Our household 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 are, I really want to leave it as late as possible to prevent a beautiful-looking tree, from 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 the following:
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.. its colour it’s branches etc. Ask them what happens to tree 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 cold weather. Most evergreen trees do not have 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 is the green pigment that makes leaves green) all year round, and chlorophyll helps with photosynthesis (which is 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 to smell the tree – Noah bizarrely 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 its 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.
Then you can measure it. (This was a little advanced for Noah, who is three but it would be great for five year olds) How tall, how wide, the length of the branch, the width of the 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 and 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 used to scissors and promotes hand coordination and fine motor skills.
Last Updated on February 19, 2023 by Emma Vanstone