Saturday, September 7, 2013

Autumn Tree Art

Autumn is finally here at last and that means no more crazy hot heat waves (at least I hope not)! It also means chilly mornings, extra blankets, hot cocoa and apple cider, but most importantly.. the beautiful change the trees are about to have. We live in New England and autumn is my favourite season because I love watching the trees change colour! We have been reading lots of books about autumn since the beginning of September and most of them are about how leaves change colour. Every day we go outside for a walk and look at the trees and I let the kids take turns taking pictures of the trees with my phone. We are looking for signs of change and different coloured leaves. So far we haven't seen any change and most of the change will occur late September-October . The park behind our house is a great place to sit and look at the trees. 

We love arts and crafts, so of course we had to create a craft for the new season! This craft is usually created using balled up tissue paper but Bean wanted to use construction paper so that is what we went with. I love when she decides for herself what kind of art project she wants to do and I always follow her suggestion unless it's impossible. So far that isn't an obstacle we have met and normally we are able to find some sort of compromise. 

To start out making our trees I let the kids pick out a background colour and tree colour. They both picked light blue and  light brown. Then I cut out a simple tree with rounded off branches and the kids counted on their fingers how many branches they wanted their tree to have. Munchkin wanted four and Bean wanted five, but later they switched and worked on each others tree.

Since we had plenty of practice from ripping up paper in our Easy Butterfly Art craft, the kids quickly got to tearing up the paper and crumbling it up. Munchkin was completely on top of this and had so much fun smooshing, squishing, rolling, crumbling, stamping on and balling up these pieces of paper. We used green, yellow, orange and brown paper for the leaves. Red was available, but by the time they got through the first 4 sheets of paper, they just wanted to start gluing!

Their trees look amazing! I am actually surprised at how well the paper leaves stayed in place. I expected that because they are heavier than tissue paper they might fall off more easily. But so far so good and we haven't had to glue any back on!

When I think of autumn, warm apple pies and hot apple cider are some of the first things to come to mind. We go apple picking every autumn and bring home several pounds of apples that are baked into delicious apple pies and made into apple butter (which, if you haven't tried some, you definitely should because it's delicious!!).

For this craft I cut out a simple tree trunk and green leaves. The kids chose which colour they wanted their skies to be and then glued on their tree trunks and leaves. I helped with the trunk by lining it up to the edge of the page. For the leaves I pointed to the top of the trunk and they glued the leaves there.

I then cut out a ton of red circles. Like, at least three dozen, possibly more. I didn't keep them all the same size because not every apple is the same size. As I made them the kids glued them on. Afterwards we dumped out our bag of foam letters, sorted out the autumn colours and found the letters we needed to write "apple tree". Bean loves counting, so we used this craft project as our math activity for the day. We counted the apples on the trees and then compared the sizes of the apples (big, medium and small).

Munchkin's - It was his idea to add the pumpkins. :)

Bean's - she has a dark blue sky because it's night time. You might also notice the small paw print sticker she added to the trunk. We were talking about bark texture and she ran off to find dog stickers.. because dogs bark too. :)

Something that I like to do at least once a year, but normally about 2-3 times, is create some sort of art project that uses their hand and feet outlines. This way we can see how big they are growing! I thought that it would be perfect to use their hands as trees in this craft and it definitely came out great! We had a packet of foam leaves and they picked out their favourites and added them to the base of their hand trees. Munchkin's hand is on the left and Bean's is on the right. Munchkin added the two leaves on Bean's tree. :)

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