favourite bit. I wanted him to try an design a shape (me attempting to be arty) but no such luck, it was just hacked, but it is a great way to get them use to scissors, and promotes hand co-ordination and fine motor skills.