We have some great activities for you to download to accompany some of our recommended reads! We have included an activity for readers in grades Pre-K to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12. Download them and give them a try at home or visit us at the Ambler Arboretum to complete them as a family. Admission is free and we are open daily from dawn to dusk!

Recycled Planters: The Tin Forest Companion Activity

Grades Pre-K-5


Tin Owls

Let’s get started by reading The Tin Forest, written by Helen Ward, and illustrated by Wayne Anderson. Don’t own the book? Visit your local library or the library at Temple Ambler to check it out!

Before jumping into the activity, take some time to discuss The Tin Forest together. In the story, The Tin Forest, the old man lives in a house surrounded by trash. He dreams that he lives in a house surrounded by a forest filled with plants and animals. He then has an idea to create his own forest out of the trash that surrounds him, making his home a little bit more beautiful. Through this activity, we will use “trash” to make recycled planters that we can then use to hold a plant, creating something beautiful out of discarded materials. Image by Whiting, Sarah, 2020, Craft Invaders.

Design Your Secret Garden: The Secret Garden Companion Activity

Grades 6 to 8


Secret Garden Book Cover

Did you read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and feel inspired to relish the great outdoors? We completely understand!

Through this story, Frances Hodgson Burnett does a beautiful job highlighting the interconnectedness of nature with our own personal wellbeing. Before jumping in, take some time to discuss The Secret Garden with family members or friends who have also read the story.

Through this activity, we hope to inspire you to create your own “secret” garden and gain an appreciation for the bond we can share with the environment.

Tree Species Meet & Greet

Grades 9 to 12


Tree Species Chart

Interested in arboriculture and environmental science? If you haven’t already read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Life in the Treetops by Margaret Lowman, or The Overstory by Richard Powers, we highly recommend you do so! We also recommend you visit the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University to learn more. This activity is a great way to engage in both tree identification and research on a species of interest.

Directions: Grab a bingo board and writing utensil and head to the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University! In this version of bingo, your goal is to identify 4-5 tree or shrub species in a row—whether horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. For a more difficult challenge, try to identify all 24 tree and shrub species listed on the bingo board!

HINT: Not quite a tree ID expert yet? Bring a field guide to help you or use the metal hang tags provided on the trees and shrubs to help you figure out their identities. Plants listed in green are considered shrubs. The rest are trees.