Talking with preschoolers about trees

Cris has been taking four year old children from her class outside to observe trees. She invited me to go along one day...

Trees with roots and maybe faces by Oliver, Elina and Shayna

Addisyn "There's a little flower in the tree and a Princess was, and the flower was trying to come out."
Vivienne..."We need all these people (the trees?)... there's a face on the tree."
Anna "Addisyn had a idea, about a Princess in the tree. How could you make a Princess for a tree?"

Viv "My idea is a Queen."
Elina "My idea is a wicked girl"
The girls seem to accept that the trees are people, and they continue to talk about which tree is a Princess and which is a Queen and which a Prince.
Zack "When you cut trees down, if you count the stuff that looks like lines, you will find out how old they are.

Anna "Could we ask the tree if it's a girl or a boy? Maybe if we touch it, we can tell."

Zack "If the branches go up, it's a girl. If the branches go down, it's a boy. So it's a boy, maybe. My idea is a boy, maybe."
by Elina
Viv "It feels like a girl to me."
Addisyn "It feels like a beautiful Princess, to me."

Viv "I have an idea! We could use my magic mirror, I have a magic mirror at home, and I can use it- if my Mom says I can use it we can use it. And then, and then, and if I see a face right here, and I can make eyes. Two eyes and one nose and one mouth, maybe he can talk. And I can let it talk."

Addisyn "Trees don't talk. Ants live in this tree cause this is their home."  
Oliver "We can't breathe if the trees are dead. The whole world would die." 
Anna "Oliver, Do you think trees can be a girl or a boy?"
Oliver "No... Anna! Did you know I have these toys at home called Trashies? They're cool toys."I wonder if these toys have an environmental message. 
I ask, "will the  Prince and Princess marry?"
Vivienne "Some boy trees can marry boy trees, but only in New York."


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