Counselor and three kids posing covered in mud

Craft Time: Tasty Trees

Tasty Trees

A lot of people don’t realize that here at Cave of the Mounds we have wonderful nature trails. One is called “Oak Valley Loop” that takes you through a savanna woodland forested habitat where birds and small mammals abound. The trail loops down into the valley and twice across Chert Creek, an intermittent stream that carries water from the top of the East Mound toward the Pecatonica River to the south. It is beautiful to walk through the winding paths with sounds of faint water running in the distance. In this activity, we will make a dough forest. Before we begin, close your eyes, think about a forest you have visited. What did you see? Did you see different plants? What did they look like? Was there enough sunlight? Was there water?

You will need: 2 cups of peanut butter, 2 cups of corn syrup, 2-4 cups of powdered milk, Plastic bowls, Spoons, Pieces pf wax paper, 2-4 1/4 measuring cups, soap and water.

  1. To create a forest, you need three basic items, soil, water, and sunlight for the trees to grow.
  2. Measure out 1/4 cup of peanut butter which represents soil, 1/4 cup of corn syrup which represents water. The measurement is 1/4-1/2 cup of powdered milk which represents sunlight. Mix ingredients with a spoon in a plastic bowl.
  3. Roll this dough into a ball. That ball is like a seed. All seeds need water, sunlight, and soil to grow. Since our seed is a mixture of all of these ingredients it can grow into a plant.
  4. Take the dough and shape it into a forest plant and then place it on the wax paper.
  5. Once complete EAT THE DOUGH!