One of the first poems I remember my mother teaching me is this stanza from Trees by Joyce Kilmer:
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree....
Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.
The poem is absolutely lovely and has more content than what I posted, but this first bit is the part that has stayed with me all these years. (I found the whole poem here!)
So, how does Earth Day tie in??? Years ago I subscribed to Keep America Beautiful and read an article about artists who knit scarves for trees as a message against spraying grafitti or carving initials into the trees. Since I don't knit, I thought we could temporarily adorn our favorite tree with some vibrant painting.
In our yard we have a great, huge maple. We named it Majesty. We love it, because it seriously shades a large portion of the yard and provides a cool spot for us to play even when the mercury rises.
For this activity, I taped a roll of paper around the tree.
Then I squirted washable paint on a little plastic play table and added a few utensils for painting. The girls mixed and swirled with their hands, then started decorating.
They made handprints on the paper and stuck on heart stickers. They used the cardboard tubes from the paper rolls to stamp circles and we even tried putting stickers on the tube to use as a print roller. The texture from the tree also added to the artistic effect.
Here is the end result. I don't think I have ever seen a poem as lovely as our tree!