Friday, 9 August 2013

Honouring The Life of a Tree With Kids

The Spark:  Trees exist all around us.  They can be found in our backyards, parks, along city sidewalks, woodlots, and anywhere.  We live our lives around them.  They give us so much from filtering particles from the air, providing shade, providing food and shelter for animals and insects, filtering underground water, preventing soil erosion and stabilizing soil, beautifying landscapes, and providing an atmosphere of peace and relaxation.  But do we ever really notice them?  Do we ask ourselves what they need on a day to day basis to survive and thrive?  Noticing trees and honouring their presence in our lives is a life changing experience.  Let's start off this quest with a very easy activity...  Let's go for a walk!

Are you interested in going for a simple walk in and around your neighbourhood to notice trees and start an awesome quest to honour the life of a tree?  Calling all Super Natural Superheroes to ACTIVATE!  Get on your hiking shoes, gather your friends and family (and a camera, if you have one).  LET'S GO ON A TREE QUEST!

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To notice trees in our surroundings, to find their "spirit," to adopt a tree to find out what trees need to survive and thrive, to honour the life of a tree, to keep the life of the tree going, to notice what trees give us and how we depend on them for our everyday life.
What:  Go on a hike, take "tree spirit" photos, adopt a small tree, mark the end of a life cycle for a tree, renew it's life by creating something, look for items made from trees, use your newly made item.
Where: In a nearby patch of nature, park, or just your own backyard (anywhere you see trees.)
When: As soon as you can get yourself organized.
Who:  You, your family, friends, school, camp (adults must be involved with this quest)
How:  Find out below.  It's a S.N.CH., or is it?

Take Action:

1.  Play this game: Go on a nature hike to find tree spirits:
Put on your hiking shoes and take your camera along with you.  As you hike, look around and really notice the trees.  Try and find "tree spirits."  Take a photo of them when you find them.  Tree spirits are faces or shapes on trees.  Take a look below at some of our "tree spirit" snap shots.

Look carefully!  Can you spot a face with a big (branch) nose on this tree?

Look carefully!  Can you spot a side view face on this tree?

You don't have to look carefully for this one.  This tree has a smiley face!

By now you should be an expert at spotting tree spirit faces!

2:  Find a tree that has fallen:  Every tree has a life cycle, just like you and me and every other living thing.  Honour the life of that tree by using it's fallen trunk and branches to create something that will live on with you.  This way, you will remember that tree for many years to come.  Check this out: Every Tree Has a Life Cycle

3.  Adopt a tree or plant a new tree to honour the fallen tree:  Plant a tree or adopt a small tree in your local park or neighbourhood.  By doing a little research, find out what that tree needs in order to survive and thrive. Do whatever you can to enhance the life of that tree.

4.  Get an adult to help you cut the branches and trunk into pieces:

What you will need:
an axe
a sawhorse
a hand saw
a witling knife
some sand paper

5.  Keep the spirit of the tree alive as you honour it's life and all the things that trees give us:

Create some beautiful garden stepping stones from the tree's trunk.

Create wooden spoons, trays, tables.

Create wood cookies for a medallion necklace or a wooden mallet.

Don't Stop Here:  
Keep on researching and finding out more about how the life of a tree can be honoured.  Find out more about what trees need to survive and thrive.  Notice trees all around you.  If you have a hunch about something just drop us an email and we'll give your hunch a whirl and get right back to you.

Quest Check:
Follow our blog and keep checking back with us to see if your interests match our quests.

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