Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leaves are falling all around!

I seriously can't believe it is this time of year again... but my backyard is starting to get covered with pine needles and leaves.

This is an easy Fall tree project that I am doing with a little art class tomorrow. I decided to try it out tonight to make sure it was simple enough for my group (ages 2-4). We'll know for sure tomorrow... and I'll post their pictures after class... since I'm sure they will be cuter than mine!

Materials Needed: colored cardstock, tree template (made one using a coloring page I found on Google images... that now I can't find), fall colored paint, paper plate, scissors, glue, paint brush or cut up sponges.


1. Make your tree template and then cut out the tree. Next time I would probably just draw my own (it would be simpler to cut out), but I was having a hard time drawing tonight (as you can see from the terrible hidden yellow tree).

2. Cut out several pieces of paper that could be used as the "ground." Have your child pick what color he/she wants. Also have the child choose a background color of cardstock for the picture.

3. Glue the tree and the "ground" onto the paper. We will talk about the "bottom" and will try and place the ground on the "bottom" of the page when we are doing this project.

4. Put Fall colored paint on a paper plate for each kid (or they can share). You don't need very much. If you have time, show the kids pictures of Fall trees and have them tell you what colors they see. Then talk about the paint colors you have... and how they could mix colors to make any colors that you don't have.

Tomorrow I will have the kids use small pieces of cut up sponges to do their painting (instead of brushes). I couldn't find any sponges tonight though.

5. Cover your tree with Fall colored leaves and then cover the ground with leaves and you can make some leaves actually falling. This is very opened ended because it really doesn't matter where the leaves end up... since they could be blown by the wind to any spot on the paper.

6. Let the paint dry.

7. After the paint is dry, they can add some foam sticker leaves to their papers... if they want... to add some texture/layers.

After this project, we are going to go on a leaf hunt around the house. I am going to hide a bunch of fabric leaves and have the kids go and try and collect them.

Ideas of things to do with the leaves once they are found (we'll see how the attention span is tomorrow):

1) Sort them by color
2) Sort them by size and/or shape
3) Count them
4) Make a little bar graph or pictograph related to any of the characteristics (size, color, etc.)

We may also do some singing... or I may save singing time to do with my son later in the day. Some fun "leaves are falling" songs are printed below:

Leaves, leaves, falling down
Sung to: "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

Leaves, leaves falling down, (wiggle fingers downward)
Falling on the ground.
Red, Yellow, Orange and Brown,
Triangle, Oval and Round.
(With each thumb touching and each forefinger touching, make shapes.)

Leaves are falling
Sung to: "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

Leaves are falling round the town
Watch them fall right on the ground
Autumn's coming, it is true
Then comes winter just for you
Leaves are falling round the town
Falling, falling all around.


These are some of the class examples from today.

The project worked out well and the kids especially loved adding the foam leaves to their trees. I was also impressed with their placement of the trees and ground. Most moms didn't do it for their kids and just showed them my example and let them do it themselves. I loved the diversity of results in this project! The Fall trees were beautiful!

My little guy went to town on the foam leaves once his friends left and he sat down.


  1. i love this project...I do it every year with my three-year-olds class. One way I change it up is to trace their forearms and hands on brown paper, and this becomes the "tree" for them sponge paint the leaves onto. Very cute and personalizes it a bit more.

  2. Kristi- I have seen that before and love that idea!! Definitely makes it more personalized and requires less cutting from me! I'll have to try that with my little guy later this week. He loves it when I trace his arm and hands. Thanks for reminding me of that idea.


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