Readiness for Kindergarten – Barking Up The Right Tree

No, this isn’t a blog about dogs. I’m still posting about fun and learning when camping. This bog combines science, art, and, of course, readiness for kindergarten. Camping usually involves a place where there’s trees. For another woodsy idea, try bark rubbing with your child. An adult is needed to hold the paper along with some wax crayons or charcoal. A left-over piece of wood from the campfire will also work–check that it’s cold!

Hold the paper against the bark of a tree and have your little one rub with the charcoal or crayon; peel the paper off the crayon and hold it on it’s side. Use another piece of paper and try a different tree. With your child, discover how some trees have smooth bark, like the birch bark that’s also used for making little canoes, and some have very rough bark like an oak. If possible, find a third tree and compare. Is it smooth or rough? Is it the same as one of the others or is at different from both of them? The bark rubbings should look different, too, and show the texture of the bark. Can you match the picture to it’s tree? Grownups can write the name on the paper.

This activity encourages kids to practice their observation skills as they check the bark on trees. They are also using their sense of touch as they explore the various textures of barks. There’s lots of language and new vocabulary as the kids talk about what they are discovering. Plus, they are developing a relationship with the natural world. This camping fun and learning is barking up the right, that is the kindergarten readiness, tree.

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