Curious Kids : Trees Through Kid’s Eyes
We had the opportunity to visit a private kindergarten, Yayasan Annisa in the Mijen area, Central Java, Indonesia. We’ve heard and learned what kids have to say and what they want to know about trees from their perspectives.
“Our activities are not always to be in the classroom, but a closer introduction to the natural environment will help the process of achieving educational targets. Children have the ability to easily absorb and understand information, in a more fun and engaging way.”, Said Nuning – The Headmaster
Of course, outdoor activity brought up many interesting questions from the kids and they shared some questions that we thought were worth sharing and addressing.
“Why trees are so important?” – Cinta, 6-year-old
A great question! Trees are to earth – and our survival – as lungs are to the human body. They produce oxygen for us to breathe, as well as improve air quality. Many wildlife species also depend on forests for their habitat, since trees provide shelter, food, and protection. Another important quality is that they reduce erosion, which helps keep waterways clean and prevents flooding. In addition, trees remove large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, which is a key component to tackling climate change.
“Who lives in the trees?” –Aisyah, -5-year-old
I think we should find out who lives in the trees, we can take a walk to look at the trees around our school and we collect materials that might tell us something about who is living in and around trees. Maybe we can find ants, maybe bugs and maybe we can find feathers, which means birds are living in the tree.
“Why do leaves fall off trees?” –Rasyid, 6-year-old
Great question! The short answer is that leaves fall off trees when they are not doing their job anymore. A leaf’s job is to turn sunlight into food for the tree. To do this, the leaf needs water. This water comes from the soil, and is sucked up through pipes in the trunk and branches to the leaves – this can be a very long way for tall trees! If there isn’t enough water, the leaf can be damaged and stop working, which becomes a dead leaf. The tree doesn’t want to waste all the good things in the leaf, so it takes the nutrients from the leaf back into the stems and roots. This way, they can be recycled. When the leaf is empty, the tree stops holding onto it and it falls to the ground or blows away in a gust of wind.
“Why do trees grow fruit?” – Hafidz, 6-year-old
Some trees produce flowers and some produce fruit to help with seed dispersal. Animals and birds eat the fruit and then poop out the seeds at another location, thereby dispersing the seeds, and produce trees – which can take a while to grow.
Now, do you ever wonder how kids all over the world draw the same picture: the two mountains, a river, the sun, the birds, and some trees? Do they understand nature and trees?
Well, it has two reasons: first, the one is because they are naturally connected with the environment. They love looking and being in nature and learn from them. They are always curious and excited to know and study about the environment and get more knowledge practically. The second thing is a beautiful nature drawing with all these elements of nature are the easiest topic to draw in a drawing because we are surrounded by it and therefore can draw it naturally.
We want to thank kids from Yayasan Annisa for their amazing questions. It’s always wonderful to hear how people connect with a tree, especially kids because they are our next Gen-Z generation to protect our earth and their future.