Teach Kids Tree Leaf Identification
A tree leaf ID project is a great educational outdoor activity for kids to learn science and nature. Hunting for tree types and identifying leaves teaches identification skills they’ll use for life. Start with leaf shapes then add other factors for less common trees.
Leaf Shapes for Identification
Use a tree ID guide, online resource, or app to teach leaf shape classification. Learn the difference between conifers (needles) and broadleaf trees. See how leaves are arranged on twigs. Identify simple (single blade) vs compound (multiple blades on one leafstem) leaves.
More Fun Tree ID Activities
Tree Leaf ID Book
Older kids can make a book identifying 5 new trees per week. Use photos if can’t reach leaves.
Leaf ID Chart
Younger kids can make a poster displaying 9 tree species found locally.
Tree Scavenger Hunt
Make it a contest to see who can ID the most tree species in 4 hours.
Gather This Info for Each Tree:
- Leaf sample
- Sketch of leaf arrangement on twig
- Flower sketch
- Seed sample
- Seed dispersal hypotheses
- Tree location
- Bark description
- Coniferous or deciduous
- Tree name
Follow up on IDs, questions, and praise their work! Print the chart above for their book. This nature study is fun individually or in groups. Share your tree finds with #familyfocusblog!