I am amazed at how much we both learned while working on this journal. To identify the trees she put in her journal, we used The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown Ups by Gina Ingoglia. This is a very informative, beautifully illustrated, easy to use book. We learned how to identify different types of evergreen trees by their needle shape, size, and numbers in a group. We also learned to recognize many other deciduous trees by the shape of their leaves and the look of their bark. Now as we walk through the trees, we can easily identify many of them! It is so much fun to hear Audrey say, "Hey, this is another Sugar Maple, Mommy!".
We read many books about trees this week. We learned about many things like sap, the veins on the leaves, and the animals that make trees their home. It was so exciting for Audrey and Ethan to then notice these things during our nature walks. We touched the sticky sap dripping from a tree. We ran our fingers along the veins of the leaves. We marveled at the many bugs, the squirrels, and the birds that we saw in their tree homes. We even brought specimens home with us to place on our nature table, which is quite full at the moment!
Inspired by the Reggio Emilia schools and method, we also spent some time this week using the arts to enrich our learning experiences. Audrey and Ethan spent some time painting watercolor trees and molding beeswax trees. (If you haven't used modeling beeswax before, you must try it! My kids love to warm it up in their hands so that you can shape it. It smells so sweet too! I think what my kids love the most is knowing that it come to us from the bees.)