Bark Rubbing – Exploring Trees

This week we have been focusing on trees when we've been out and about. We started by trying our hand at some bark rubbings.


English Oak


Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a rubbing is a great way to focus on the different patterns and textures, as well as making a record of a particular tree's bark. The process itself is super simple. We used waxed crayons and plain white paper, and used the side of the crayon to take our prints. We found working up and down the page worked best for us.

English Oak Bark


Just like our skin, bark’s main purpose is to protect the tree. While the children made their rubbings, we talked about the properties of the bark, and how they might be beneficial to the tree. The kids concluded that the bark looked like Armour since it was so thick and rugged on many of the trees we looked at. They were also interested to see how many other plants used the bark for their own benefit - we found both Ivy and Lichens growing on the trees we examined.

Norway Maple Collage


The kids decided that they wanted to start a tree scrapbook to record the trees we looked at. Now seems a great time of year to start one, as we were able to photograph each tree without its leaves - giving us a great picture of it's overall shape. As we move through the seasons we'll be able to add pictures of the different stages of the tree's yearly cycle; we will come back and record their buds, flowers and different leaf colours. The kids really enjoyed identifying our trees using a reference book, and quickly picked up some of the terminology in tree identification.

Silver Birch Collage


By carrying out this process of physically examining a tree close up, making a record of what they saw through the bark rubbings and photographs, and then by collating their information in their scrapbook, the kids have really have developed a greater knowledge and interest in trees this week. They can now identify 3 or 4 trees confidently from their shape and bark alone, and love, in particular, pointing out the beautiful oak trees that we see dotted about in our area of the country as we drive around.

Exploring Trees - bark Rubbing
< Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    I love this! What a cool thing to do with your kids, and learn for yourself too. I guess I never put a lot of thought into the fact that trees of different types have different barks, I love the texture and the look. Trees are so absolutely beautiful. All this loveliness all around us and I walk by them most the time, this will help me refocus and really look at the beauty around me! Can’t wait to see what you do next!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Social Media BlastMy Profile

    January 31, 2016 at 5:17 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I do love trees, and find being around them actually relaxes me – think I’d enjoy being a forest dweller!

      February 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply Laurie

    Love tree rubbings! Such a fun project to do with the whole family! Found you on WayWow Linky party!
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    January 27, 2016 at 2:49 pm
  • Reply Jenny Eaves

    This is a great idea to get children to explore trees and really look at them closely. Fab that they are now spotting the type of tree from shape and the bark alone, that’s not always an easy task. We have tried bark rubbing too, but O is still too small to fully appreciate all the interesting differences between trees, I’m sure he will learn when he’s older though, considering his dad is an arborist!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x
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    January 27, 2016 at 1:19 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Have to be honest and say we started with the easy ones, but it has got them looking and thinking about others :)

      January 29, 2016 at 8:40 am
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