Resources for Trees & Me: Activity 1 – The Shape of Things

In this activity, children search for the shapes and colors that define both our natural and built environments.

This is one of 12 activities that can be found in PLT’s Trees & Me activity guide for exploring nature with young children. For the complete activity and more like it, purchase Trees & Me at and/or attend a professional development training in your state.

Below are some supporting resources for this activity.


Download the copyright-free student pages that are included with this activity:

Family & Friends (PDF)

Tangram Puzzle (PDF)

Leaf Shapes (PDF)


Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals, while building upon concepts learned in this activity, with the following children’s book recommendations:


Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.


The following tools and resources may be used to enhance the activity.

  • Cut-out Shapes

    Use this labeled shape template for a triangle, circle, oval, diamond, star, rectangle, and square to make shape necklaces or bracelets.

  • Variation on the Art Experience

    Try this variation on the Art experience, Make Binoculars. It uses small plastic bottles instead of cardboard tubes to make sturdy binoculars that reinforce the idea of reuse.

  • Nature’s Alphabet

    Where is A? Where is Z? Under a rock? In a tree? Go outside and see.  Invite children to use this pictorial guide to discover the alphabet in nature.  

  • Find Nearby Trails and Parks

    AllTrails is a free app that helps users discover the outdoors. Use it to find a hiking path suitable for children, to search for local places to bike or fish, or to plan a national park visit.

  • Early Childhood Education

    Are you looking for information on the field of childhood education? All Education Schools offers a clearinghouse of resources to explore professional organizations, licensing and credentials, teaching strategies, research, and more – all related to early childhood.