Trees and bark
Those twigs your child likes to bring home can be great conversation starters and the foundation for many an art project. Of the 192 species of trees in Seattle, 28 are native; the most common are red alder, big leaf maple and beaked hazelnut. Can you pick those out?
Here’s a guide with more information on the most common varieties of trees. Bark is perfect for pencil rubbings. Let your scientist discuss the differences she sees among the different varieties.
Now, go off and search out your own treasures. (Seattle residents can find more adventures in Maria Dolan's excellent "Nature In the City: Seattle".)
Editor's note: This article was first published in 2014 and updated for 2017.