Tree Activities for Kids


Homemade Maple Syrup
Tap your own homemade maple syrup.
Tap your own homemade maple syrup.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Homemade maple syrup is a delicious treat straight from nature. Tap a maple tree and make your own for a very special family breakfast.

What You'll Need:

  • Maple tree
  • Drill with 1/2-inch bit
  • Small tube or pipe
  • Bucket
  • Hammer and nail
  • Pot
  • Aluminum foil
  • Butter
  • Candy thermometer

How to Make Homemade Maple Syrup:Step 1: On an early spring day, go out searching for maple trees. If the tree you find is on private property, ask for permission to tap one. Step 2: Drill a hole two inches deep into the south-facing side of the tree. Drill the hole so that it slants upward into the tree slightly.Step 3: Push a piece of tubing or pipe into the hole. Hammer a nail into the tree just above the hole. Hang a bucket on the nail to catch the sap that will drip from the tubing. Step 4: Cover the bucket with aluminum foil. (This should keep out any dust and dirt.) Keep in mind, it may take a few hours or longer to gather a gallon of sap.Step 5: When you have about a gallon of sap, remove the tubing and nail from the tree. Take the sap home and put it in a very large pot. Step 6: Bring the sap to a boil. Much of it must be evaporated to make the syrup. Add a pat of butter to keep the sap from boiling over. Step 7: Use a candy thermometer to check the sap's temperature. When it reaches 219 degrees Fahrenheit, it's done. Strain the syrup, let it cool, and serve!

Keep reading to learn how your kids can make spring arrive early with forced winter blooms.

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