Arbor Day activities for kids educational resources and nature learning: lessons about trees, seedlings and leaf identification, instant download free printable worksheets, games, and activity ideas and crafts! We’ll cover history, celebrating Arbor Day trees, about Arbor Day plant a tree, and 17 fun hands-on Arbor Day activities for kids and events celebration ideas!
ARBOR DAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Whether you’re looking for study resources and Arbor Day activities for elementary students and up or Arbor Day activities for preschoolers or toddlers, you’ll find activities for different age groups and homeschool / classroom activities for Arbor Day for a great theme unit or unit study.
What day is National Arbor Day?
National Arbor Day is Friday, April 30, 2021. Although the date is designated as the last Friday in April, many states will celebrate trees based on the climate for their area.
What Is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is an annual holiday to encourage the planting of trees and create awareness about the importance of trees. Arbor Day was first observed in 1872 after J. Sterling Morton founded the day in Nebraska to encourage others to set aside a specific day to plant trees and help the environment.
Check out this cool interactive book about the history of Arbor Day from the Arbor Day Foundation!
DON’T MISS OUR FREE PRINTABLE TREE SCAVENGER HUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST!
Why do we plant trees on Arbor Day?
What happens on Arbor Day? You plant trees and learn about trees! Arbor Day encourages people to plant trees because trees are good for the environment. They provide oxygen, help the soil and wildlife and much more! Many people plant a tree in honor of someone that has passed or dedicate a tree to someone special.
Where can I get free trees for Arbor Day?
On Arbor Day, parks, businesses, and non-profit organizations may give away free trees for Arbor Day. Search free Arbor Day trees near me or start with your local parks or nature centers to see if they are giving away free tree seedlings for the day.
I remember celebrating Arbor Day when I was in school.
Every year, we would plant a tree outside of the school and then spend time reading and learning about trees and planting and the environment.
I was always excited for that day!
(Not only did it mean a break in the middle of the day to go outside, but we got to do some cool crafts and activities, too!)
The holiday is a great learning opportunity and Arbor Day activities are so much fun, but it seems like one of those national days that gets overlooked.
So, remember to make it a point to put it on your annual calendar so you can include it in your learning!
Before we get into all the fun activities and crafts, let’s learn more about the holiday and answer some Arbor Day FAQs.
(I’ll admit, I don’t ever remember learning about how Arbor Day started and why! Really interesting history!)
Arbor Day Resources for Kids
About National Arbor Day
Arbor Day was originally designated on founder J. Sterling Morton’s birthday on April 22 and then later moved to the last Friday in April.
However, today, many states celebrate it at different times based on the climate for their area.
Is Arbor Day the same day every year?
Yes. Arbor Day is officially celebrated on the last Friday of April. However, many states will celebrate it at different times based on their climate. Be sure to check your city or state for your Arbor Day celebrations and observance.
ArborDay.org has a cool clickable map where you can see when Arbor Day is celebrated for your state. Arbor Day is also celebrated all over the world!
Why is Arbor Day so important?
Arbor Day is important because it brings about the awareness in the importance of trees in or environment and ecosystem. Around the world, people will plant trees and hold environmentally-friendly events and celebrations.
For some Arbor Day events, they’ll even give out a free tree for Arbor Day that you can take home and plant in your yard or at a business or local park (where you get permission).
Trees for Arbor Day
You can even grow a giant Sequoia tree using this cool kit!
Why do we need trees?
Trees are important because they:
- Help wildlife
- Provide oxygen
- Improve air quality
- Absorb carbon dioxide
- Help the soil
- Conserve water
- Provide beauty to our landscape
Don’t forget to look for Arbor Day free trees in your area so you can celebrate Arbor Day and plant a tree!
What day is National Tree Day?
National Tree Day is celebrated in Australia on the last Friday in July and into the first Sunday in August. It is much like Arbor Day, where people celebrate by planting trees at schools, parks, farms, and more, and having events around tree education.
Is Earth Day and Arbor Day the same thing?
Earth Day and Arbor Day are both annual events initially celebrated on April 22. However, the Arbor Day date now varies based on location, but is generally on the last Friday of April for many states. Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 and is a global movement that focuses on protecting and preserving the earth. Arbor Day focuses mainly on planting trees and their impact on the environment. Although the holidays have different history and origins, they both focus on the environment.
17 Meaningful & Fun Arbor Day Activities for Kids
Having fun with Arbor Day is all about getting out and about — learning about trees, planting trees, and being around trees!
We recommend printing out the resources, grabbing some of the Arbor Day books and resources mentioned here, and heading to the backyard or out to the park.
Don’t forget to print our your Tree Scavenger Hunt (free printable below) before you go!
Here are some fun ways to celebrate the Arbor Day holiday, while also learning and helping the environment:
- Learn about planting a tree
- Visit an Arbor Day farm or search for Arbor Day farm events in your area.
- Learn about the benefits of trees with these interactive slides.
- Have a virtual Arbor Day with friends and watch a video to learn more about trees.
- Take a Jr. Arborist quiz to see if you get all the badges!
- Tree Care & Planting: Learn about tree age and the life of a tree.
- Become a “mayor” of your own area and sign an “official” proclamation about Arbor Day and tree preservation.
- Learn how to identify trees using fun resources.
Our favorite is this Fandex Family Field Guides for Trees. It’s easy to throw in a backpack and the cards are bound together so you just “fan” them out and look up the info.
- Learn about how Native Americans used trees for survival.
- Understand photosynthesis and how it works with trees and plants.
- Do a photosynthesis science project. [VIDEO]
- Read books about trees. These are our favorites:
- Go on a nature hike and tree scavenger hunt. (Get your free printable scavenger hunt after this section.)
- Clean up around trees in your yard, on a walk, or in a public park.
- Do tree and bark rubbings, but don’t injure or destroy the tree or bark!
- Make leaf crafts, but be sure to only use the ones that have fallen from the tree already!
- Make a painted big leaf “tree.”
DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR FREE KIDS PRINTABLE BELOW!
FREE ARBOR DAY PRINTABLE FOR KIDS
CLICK HERE or on the image to get your free printable perfect for Arbor Day or a nature scavenger hunt for any time in your nature learning or outdoor play!