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Maple sugaring at home had never crossed my radar. But December is full of ideas, inspiration, and bustling about. But when it’s all over, sometimes it can feel like all inspiration has been swept up with the tree needles. Having grown up in the Midwest and now living back in the Midwest after a three year adventure in the South, I’m bracing myself for cold again.

I do think that winter is highly underrated. There is SO much beauty to be found in every season, including the cold, darker one. Here’s some winter inspiration today for after the tinsel is cleared away–something to be excited about for this winter…and that is planning a unit study on maple sugaring.

Unit study idea: Maple Sugaring at home

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I received product from Tap My Trees in exchange for an honest review. I was compensated for my time. 

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Winter Unit Study: Maple Sugaring

First, get a great maple sugaring kit.

I received a kit called Tap My Trees to review, and just opening the box got us so excited about this unit study. The kit comes with everything you need to tap your own maple trees.

Unit study idea: Maple Sugaring at home


Unit study idea: Maple Sugaring at home

Each kit includes:

  • aluminum bucket with cover
  • spile and hook
  • drill bit to drill the hole in your tree
  • cheesecloth for filtering
  • and an instructional book
Tap My Trees has an extremely helpful website with all the information you’ll need to tap your trees.
If you’re a homeschooler, you can order the Teacher Kit, where there is a lesson planning packet included that is super helpful in planning your unit study. You may also want to order some extra aluminum buckets as well for collecting more harvest.

Next, search for maple trees in your yard or near your home and get ready for tapping.

Black, Silver, and Sugar Maple trees are the most commonly used for collecting sugar, but you can also tap from Birch or Walnut trees, you just might not have as good of a harvest. You’ll need to identify your trees and find the tree(s) you are going to tap. It’s great to do this when the leaves are still on the tree, but it’s ok to go ahead and identify now. Draw a map of your yard so you can find the tree later when the snow is on the ground.

Unit study idea: Maple Sugaring at home


Unit study idea: Maple Sugaring at home

Use your tree guides to observe the bark and leaves and find the maple trees.

Gather up your kit, your info, and the books you’ll use to get ready for your study.


Finally, tie in history, geography, botany, and more! 

Maple sugaring has been done for hundreds of years. The Europeans learned from the Native Americans how to use the trees for nutrients and food. This is a great way to tie in history to your study.Maple sugaring is mainly done in certain areas of the US. Use blank maps of the US to shade in where the maple sugaring is best and talk about the different climates of the US.Botany is very easy to tie into your study because you are working with trees! Check out some great nature books that talk about maple trees and how it affects the tree.Add in other things like literature, poems, and art projects as well.

Bonus, find some great literature to accompany your study.

Next, I always like to tie in some great fictional reading in addition to the non-fiction books. Here’s a list of some great books on maple sugaring.

Book list about Maple Sugar collecting

Maple Syrup Season LOVE the illustrations in this one. It’s all about the process of making maple syrup and bringing it to your breakfast table to enjoy with pancakes and waffles! Yum!

Maple Moon An adventure story of a Native American boy going through all sorts of trials to help his people by finding a new source on nourishment.

Sophie Mouse and the Maple Festival  Not necessarily a book where your kids will learn a ton about sugaring itself, but it’s all about Sophie the Mouse and her towns annual Maple Festival and all the maple goodies she helps her mother prepare to get ready for the festival. A fun add-on book!

M is for Maple Syrup Literally an A to Z book on sugaring. This is such a great series! These books use wonderful illustrations, poetry, and great information to make the subject stick with children.

Sugar on Snow Each member of the family has their own special job in this story and each one is equally important to the sugaring process.

The Maple Syrup Book This books teaching kids everything there is to know about maple sugaring with a twist of jokes, projects, ideas, and more.

The Sugaring Party Gah! The illustrations in these books are all so good!! This one is no exception. This book is all about an old woman reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” of sugaring parties in the country.

Grandpa’s Sugar Bush A beautifully illustrated book about a boy helping his grandfather in the woods collecting sap from the maples and making maple sugar.

Sugaring Another story about two grandchildren helping their grandfather work in the trees on his farm. Beautiful illustrations in this one too!

Sugar Snow {my personal favorite} I love these short books that are taken straight out of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. This one is about the late snow they have in Wisconsin when Laura is a girl and the maple candies they make from the syrup. I loved this chapter of Little House in the Big Woods!

Try maple sugaring at home!

Finally, I hope this has inspired you get excited about the months after December. Try maple sugaring to get outside and enjoy winter!

Learn more about the great company, Tap my Trees. They have made extra effort to make the beauty of sugaring available to more and more children by making their products available to many nature centers. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas.

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  1. This is such a great post…who knew there were so many books out there on maple sugar?!? I think there are only a few titles I overlapped with your picks! Thanks for letting me link back!!

  2. We have made our own maple syrup with my husbands family in northern wisconsin since my oldest was little.. I think 7 or 8 years now! Its such an amazing and fun thing to do and involve the kids. We have since moved the operation down to our land in central wisconsin and continue to make around 30-40 gallons of syrup every spring. I love that my kids have such great memories and its just apart of their life now. something that most people read about only in books. We love doing it and involving others so they can see how God created this yummy thing for us!

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