May 16th is National Love a Tree Day, so take the opportunity to teach your children the importance of these natural wonders and their effect on our environment. Celebree Learning Centers offers five ways to celebrate the national holiday with your children.
Trees of all types are necessary for sustaining wildlife. They provide shelter, shade and prevent soil erosion, among many other benefits. In honor of Love a Tree Day, here are several ways to show appreciation for one of nature’s finest creations.
Read under a tree. The weather is warm, and most of the trees have grown enough leaves to provide shade. Step outside, take a short walk and find a shady tree. Explain the wonderful gifts trees give to nature, and invite the little ones to sit under the tree with you and read a book. An appropriate choice and common favorite would be The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Listen to the wind rustle its leaves to assist in that restful sound that keeps you all calm.
Give a tree a cool drink. Explain to your children that just like people, trees get thirsty. Fill a small container or a watering can, carry it outside to the nearest park or a tree in your yard so your child can water their new leafy friend. The soil should be saturated around the tree. Be sure that you’re both watering very slowly as to ensure that the water reaches deep down into the roots.
Make a gift for the tree’s tenants. Trees provide more than just cool places to sit and play. Ask your child to name the animals that a tree might use as their house or source of food. Think about the many birds that your tree attracts to its lofty branches. You can use a kit to build a birdhouse together, or fill a bird feeder with birdseed and hang it from a low branch.
Plant a tree. Make a family activity out of choosing a sapling, selecting mulch, picking the best spot for your new addition to the garden, and feeding it a healthy dose of fertilizer. Trees reduce air temperature by blocking sunlight. Thus, as nature’s air conditioner, the evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of 10 room-size air conditioners running 20 hours a day, as noted by North Carolina State University. A healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon annually, helping to offset the buildup of carbon dioxide in the air and reduce the “greenhouse effect.” The American Forestry Association estimates that 100 million new trees have the potential to absorb 18 million tons of carbon dioxide. When explaining this to the little ones, help them understand that trees help our earth live longer.
Recycle! This is a perfect time to teach your child about the benefits of recycling paper, plastic and glass. Make bins per each category of recycling. Let the kids decorate them with images of what will go inside. The bins serve as a great reminder, as remembering what goes where can be slightly intimidating to your child at first. Draw up a goal chart above each bin to try and see how much you’ve recycled in a week.
National Love a Tree Day is just one excuse for celebrating the many great benefits that trees have for us and the environment in which we live. Make this special day a memorable one for the whole family. Take photos along the way and treasure them for years to come.