Category Archives: Outdoor gardening projects

Bark Rubbing, Moats and Other Half Term Mayhem

It’s half term, so I’ve run away.  Don’t get me wrong – I have taken the children with me (social services might have had words otherwise). However, I am a wimp and I’ve done my usual trick of bolting to my parents when faced with a week of uninterrupted childcare.

There is also the added attraction of a huge garden for Ava and Oscar to run wild in.  This does though include a moat, which is what I call a water feature with serious safety issues, especially given Oscar’s dubious sense of balance.  The result is, whenever the kids decide to go out, I have to don wellies and coat and join them.

After countless games of hide-and-seek – where I have to hide, yet still be able to watch Oscar and large bodies of water – I thought we should try something a little different.  So today, before lunch, we went bark rubbing.

Ava and Oscar bark rubbing

Ava and Oscar bark rubbing

It’s such a simple thing to do – you only need crayons and paper – yet my 5 and 3-year-old were surprisingly taken with the whole exercise.

We also made sure we identified the trees as we went.  As well as noticing the difference in bark – from a relatively smooth beech to the fissures of an oak and the white of a silver birch – I pointed out the variety of bud shapes and the children looked for more clues on the floor such as the walnut shells, acorns and the very distinctive oak leaves.

We are going to paste the rubbings into the children’s garden journals this afternoon, but not before we test their grandpa on his bark identification.

You could also cut the pieces of paper into leaf shapes and make a tree collage from the various bark rubbings or even use them to start your own tree guide.

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