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Explore and Play: Bark Art

Make bark rubbings on a tree.


  • paper
  • crayons

Key Science Concepts

  • A tree is a very large plant. There are many different types of trees.


  1. Go outside to a place with trees and ask children if anyone knows what the bark of the tree is. Have children point to the bark on different trees and ask them why they think trees have bark. (Protection.)
  2. Tell children they will make bark rubbings. Children choose a tree and place their paper against the bark on the trunk. Then they will rub the crayon over the paper.  

Reflect and Share

Ask children:

  • How would you describe what the bark looked like? How did it feel?
  • Did the rubbing end up looking like the bark? What can you tell about the bark from the rubbing?
  • Does everyone’s bark rubbing look the same? Why or why not?

Ask children to compare the bark to the trees. How are they similar? How are they different? Can you tell which tree this bark comes from? What makes you think so?

Place children’s bark rubbings in the Leaf and Bark Rubbings learning center.