Welcome to Discovery Time, a video series designed for families with young children (2+ years) as a way of introducing kids to nature. Each video has a project and a suggested book list.

Learn about trees and paint with their fruits!

Trees Activity Instructions

Ages: 2-5 years
Time Required: 10-20 minutes


  • Fruits like oranges, grapefruits, or any type of fleshy fruit (be mindful of allergies).
  • Paper or cloth
  • Paint
  • Sponge and/or paint brush

Try This!

Step 1: Gather fruit, paper, and paint.

Step 2: Cut the fruit in half.

Step 3: Using a sponge, or brush add paint to the cut surface.

Step 4: Press your fruit onto the fabric or paper.

Step 5: It’s fun to create with fruit!

What’s Going On?

Trees have strong sturdy trunks that keep them standing, and soft leaves that they use to make food. Many trees produce flowers, that can range in different colors and sizes. Trees also produce seeds, like those found in prickly pinecones. We get many things from trees that we use, like fruit that we can eat. Trees also give us wood, which comes from the strong trunks of trees, and we can use it to build things, like our homes. But of course, trees are most well-known for providing a huge percentage of the oxygen that we breath. They also improve the quality of the air that we breath, they help conserve and preserve water and soils and they support wildlife.

Extension Activity

Explore colors! What happens when you mix different colors? See if you can mix some colors to match the color of the fruit that you are using. You can also explore the prints of different types of fruits! Does the same type of fruits make similar prints? What makes the print of each fruit look different?

Supporting Stories:

  • A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer
  • The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward
  • The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups by Gina Ingoglia

Have Fun, Stay Safe

Adventuring outside with children is more about exploring what you find, not the destination!

  • Have fun and be flexible.
  • Give the kids some control, but keep them close.
  • Bring snacks and plenty of fluids.
  • Dress yourself and your children in layers and wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, pants and a hat to protect your skin from sunburn and insect bites.
  • Pick a short, interesting hike and allow a lot of time.
  • Safety first! Check your surroundings and watch where you step. Be extra cautious around water.
  • Be prepared with first aid.
  • Plan for weather!
  • Teach, sing and play games with your kids.
  • Review with the kids – each hike – what to do if they should become separated from you.

Ethics of Collecting

  • Respect all living things including all plants and animals.
  • Return all living creatures back to where you found them.
  • Collect carefully!
  • Respect others property, watch for posted signs and private property.
  • Take a close look at nature, but best practice is to return natural items where they were found.