Monday, August 18, 2008

Unplugged Challenge - Tree

Unplugged Challenge - Tree

The weekly challenge was tree. We thought about doing a family tree and labeling all the relatives in Spanish. As I was searching the internet for ways to create my own design my husband mentioned identifying the trees on our property. Tim has really gotten into trees since we have such a great yard to explore. You might remember his planting some "Americana" earlier this year. For Father's day we found this great little pocket book to identify trees - Trees of New York Field Guide by Stan Tekiela.
This book is compact and each page features one tree in beautiful full color. The opposite page details all sorts of information about that particular tree. We decided to use this book as inspiration and created a deck of tree identification cards. You can use the deck to play a variety of games.

First - I went online to search for tree leaf photos for the trees we have in our yard. I stumbled across the Tree Identification Guide at the Arbor Day Foundations website. There is an amazing list of nicely illustrated leaves there (click on view all trees under Eastern or Western in the left hand column) - sorted by geographical location.

I laid out the pictures that best applied to us and mocked them up in Illustrator and added the trees common and Latin names. 

After they were printed LittleA and I cut them out, mounted them to card stock and laminated each one with contact paper. You could also laminate information about the tree to the back side if you wanted to use the cards more like a field guide (and then maybe mount them on an o-ring).

Here are the three games we played with the cards:

Backyard Identification - 
We went through the yard and matched the tree to the card.

Leaf Matching -

As we went around the yard we collected a leaf from each tree we identified - most had dropped leaves to the ground - se we didn't even need to pick any. Then LittleA matched each leaf to its coordinating card.
Memory or as LittleA calls is "Rememory" -
We play this just the same as memory...lay all the cards out face down and then take turns trying to make a match. The nice part is you can use as many or as few matches as you would like - depending on time or childs age. *Note for this game you would need to make two sets of the cards.

 When we were done we stored each set of cards in its own re purposed brochure holder.
Then placed them onto the nature shelf in the dining room.

 Check out what other clever families have done for the challenge TREE.

And don't forget that there is still time to sign up and participate in the Football Food Face-off.
Here is my game plan...
  • Choose a food to prepare based on the competition. It can be a popular food from the teams hometown (buffalo wings), or a snack that coordinates with team colors (red, white, and blue chips salsa), or perhaps even a tasty dessert that makes sense based on a member of the competing team (peters peters pumpkin pie eaters) yeah, being creative is the plan.
  • Eat said we devour the food hopefully the Bills will in turn devour the competition. Hey, pass the salsa - just doing my part here! you want to join me?  Click over to the original post and leave me a comment to say you are in!  and I will work on the specifics (posting info, group photo pool, maybe a guideline or two, perhaps a super-bowl cook off, and maybe even a prize here and there).



Dayna said...


Jess said...

oh, i love these ideas! - i'd really like a copy of the .pdf. so many good suggestions to save for future reference. (i also really need to post our attempt at the tree challenge asap)...

Michie said...

Wow, what an impressive project! I like your little nature table too!

Dayna said...

Jess the .pdf is on its way to you!

Michie -
Thanks for stopping by - and for the kind comments!