Get out the Craft Kit it’s Make a Gift Day

Are you buzzing around trying to find the perfect gifts for family and friends? Well, today we are getting crafty with some things collected from the backyard, and even learning a bit about plants too! Surely friends of Arbordale will love leafy bookmarks and floral candle holders. These crafts are simple to do as a family or for a classroom pair the craft with a lesson on soil (world soil day in on December 5th), trees, or flowers.

Here’s how we made our gifts today:

What we collected!

Outside we found some red and yellow leaves, pine needles, holly, and some palm fronds.

From the craft store we bought some ribbon, a glass candle holder, glue, laminating sheets, and also Mod Podge.

Making the bookmark is a very simple project for younger kids. We placed one laminating sheet sticky side up on the table, then placed leaves randomly. Then we placed the other laminating sheet on top securing the leaves in the middle and pressing them flat. Finally, we used a hole punch to put a small hole in the top and tied two strands of ribbon through the hole to complete the bookmark.

Next, we made a small candle holder with the holly and pine needles. We tied together the holly and the pine with a small bow and glued that on the front of the glass. You can also glue the leaves individually and use the Mod Podge to seal the leaves on the glass and match your bookmark.

Have fun crafting today and if you tried either of these crafts, show us by tagging us on social media!

Here are some books that pair well with these crafts:

After collecting leaves and flowers, talk about the different parts of the plant and what they need to survive. Each “For Creative Minds”section has wonderful lessons on plant needs. Daisylocks is a fun read to learn why some climates and soils are not just right for a flower. And, learn more about the many different varieties of trees, why some lose their leaves, and why others keep theirs all year long.

Check these titles out on arbordalepublishing.com!

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Let’s Compare and Contrast!

In 2014 Polar Bears and Penguins debuted; this first book in the Compare and Contrast Book series has been named to the NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books of 2015. This year we release three new books in this series and two have just hit bookshelves, Clouds and Trees take a look at often overlooked topics in nature.

Each book in this series uses simple text to lure the youngest readers into loving all that they can learn from non-fiction. Paired with the facts and activities in the back of the book kids will learn about the impacts that clouds have on the water cycle and how roots are important to make trees stand tall.

If you have had fun comparing through these books, now you are ready to compare and contrast anything! Let’s start by using what you have learned about clouds and trees with the activity sheet below. Fill out traits of each that are the same and ones that make these objects different.

Compare&Contrast

Click here for the full size Compare&Contrast worksheet.

Watch for the next Compare and Contrast Book available this fall Amphibians & Reptiles!

AmphbnReptile_187What makes a frog an amphibian but a snake a reptile? Both classes may lay eggs, but they have different skin coverings and breathe in different ways. Pages of fun facts will help kids identify each animal in the class like a pro after reading the fourth book in Arbordale’s Compare and Contrast series. Similar to Polar Bears and Penguins, Clouds and Trees; Amphibians and Reptiles uses stunning photographs and simple non-fiction text to get kids thinking about the similarities and differences between these two animal classes.

Balloons are Just One of the Gifts From Trees

BalloonTrees_128

Balloon Trees, the new title from Sylvan Dell, written by Danna Smith and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein, reveals that the rubber that makes up balloons, balls, tires, shoes and many more things actually comes from trees! What other surprising things do you think trees give us?

The house you live in may be made from wood from trees; that’s obvious, but did you know that that house is filled with gifts from trees also? Do you like that your parents are less grumpy in the morning when they have their coffee? You can thank the coffee arabica tree for that, a 20 foot evergreen that grows in warm climates of the world. A cup of hot cocoa has made a long journey from cocoa trees along the equator to reach your kitchen. Maple syrup, cinnamon, fruits, nuts, and many more delicious items also come from trees.

Ever wonder how jelly candies get so goopy and great? Check the ingredients and you’ll find “gum arabic” in the list. Gum arabic is hardened sap from an acacia tree, and it’s used in foods like desserts to lend its goopy texture to them. It is also a key ingredient in glues, paints, and many other products that manufacturers want to make ‘slimy,’ ‘goopy,’ or ‘jelly.’

“Cellulose” is part of the ‘skin’ of trees, and when manufactured it can become “Rayon” clothing to make our own skin warmer. Cellulose is even an ingredient in foods and beauty products, lending its texture to them to make them ‘thicker’ or ‘heavier.’ When fat is removed from some “diet” or “fat-free” products, cellulose is often added to try and make the food ‘feel’ the same in a person’s mouth as before.

Trees also give us many kinds of medicine, such as aspirin, and even the first medicine for fighting malaria, “quinine.” If you’ve read our book, The Most Dangerous, you know how harmful the mosquito-spread disease malaria can be. Without the discovery of quinine from Peruvian trees, malaria would have harmed that many more people, and maybe even changed world history! Soldiers in WWII that fought in the Pacific jungles took quinine everyday, and it helped the building of the Panama Canal, and the Dutch and English to build their historical empires!

Of course, this is only the beginning of the gifts that trees give us. Say “thank you” back, by planting a tree, or at least reading a Sylvan Dell book under the shade of one!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Balloon Trees by Danna Smith

Balloon Trees

by Danna Smith

Giveaway ends May 10, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

A Tree Grows for Bear to Climb

The Tree That Bear Climbed

By Marianne Berkes

Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz

In any given city on any given day, a bear climbs a tree. Have you ever wondered how that tree became so strong, or why did that bear choose to climb to the top of a tree? Marianne Berkes and Kathleen Rietz show you just why Bear decided to climb this tree! Have Fun with the coloring page at the bottom, click on the image for a full page to color.

Everyone knows about the house that Jack built, but this is The Tree That Bear Climbed. What makes this tree so fascinating to bear? Starting with the roots that anchor the tree, this chain of events story in cumulative verse explores many different things that help a tree stand tall. It also lends itself to further discussion with fun repetition and detailed picture clues, stimulating a child’s curiosity. Why does the bear climb the tree and what happens when he arrives at his goal?

About the author and illustrator

Award-winning author Marianne Berkes (pronounced Ber-kess with two syllables) is a retired teacher and librarian who turned her love of nature and teaching into writing informational picture books. In addition to The Tree That Bear Climbed and Animalogy for Sylvan Dell, some of Marianne’s other recent and award-winning titles include: Going Home, The Mystery of Animal Migration; Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef; Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme; Going Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun, and Marsh Morning. Visit her website at www.MarianneBerkes.com.

A lifelong artist and lover of nature, Kathleen Rietz was drawing and painting before she learned to write her name. Originally, from Peoria, IL, Kathleen received her formal training from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. In addition, to illustrating Desert Baths, The Tree That Bear Climbed, Prairie Storms, and Champ’s Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! for Sylvan Dell, Kathleen’s other books include Conce Tu Parque, Little Black Ant on Park Street, The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids, and Prayers for Children. She taught art to children and adults at the Community School of the Arts at historic Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, and through a local home school program in her community. For more information about Kathleen, visit her website: http://www.kathleenrietz.com/.

Comment on this post to win a FREE The Tree That Bear Climbed eBook.