Bark and Paint Swatch Trees: kids can explore nature’s colours and textures while creating beautiful Fall art.
At this time of year, the hooligans and I are still spending most of our hours outdoors, playing in the yard and neighbourhood and observing the changes of the season. We’re also doing lots of Autumn crafting. Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to explore, the colours AND the texture of the trees that are starting to take on the shades of Autumn with these bark and paint swatch trees. This is just one of several really neat fall tree crafts that you’ll find among the pages of my blog.
We set out on walk, looking for bark. I talked to the hooligans about how important bark is to the health of a tree, protecting it from bugs and disease, and that we shouldn’t peel bark from a live tree. We do however have some play logs in our yard which we were able to remove some bark from, and we found lots of it in my neighbour’s wood pile. We also found a few pieces in some bark mulch in another neighbour’s garden.
Back home with our treasures, we set out about making our trees.
To make our bark and paint swatch trees, you’ll need:
- paint chip samples, in an array of Fall colours, cut into small “leaves”
- glue gun
- sturdy white cardboard as a canvas (you could paint the inside of a panel from a cereal box)
I set out a few “pots” of glue for the hooligans to dip their paintbrushes into. While learning to squeeze a glue bottle is an essential skill for preschoolers, I find the paintbrush method easier and less frustrating when crafting with toddlers. Fast-food ketchup cups are perfect for holding the glue.
The glue didn’t do a great job of holding the bark, so we resorted to a glue gun for that part. Low-heat glue guns are safe to use with and around children, but if you’re using a high heat gun, please use caution.
Once they had their bark glued in place where they wanted it, they used their brushes and glue to decorate their “trees” with leaves.
All it needs now is a twig frame to give it a finished look!
Looking for more Fall Art projects to do with your hooligans? We have lots! Check out:
Apple Stamping with Real Leaves
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
This is really stellar Jackie! I love the mix of materials!
Thank you, Ana, it was fun working with the bark. That was a first for us. 🙂
I love this project! Thank you for sharing at our Pinning for Play link party!
My pleasure, Lauren! Thanks for hosting. 🙂
Such a cool idea. Will definitely remember this for when my daughter is older.
Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy
Another great idea for using paint swatches!
This is a terrific fall project! Thanks for sharing it with Afterschool!
Dani @ lifeovereasy
Great way to use paint chips. And the artwork is really beautiful, too!
This is a nifty way to explore arts and crafts through the nature all around us. Thank you for sharing and for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop 🙂
Anna@The Measured Mom
Your photos are gorgeous and your activities always look so fun! This is one blessed group of preschoolers and parents! Thanks for sharing this at After School.
Oh Jackie, can I move in with you and join your nursery? You always do such wonderful activities.
Popping over from The Outdoor Play Party.
Sure!! Just be sure to bring The Boy with you. 🙂
This is adorable! I featured it this week on Mom’s Library!
Thank you, Ashley! I’ll be sure to get over there and check out all the other goodies that were shared last week!
Hannah @ Making Boys Men
Beautiful as always, you do such great art with your kids. Thanks for stopping by the Outdoor Play Party, I’m off to pin