Autumn Tree Craft
This week’s post is an easy craft project for the little guys. I did this project last fall with my son and nephew. My son was only in pre-school two days a week last year, and I watch my nephew two days as well, so on the days that both boys were home with me, we would often have to find something quiet to work on while the baby took her morning nap. A light craft project at the dining room table usually worked.
I am not great at planning projects ahead. It’s usually one of those situations where the baby goes down for her nap, the boys are running around and I think “crap, what can I have them do?” I start digging in cabinets, or the craft box, or often my saving grace, Pinterest. This time the absolute basics won out. For me a craft works best when it doesn’t take a lot of prep or special supplies. I need something I can pull out in a pinch to save a crazy day or settle some rowdy kids.
For this project you need:
- Cheapo white plain paper plates
- Craft paint- My favorite is this Crayola 10 pack. We got it for about $5 from Target, and have literally been using it for years (not an affiliate link)
- Round sponge paintbrush/any paintbrush/Q-Tips
- Some brown cardboard.
- Woodgrain paper-totally optional
I started this craft by giving each boy a white paper plate, only green paint, and a little sponge paint brush. I’ve learned that giving them all their paints at one time can often lead to the whole project turning out one blended color. Giving out one color at a time often holds their interest longer, and helps the colors each stand out from each other, double win. After the green, we dabbed on yellow, orange and red to mimic the fall trees outside. This is the perfect opportunity to have them look out the window to see how the trees that were green are now all changing colors for fall, just like the trees that they are making.
For the trunk of the tree, I cut a basic shape out of cardboard, traced it onto some woodgrain wrapping paper that I had, and then glued the wrapping paper to each piece of cardboard. Depending on the age and skill level of the child that you are working with, they may be able to help with this part as well. If you don’t have woodgrain or brown paper, you could have them paint lines and swirls with brown paint on the cardboard for the same effect. Then we just taped the back of their plates to the cardboard and they had their own autumn tree for fall.
This project is so easy and totally adaptable for older or younger kids. These guys were three, but you could easily have a younger child do the same project with finger paints or have an older child add different elements like pieces of colored tissue paper for the leaves, or have them paint branches across the plates before adding the leaves.
I’ve learned that most of the time, kids don’t need something super intricate or complicated to hold their attention. These guys get so excited when they see me start to pull out paints and scissors. It’s so easy to not want to do craft projects with little ones because it’s too much “work,” but if you keep it simple, it can be really fun for them AND you. And then I don’t feel as guilty afterward when I say, “ok, go watch a show till the baby get’s up” ;).
I hope you are all enjoying this amazing fall weather! This week we got together with our Mommy Group. The kids ran around and jumped on a trampoline while the moms sat around a fire pit and gabbed. Sixty degree nights in November? Yes please!!!