We absolutely LOVE fall and even though I’d love to do ALL THE CRAFTS, I have to restrain myself and remember to keep it simple. After all, when it comes to kids crafts its more about spending time with one another and learning rather than the outcome of the craft, right? It’s taken me years to learn this! You’ll see my youngest’s “tree” at the bottom there. Not really a tree at all is it? But that’s ok! We had some great cutting practice time and she focused intently on holding her scissors correctly and squeezing them together to make cuts. I was so happy to see her working so hard and enjoying herself at the same time! Simple crafts like this fall tree collage are a fun way for us to talk about the leaves changing colors, practice shape and color recognition, practice cutting and decorate the refrigerator with some fall-themed art!
Crafting a simple shape collage can also be a great way to explore math concepts and learn about the artistic process. You can encourage your child to build basic math skills such as shape recognition and the part-to-whole relationship. Take this opportunity to teach him/her some new vocabulary words such as geometric shape, primary color, texture, or collage for an added lesson!
Before you start the activity, take a walk outside with your child and see if you can find any leaves that are already beginning to change colors. Talk to your child about why some leaves change colors in the fall. Make additional observations about trees. Are they big or small? Are they tall or short? What does its trunk feel like? During your walk you can also discuss the fall season and the changes in weather. Is it hot or cold? What season comes next? What will all the animals do when it becomes winter? Are they busy collecting food to save? Where will they store their food?
One of our favorite things to do on a walk is identify different animals like squirrels, cats and pet dogs. On our last walk we did a scavenger hunt for pumpkins! Many of our neighbors have decorated with pumpkins, mums, cornstalks and many fun Halloween decorations. This gets the kids excited to go trick-or-treating and meet the neighbors whose houses we’ve enjoyed!
How to make a fall tree collage
Use rectangles, squares, and triangles to collage a tree trunk and branches. We mostly cut rectangles because the girls observed that branches are normally long and skinny and the trunk is tall and fat. Next, attach tissue paper in fall colors for that seasonal inspiration. We used pre-cut square shaped tissue for convenience! This activity will not only aid in math skill development, but will also encourage your child to investigate nature, the fall season, and gain knowledge about his environment.
- Construction or scrapbook paper (in browns)
- Safety Scissors
- Tissue paper (in fall colors such as red, yellow, green, brown, and orange)
- Glue sticks
simple steps to make a fall tree collage:
- To begin the project, help your child cut out shapes from the brown construction paper or let them do it all on their own. Like I said, this was a great opportunity for cutting practice! These shapes will become the tree trunk and the branches. We did mostly rectangles.
- Ask your child to glue the brown paper shapes onto a separate sheet of construction paper of a different color. Compare this to putting together a puzzle. Have him place the different shapes in a variety of patterns to create a trunk and branches.
- Help your child create fall leaves from the tissue paper. Ask him to cut or tear small pieces in various geometric shapes from each color. If you don’t buy the pre-cut squares like we did, encourage your child to experiment with the tissue paper and try to make different shapes. They may want to crumple the tissue paper or form it into balls in order to create a more textured leaf.
- Lastly, have your child glue the tissue leaves onto the tree branches however he/she likes. They can even glue some on the ground next to the tree to make piles of fallen leaves.
I think next time, we’ll try this fun fall activity outside for maximum impact! What better way to let your budding artist be inspired than being surrounded by nature? If you head outdoors with this project, ask your child to observe the fall environment, then discuss what shapes he/she may see in the trees. What does the trunk look like? Can he/she find a triangle in a leaf?
Remember to let your child do their very own interpretation of a tree! It’s hard to sit back and watch sometimes, but I’ve really grown in my appreciation for abstract art this way—wink, wink!
additional Fall themed activities
I’d love to hear about your simple fall-inspired crafts, so please share in the comments below! I’d also love for you to check out my fall bucket list post here. These activities are pretty much “traditions” around here. I never hold myself to doing all of these activities every year, but they are certainly our favorites. Another one of my favorite crafts for fall includes making leaf garland. You can see our garland from a few years ago here. Also, here’s a really fun storybook craft that my kids LOVED.
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