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What Kind Of Tree Is That? Enjoy Some Frugal Fun And Learn Something In The Process

Springtime, with all the flora and fauna waking up, is the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the countryside.  Everyone has gotten a little tired of the long winter here, so we are always looking for something to do outdoors once the weather starts to be a bit more welcoming.

Granted, things may still be a little snowy in places, but generally speaking, there is life out there!

The trees are starting to bud in our neck-of-the-woods.  Mind you, they’re just beginning, but once the sun gets a little warmer, those buds will quickly leaf out.  And that is the perfect chance I’m looking for to give our family a little something to do in the great outdoors.

One of the projects I like to do with our kids is to identify trees.  This is a good exercise for younger children who aren’t quite sure yet which tree is which.  There are several ways to make this outdoor adventure an educational experience that’s still lots of fun for all ages.

You’ll want to bring along a digital camera if you have one.  That way, you or an older child can take a picture of the general shape of the tree to use as a reference when you do your homework.  Then, younger children may want to pick a leaf or a cone off the ground to help identify the tree.

Once you’ve had time to walk around, enjoying nature, taking pictures and gathering what you can, it’s time to do your investigation.  Get your tree “clues” together, the leaves, cones, and photos, and you’ll be ready to identify the trees or bushes that you’ve seen during your walk in the country.

There are many interesting picture books for children that can help in the identification, but one resource I’ve found particularly helpful is a website called BackyardNature.net.  What’s nice about this resource is that it covers a wide range of species so you are bound to find your own area’s trees.

This is a great project that gets the whole family outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sunlight, then gets everyone involved again identifying what they found that day.  I know that after a long winter inside with the family, cooking and cleaning, you’ll want to enjoy the first signs of spring in the great outdoors.

I hope you’ll be able to enjoy this frugal little homespun activity with your family soon!

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