Arbor Day activities for kids: fun hands-on educational resources and nature learning: lessons about trees, seedlings and leaf identification, instant download free printable worksheets, nature games, and tree activity ideas, and spring crafts! We’ll cover history, celebrating Arbor Day trees, about Arbor Day plant a tree, and fun hands-on Arbor Day activities for kids, including trees lesson plan ideas!
FUN ARBOR DAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Need fun ideas for Arbor Day? Whether you’re looking for study resources, theme days, or Arbor Day activities for elementary students and up or Arbor Day activities for kindergarten / Arbor Day activities for preschoolers or toddlers, you’ll find activities for different age groups for homeschool and classroom activities for Arbor Day — enough for a great theme unit or unit study! Have fun with these Arbor Day activities for students!
What do we do on Arbor Day?
How To Celebrate Arbor Day (and Celebrate Trees!)
- Do some natural Arbor Day crafts
- Discuss what is Arbor Day and why is it important
- Plant trees with a local group (or in your own yard!)
- Discuss and sign an Arbor Day proclamation
- Head outside and do a tree bark rubbing activity (good for all age ranges – preschool / Arbor Day kindergarten activities and up)
- Complete lesson plans about trees
- Color fun tree Arbor Day worksheets and coloring pages
- Do a story time recipe and read with a tree book and tree themed snack
- Complete parts of a tree activities (great for tree science activities)
- Create tree sensory bins for hands-on activities for Arbor Day with kids with toy trees, acorns, pine cones, little apples, pine needles, and leaves
- Take a nature hike and do an Arbor Day scavenger hunt (free Arbor Day worksheet printable below!)
- Have fun with a spring tree craft
- Play Arbor Day interactive games
- Do a family tree craft for preschoolers or a preschool tree craft
- Research Arbor Day careers
- Make leaf prints with crayons and paper
- Measure the circumference of a tree trunk and guess how old the tree is
- Learn Arbor Day tree poems as part of your Arbor Day theme
- Do an Arbor Day word search with types of trees (yes, even as tree study activities for preschoolers!)
- Research and answer questions about trees
- Use Arbor Day pictures and play with colored rice in completing tree sensory worksheets (Great for Arbor Day crafts for preschool and kindergarten / tree art activities or even rainy day activities Arbor Day! Younger children love this!) This is fun as a beautiful fall tree sensory idea, too!
- Take colored paint swatches on a nature walk and see who can match colorful trees to each paint color.
- Throw an Arbor Day party (or a tree themed party!)
- Search: Arbor Day events near me (or Arbor Day farm activities near me) and attend some fun Arbor Day activities for families or a local tree planting event!
- Search for a local Arbor Day tree giveaway (fun tree activities for preschoolers and up!)
Don’t miss our full list of Arbor Day celebration ideas, lessons, and activity ideas below! KEEP SCROLLING for Arbor Day ideas for kids, Arbor Day teaching resources, tree educational activities, fun crafts, and even virtual Arbor Day activities for a great time!
Before we get to the full list of lesson plans for Arbor Day, arbor ideas, engaging Arbor Day activities…
How do you explain Arbor Day to kids?
What day is National Arbor Day?
National Arbor Day is Friday, April 28, 2023. Although the date is designated as the last Friday in April, many states will celebrate trees based on the climate for their area.
When was the first Arbor Day?
What Is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is an annual US 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 and interesting facts from the National Arbor Day Foundation! (They sometimes have a printable pack of stuff, too!)
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.
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!
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 to plant your own tree or other tree-related activities!
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 for kids.
(I’ll admit, I don’t ever remember learning about how Arbor Day started and why! Really interesting Arbor Day history!)
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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! And then read, The Sequoia Lives On children’s book.
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.
What is the difference between Earth Day and Arbor Day?
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.
TRY THIS NEXT FOR MORE NATURE THEMED ACTIVITIES AND FREE PRINTABLES :
Earth Day Crafts for Kids and Earth Book Ideas [Free Earth Day Printable]
Let’s get to Arbor Day school activities and Arbor Day children’s activities!
Meaningful & Fun Arbor Day Activities for Kids
Best Arbor Day Activities Ideas For Children
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. These are great projects for preschool celebration ideas through Arbor Day activities for high school!
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! Fun and engaging Arbor Day activities for all ages!
Arbor Day Activities and Teaching Resources
- 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!
- Sing Arbor Day songs or songs about trees.
- 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 as flash cards and look up the info for identifying the type of tree.
- Learn about how Native Americans used trees for survival.
- Understand photosynthesis and how it works with trees and plants. (Great if you’re looking for Arbor Day activities for high school students!)
- Do a creative writing project using tree vocabulary words.
- Make a thumb print tree for preschool activities about trees.
- Read The Giving Tree and then paint or draw a picture of a tree.
- Do a photosynthesis science project. [VIDEO]
- Go on a nature hike and tree scavenger hunt for beautiful trees and more. (Get your free printable scavenger hunt after this section – great idea for family activity, too!)
- Make a pine cone bird feeder or this simple project for bird feeders
- Clean up around trees in your yard, on a walk, or in a public park.
- Do tree and bark rubbings on a piece of paper, but don’t injure or destroy the tree or bark! (Great for Arbor Day crafts for preschoolers and up! Add it to your preschool family tree craft or other tree theme for preschoolers!)
- Make leaf crafts, but be sure to only use the ones that have fallen from the tree already! (Great for Arbor Day activities for toddlers or spring tree crafts for preschoolers / tree activities for pre k, too!)
- Make a painted big leaf “tree.”
If you have any recommendations for trees activities for preschoolers and up, let us know! We’ll add them to our Arbor Day activity list!
Arbor Day Resources for Kids
Our World In Pictures: Trees, Leaves, Flowers & Seeds (great for tree projects or nature activities any time of year)
Wangara Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions Of Trees (I love this for preschool tree activities and book pairings!)
We Planted A Tree (great for a tree study for preschool or to plant a little tree as part of celebration activities for preschool / tree activities for kindergarten classroom)
Arbor Day Tree kids’ book (fun for trees preschool theme)
Books About Trees For Kids (Arbor Day Books Ideas)
Children’s Books On Arbor Day (Not just for the holiday, but great for any tree theme preschool and up or tree study ideas for preschoolers through elementary students!) Check with your local library for more picture books and tree resources!
Trees, Leaves and Bark book (This is one of those nonfiction books that you definitely want to add to your personal library or classroom library!)
The Magic And Mystery Of Trees
The Tree Book For Kids and Their Grown-Ups
Dr. Seuss I Can Name 50 Trees Today! (I love this one for tree themes for preschool and kindergarten!)
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! Perfect activity for Arbor Day for kids of all ages or an Arbor Day family activity!
Happy Arbor Day!