Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2 Fall Tree Activities Inspired by Monet {September BabbaBox Activities}

This post is sponsored by BabbaCo by Jessica Kim!

We are very excited to continue our partnership with BabbaCo this Fall to share a fun series with you where we will feature simple book-related crafts and activities created exclusively to go along with the children's book included in each monthly BabbaBox. These activities will either utilize materials you probably already have around your house or items that came with your box.

The September BabbaBox that arrived last week was focused on an Awesome Artists theme. Our box included the book The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt along with several activities focused on creating and exploring inspired by famous artists.

We are still making our way through our box since it is packed full with great activities. 

Activities in this month's box included...

The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt is a story about a girl named Julie who sneaks into a mysterious garden and ends up meeting the great artist, Claude Monet. Together they explore his garden, which includes many of the beautiful scenes from his paintings.

One of the Monet paintings shown in the book that we were not familiar with was one from the Poplar series. The painted trees beautifully portray the Fall along the river near Monet's home. Since we've been loving all things Fall, we decided to create our own Fall Poplar series. We found a cool new way to create a paintbrush at Painted Paper in the Art Room using a foam sheet, so we did our own version of that first and then started painting! Then we did some activities to review colors and numbers using Fall M&Ms.

1. Fall Poplar Painting with a Foam Brush 

Materials Needed: foam sheet, tape, scissors, large drawing paper, brown cardstock, crayon, and a variety of Fall colored paint colors.

  1. Make slits on the edges of a foam sheet. You can do this on one side or both.
  2. Roll up the foam sheet and then tape it around the middle to keep it in place.
  3. Draw poplar tree trunks on cardstock.
  4. Cut the trunks out. This is a great scissor skills activity to work on cutting straight lines. 
  5. Glue the tree trunk strips onto large drawing paper.
  6. Dip the brush into the paint.
  7. Dab brush onto the paper to create the poplar trees.
  8. Dip and dab again and again.
  9. Let masterpieces dry!

2. M&M Fall Poplar Tree Activities {and free printables}

Materials Needed: Fall M&M mix, Poplar Tree printables, pretzel rods, dice, and a marker.

Here are the links to the Poplar Tree Printables:
M&M Poplar Tree- blank
M&M Poplar Tree- blank without label
M&M Poplar Tree- color

We love simple activities using M&Ms. If you prefer not to use treats, you can also do this activity with Fall colored pom poms. We did four different versions of this activity.

  • Use the Fall M&Ms and pretzel rods along with a blank template and create your own poplar trees! This was my toddler's favorite because she could create her tree to look however she wanted.
  • Use the color poplar tree template along with pretzel rods and M&Ms and try and put the correct M&M on the corresponding color. We talked about a variety of different colors during this activity.
  • Create a key using numbers and M&Ms. Randomly write different numbers in the blank circles and see if your child can follow the key to create their poplar trees.
  • Using a blank template, one die, and the key that you created, choose a circle "leaf" on the poplar tree and roll the die. Read the number on the die and put the corresponding M&M that matches the number on the chosen 'leaf." Keep rolling until all "leaves" are filled with M&Ms. Eat and play again!

Have you done any Fall tree crafts or activities yet?

Do you like buying Fall M&Ms?

What other painting tools could we have used to make our poplar trees?

Do you have a favorite Monet painting? What is it?

If you love crafts and activities related to Awesome Artists, make sure to check out Red Ted Art's Kid's Get Arty pinterest board and blog series. Bloggers explore new artists and share artist inspired masterpieces.  

I also LOVE this post that shares 15 Fantastic Fine Art Projects for Kids from No Time for Flashcards. There are so many great artists to learn from... and choosing which one to start with is hard!

Do you want to sign up for your own BabbaBox? You can get 20% off your membership order by entering this special code for Toddler Approved readers: TA20OFF 

Want to know more about the BabbaBox? Check out my product review here: BabbaBox: A Cool Learning Tool for Kids!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of BabbaCo. BabbaCo will be compensating me for my monthly book-related craft and activity posts. All posts reflect my personal opinion and endorsement and are not swayed by compensation and/or free products. Please note that this post reflects my opinion and preferences and you might not share that same opinion.


  1. Oooh your trees are beautiful! I love them! I will have another arty linky in Novembe too, then everyone will hopefully see your lovely post too!

  2. Those trees are lovely! What a fun activity box! Wish they shipped here.

  3. I can't tell you how much I love the idea of activity boxes! I'm going to click on your links to find out more about them. Thanks for participating in the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

  4. Monet is one of my favorite artists! I love these ideas for recreating one of his paintings. All I kept thinking on seeing those M&M's was that my kids would be gobbling up those candies faster than gluing them!

    Thank you for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop. So glad you dropped by and I'm now following you via email, Twitter, and all the other ways! :) Would love for you to pop by and visit us as well. Cheers!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Renee!! Heading over to check out your site now :)

      With regards to the M&Ms, there is no glue involved! We just create with the M&Ms and pretzels, make them into a masterpiece, and then eat them! Since the kids know they get to eat some afterwards it isn't too hard to get them to do the activity first. We like M&Ms far too much to ruin them with glue! ;)

    2. Hahahaha... of course - omigosh, you wouldn't want to waste those! I can never find the pretzel rods anywhere? Where did you get those? I was at Michaels with the kids the other day and they said they had them, but I was afraid to run back into the store to get them. Surely, that would have ended up with me spending even more money there! lol

    3. I got this container of pretzel rods at CVS pharmacy, but they have them at Safeway in bags and at Target in a big container. Have fun!

  5. What wonderful crafts! And such a great way to bring the book and this wonderful art to life. Thanks for linking up to the Kid Lit Blog Hop!


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