Activity ideas

8 tree activity ideas and forest crafts for kids!

Whether you’re studying forest ecology, plant life cycles, or just looking for a fun nature craft to do after school, you’ll love these tree activity ideas and forest crafts for kids. Try them all!

View looking up at the rough bark of a tall deciduous tree

Create Your Own Layers of the Forest Mini-Booklet!

Draw each layer of the forest (floor, understory, canopy, and emergent layers) on a separate piece of paper and cut them out. Assemble them into a booklet, so you can flip through each layer of the forest! These free printable templates will help with this activity.

Leaf Shapes

Create your own poster of the common leaf shapes by taking leaf rubbings of different shaped leaves. Place paper over a leaf and rub the surface of the paper with the side of a crayon. Then label each leaf shape with marker or pen.

Tree Trunk Model

Build a model of tree trunk anatomy by stacking different sized circles made of construction paper, play dough, or even pancakes! You can use this free printable worksheet as an example/template, or do this as a coloring activity!

Calculate Tree Height

This is one of my favorite tree activity ideas because it uses math! Make your own inclinometer and use it to calculate tree height! Here’s another article about how to make your own inclinometer and measure tree height, and also download this free tree height math poster!

Measure Tree Circumference, Diameter, & Radius

Teach your students about circumference, diameter, and radius in a unique and hands-on way! Head outside with a tape measure and measure the circumference of different trees, then calculate their diameter and radius! Or use diameter and circumference measurements on a tree stump to back-calculate pi and see how close you can get to 3.14159265359….

I also created a mini-study with printable posters, worksheets, and activity guides for a pi, diameter, and radius lesson using tree measurements! You can support my blog by checking it out and purchasing it.

close up of tree stump
Photo by Andreas Fingerle on

Tree Anatomy Finger Painting

Make your own deciduous tree anatomy poster by creating a handprint tree with finger paints. Then label the main tree parts (crown, trunk, and roots) with marker or pen.

a person s handprint on paper
Photo by Анастасия Триббиани on

Tree Ring Crafts

Cut thin slices of a tree trunk or branch. Count the rings to figure out the age of the tree (or branch). Drill a small hole through the top of each slice and then paint them to make hanging ornaments or name tags!

Plus, you can read more here about tree rings, why they form, and how scientists use them!

brown tree log
Photo by Pixabay on

Deciduous or Coniferous?

Collect samples of parts from several different deciduous and coniferous trees (leaves, needles, seedpods, flowers, fruits, cones, etc.). Grab two jars and label one “deciduous” and one “coniferous”. Sort the parts into the jars.

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