The first Arbor Day was celebrated more than 135 years ago, with the simple idea of setting aside a special day for planting trees. The holiday–which gets increasingly ignored–is celebrated on Friday, April 26th, this year. This is your chance to keep Arbor Day going by participating with your child. After all, there aren’t many holidays that you can make so personal. Here are eight ways that have brought us and the kids together over the years…
- Find a list of each state’s official tree at the Apples4theTeacher site. Take a walk with your children and see what kinds of trees are in your neighborhood.
- Purchase books about trees at your favorite bookstore (or rent them from your local library) to assist in identifying those in your yard and neighborhood. Moms can use this opportunity to discuss sustainability and keeping the Earth populated with trees.
- Obtain a sapling or two to plant in your yard, then explain to your children how the young trees will help shade your home–thus reducing cooling costs.
- Visit a local park, go biking on a trail, or take a nature hike and explore the surroundings. Talk about how the trees, plants, bugs, earth, sun and rain work together to sustain the planet. Then come up with ideas on how your family can assist the process. Also, if you’ve read up on trees, give each child an assignment to find and name a tree. Make it even more fun by taking pictures and later printing them to make individual nature journals.
- Attend a class that teaches about tree and plant care. Check your neighborhood home improvement store for free workshops.
- Take on a beautification project in your yard. If you’ve planted a new tree, add stepping stones and flowering plants along with a little bench.
- Establish a home recycling center. Or reestablish them all, but this time with the help of your children. Even taking the time to recycle one category can make a difference.
- Rally your closest neighbors to adopt trees in front of their homes and commit to their upkeep. Check with your association or city for any restrictions.
If you’re looking for more information–or tree-related activities–then visit The Arbor Day Foundation for resources about the big day, including local celebrations, You can also contact the fine folks at PlantaBillion to learn about donating a dollar to plant a tree. It’s a very inexpensive way for each of your children to have a tree of their own–and we all know that trees give back big time!