Follow:

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.

 

Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a bark 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.

 

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 bark 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.

 

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 bark 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 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 bark 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.

 

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.

Tree bark varies wildly between species of trees, and taking a bark 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.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

26 Comments

  • 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!
    ~Laurie
    Laurie recently posted…Building a Strip Canoe (Update #1)My Profile

    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
    Jenny Eaves recently posted…No Cartridges Required Epson PrinterMy Profile

    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
  • Reply Chloe

    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
    Chloe recently posted…#MYSUNDAYPHOTOMy Profile

    January 24, 2016 at 8:42 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      January 27, 2016 at 11:39 am
  • Reply Lauren (The Helpful Hiker)

    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
    Lauren (The Helpful Hiker) recently posted…Unearthing Local TreasuresMy Profile

    January 23, 2016 at 10:37 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      January 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    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

    January 23, 2016 at 9:18 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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!

      January 24, 2016 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Alison

    What great fun. We used to do brass rubbing as kids but never thought of trying trees
    Alison recently posted…Pork chops with apple and maple syrupMy Profile

    January 21, 2016 at 11:46 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      January 22, 2016 at 11:31 pm
  • Reply Rob Taylor

    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!
    Rob Taylor recently posted…St Simons Island: an ideal family escapeMy Profile

    January 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      January 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply Katy and Luke

    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
    Katy and Luke recently posted…Snow Day SundayMy Profile

    January 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      January 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm
  • Reply Becky at PinksCharming

    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
    Becky at PinksCharming recently posted…National Trust’s Upton House and Gardens in WarwickshireMy Profile

    January 20, 2016 at 10:17 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      January 20, 2016 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Lukeosaurus And Me

    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

    January 19, 2016 at 11:25 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      January 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Emma

    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

    January 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      January 20, 2016 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply Coombe Mill

    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

    January 17, 2016 at 8:21 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      January 18, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge