“When Dad Cuts Down the Chestnut Tree”  Written by Pam Ayres and Illustrated by Graham Percy.

This is one of my favourite stories to read to children when the opportunity arises to introduce the concept of man’s impact on the natural environment.  It takes the issue of balancing the conflicting demands of man’s needs against conservation concerns into the familiar setting of a family garden.  The circumstances are familiar to children, therefore, they are able to more readily identify with the issues raised.


When Dad cuts down the chestnut tree,

He’ll make such things for you and me…

A rocking horse to ride all day,

A forte where all my soldiers stay.

A little barrow painted blue,

A faithful duck on wheels for you.

Stilts to make us very tall,

Coloured bricks to build a wall.

When the tree is on the ground,

All my friends will come around.

On the trunk we’ll jump and climb,

We will have a lovely time!

No more tearing jacket sleeves,

No more sweeping up the leaves.

And when I’m tucked into my bed,

Kisses kissed and goodnights said,

The tree won’t scare me anymore,

When the night wind makes it roar.

If there wasn’t any tree,

What difference would it make to me?

No tree-house-that’s the worst of all-

To hide in when we hear mum call.

No cool places in the shade,

When we have run and jumped and played.

No leaves to kick and throw about,

And roll each other in and shout.

No sticks to find on chilly days,

To make our winter fires blaze.


And there is another thing-

What will happen to our swing?

Where will Owl and Squirrel stay,

If the tree is hauled away?

If the tree is really gone,

What can I hang my nest-box on?

Suddenly we’re not so sure,

We want it cut down anymore.

Trees are special large or small,

So Dad- Don’t cut it down at all!

For chlidren to gain an appreciation and love of the natural environment they need to be given frequent and ample opportunities to engage with nature in a multitude of ways. You have to love something to develop the emotional attachment necessary to want to protect it.  I encourage everyone to try some of these tree activities with the children within your care:

Climb a tree!

 Hug a tree!

Complete bark rubbings!

Collect leaves, berries, seed pods and nuts!

Use your collections in some mudpie cooking!

 Lay beneath a tree and look up through it’s branches!

Search for shapes and forms!

Tell stories!

Place a blanket and books under a tree to bathe in the shade as you read!

Set up cubbies by drapping flowing material over the branches!

Hang chimes from the branches!

Hang pots and pans to create a music tree!

The list could go on and is only limited by your imagination!

 Now don’t go away because there are even more Earth Day books along with super great ideas being shared by these bloggers today! Stop by and bookmark or even go ahead and pin them all!

Teach Preschool : Child Central Station : Living Montessori Now : Aunt Annie’s Childcare : The SEEDS Network : Flights of Whimsy : Pre-K Pages : Kreative Resources : I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! : Share & Remember : Music Sparks : little illuminations : Greening Sam and Avery : Putti Prapancha : Early Play : 52 Days to Explore : Little Running Teacher : Look at My Happy Rainbow : Rainbows within Reach

 You can find ‘When Dad Cuts Down the Chestnut Tree’ on Amazon here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. What a FABULOUS book! I must get a copy. I love your ideas, too! Now that it’s so pretty, we’re planning to have storytime under our little tree in the shade. It looks like you have a great tree for climbing there! 🙂


Tag Cloud