• Paige Desjardins

Tree Bud Identification for Young Children


The changing of the seasons shows itself in many ways in our natural world. One that sticks out particularly to children are trees. They see the leaves change and fall in the autumn, bare and empty in the winter, new buds form in the spring, and lush green leaves in the summer.


As early spring approaches (ever so slowly for some), children will have the opportunity to observe an exciting phenomenon: new growth. Flowers, shrubs, trees, and bushes patiently wait out the cold winter conditions for warmer weather to come take over and allow the growing season to begin. One way we notice this is when plants form buds. Buds can form on flowers and shrubs, but for this particular learning experience we want to focus a little more closely on tree buds.


Some kid friendly facts about tree buds to ignite curiosities:

  • A bud acts as a safe home for baby leaves to safely wait out the winter

  • Buds protect the baby leaves and branches from rain, snow, ice, and cold weather

  • When the weather warms, the buds burst open and the baby leaves and branches get to grow

  • Some buds are hard like the maple tree buds

  • Some buds are soft and fuzzy like the pussy willow buds

  • Some buds are pointy like the red oak tree and beech tree buds

The most effective way to teach children about science and biology is to give them hands on learning experiences. And what better hands on experience is there than going outside into the great outdoors to see new life take reign over the earth?

We have created an easy to use preschool/kindergarten friendly tree bud identification checklist. We hope this learning tool helps you to facilitate meaningful connections about the changing of the seasons and new plant growth with your young children. (PDF Download below)


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