Colorful Tree Bark Sketches

(For Ages 5+)


  • White Paper
  • Crayons
  • Trees

Recipe for Fun!

This play idea allows kids to explore their creative side, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the development of trees.

STEP 1: Take play outdoors and visit a park that has a lot of accessible trees.

STEP 2: Take a plain piece of white paper, then press it tightly against the bark of a tree.

STEP 3: Using colored crayons, have a child rub over a section of the tree bark. The natural pattern of the bark will be imprinted on the paper, creating a colorful image.

STEP 4: Choose different parts of the tree to cover with paper and rub over with crayons, like the lower half near the ground, or as high up as they can reach to get a variety of patterns.

STEP 5: Repeat this play idea by visiting the same tree multiple times during the year to provide children with real-time changes over time.

STEP 6: These colorful etchings can be displayed as art or combined as part of a larger collage to display on their bedroom wall. These individual pictures can even be re-purposed into note paper for your child to send to their friends and family while sharing nature with others!

Benefits of Play: Creative, Cognitive, Emotional