How to Make a Tree Bark Rubbing

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

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.

Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a tree bark rubbing is a great way to focus on the different patterns and textures,

 

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.

 

Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a tree bark rubbing is a great way to focus on the different patterns and textures,

 

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.

 

Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a tree bark rubbing is a great way to focus on the different patterns and textures,

 

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.

 

Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a tree bark rubbing is a great way to focus on the different patterns and textures,

 

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.

For lots more nature craft inspiration check out our 12 Nature Crafts To Make With Things You Find On A Walk.

Tree bark varies wildly between species. Taking a tree bark rubbing is a great way to focus on different patterns and textures and learn about trees. 

 

 

 

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26 comments

Nikki Frank-Hamilton January 31, 2016 - 5:17 pm

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!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 3, 2016 - 6:00 pm

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

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Laurie January 27, 2016 - 2:49 pm

Love tree rubbings! Such a fun project to do with the whole family! Found you on WayWow Linky party!
~Laurie

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 29, 2016 - 8:38 am

It is such an easy fun activity to do. Thanks for popping over x

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Jenny Eaves January 27, 2016 - 1:19 pm

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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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 29, 2016 - 8:40 am

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

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Chloe January 24, 2016 - 8:42 pm

You always come up with some really clever and creative ideas. I love this for teaching different trees. We’ll definitely be doing it with Evie when she’s older. What a practical and fun way to teach them how to spot the differences. They’re going to have such a love and appreciation for the outdoors. Thank you for sharing your adventure on #whatevertheweather x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 27, 2016 - 11:39 am

It is a great way to interact with nature, and my kids really enjoy playing and exploring outside. We finally managed to go Geocaching last weekend Chloe, I showed them your post, and we found our 1st cache – in the hollow of a great big old oak tree! So thank you for the inspiration x

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Lauren (The Helpful Hiker) January 23, 2016 - 10:37 pm

Love this idea, shall definitely be trying it. You’ve got some fab ideas for creative nature activities, can’t wait to try them all out. #whatevertheweather

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 24, 2016 - 4:56 pm

Thank you. We love being out and about, and I believe it’s really important to learn about the natural world around us 🙂

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Lucy January 23, 2016 - 9:18 pm

What a great idea. I’m not even sure I can identify 4 species of tree from their shape. Your kids obviously learnt a lot. #whatevertheweather

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 24, 2016 - 5:02 pm

It’s been good fun and the kid’s are enjoying learning about plants and trees, hopefully they will continue – they definitely like learning about edible plants best!

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Alison January 21, 2016 - 11:46 am

What great fun. We used to do brass rubbing as kids but never thought of trying trees

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 22, 2016 - 11:31 pm

Think the kids have tried to do rubbings of just about everything around the house and garden since we did this – they even eyed up the pets at one point, but the pets are canny and know when to make themselves scarce lol

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Rob Taylor January 20, 2016 - 1:20 pm

Such a great activity with kids. Our 4 year old loves doing this too, and we have some cedars on our property that have the perfect bark for interesting designs. Thank you for reminding me of this, as it’s a great plan for this morning!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 20, 2016 - 1:43 pm

Cedar’s are beautiful trees – I would love to have them in our garden, I believe most of them are edible too! Have fun bark rubbing 🙂

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Katy and Luke January 20, 2016 - 12:05 pm

We haven’t done this for ages but it’s such a nice activity- I will have to add it to the list for half term. Thanks x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 20, 2016 - 12:45 pm

It is a really fun, simple activity – hopefully we’ll have a beautiful half term and all get out and about!

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Becky at PinksCharming January 20, 2016 - 10:17 am

This looks like great fun – we have only tried doing rubbings of plaques in churches before but I bet our girls would love this too. A great way to teach them about nature in a hands-on way! Becky x #whatevertheweather

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 20, 2016 - 1:06 pm

It really is a great way to get them to think more about trees. I’m hoping that by doing an activity like this it’ll reinforce what they learned at the same time 🙂

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Lukeosaurus And Me January 19, 2016 - 11:25 pm

Tree rubbing is something I should really try out with Luke. I think he’s at the perfect age to do it now. Ray xx #countrykids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 20, 2016 - 1:22 pm

It’s a lovely activity – the kids have been making impressions of all sorts of weird stuff since we did this!

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Emma January 18, 2016 - 9:50 pm

This is something I keep meaning to do with my girls and keep forgetting. I must remember to do this next time we go on our walk as I think that they would love it and also a lovely way of recording their walk and what they saw. #countrykids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 20, 2016 - 1:53 pm

My kids really enjoy recording and finding things when we are out, its such a good way to capture their interest 🙂

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Coombe Mill January 17, 2016 - 8:21 pm

I keep meaning to do Tree rubbing in one of our activity hour sessions. Such a great way to study trees. I’m pinning your post so I don’t forget! Loving the tree scrapbook idea, I hope you’ll share the follow ups to this post as the seasons develop. A great idea. Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 18, 2016 - 2:37 pm

It’s such a simple activity, but my kids really loved it, they’re really embracing learning more about the natural world, so I’m sure we’ll be sharing more throughout the year. Thanks for pinning Fiona x

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