10 secrets to identifying trees

Turn kids into tree detectives—and tree protectors—with these fun activities.

Observing and identifying trees is a type of play that benefits kids in multiple ways. For starters, research has found that simply being around trees improves cognitive development and lowers the risk of emotional and behavioral problems. “Because there's more to see of trees visually, you see less of the urban environments,” says Mikael Maes, a researcher at the University College London who did the study.”There's more buffering of the noises that can irritate people in cities.”

(Read more about why city trees are good for kids.)

Plus, identifying trees teaches kids to be observant and—by extension—to care about trees and the broader natural environment, says Timothy Beatley, a sustainable city researcher and author of Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning.

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