Pop some popcorn, shake it in some paint, and you’ve got yourself some colourful “leaves” for this adorable Popcorn Fall Tree Craft. This is a fun and easy fall craft for toddlers and preschoolers and great for both large-motor and fine-motor skills.
Popcorn Fall Tree Craft
If your kids have never coloured a batch of popcorn to use for crafting before, you have to make these popcorn fall trees. You can make our Popcorn Christmas Trees when Christmas rolls around too!
It’s a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn about fall colours and they’ll have a hoot colouring the popcorn.
Colouring popcorn this way is easy and really fun for little kids. All you need is some tempera paint powder and popcorn. Just shake together in a baggie, and voila… coloured popcorn!
Although we’ve used our coloured popcorn today to make fall trees, you could switch up the paint colours to make popcorn cherry blossom trees and apple trees too.
Ok! Let me show you how we made our popcorn trees so you can get down to making some of your own with your kids!
Popcorn Fall Tree Supplies:
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- microwave popcorn (the buttered kind)
- powdered tempera paint (red, yellow, orange)
- large ziplock bags
- glue gun
- canvas (card stock or white cardboard)
- small bowls
Colouring the Popcorn
To start, we popped a bag of microwave popcorn. You need to use buttered popcorn so the tempera paint powder will stick. We made our popcorn at snack time so we ate quite a lot of it, but we set aside a few handfuls for our craft. Three handfuls to be exact, because we were using 3 different colours of paint: red, orange and yellow.
We divided our popcorn between 3 large ziplock bags and we added a generous spoonful of powdered paint to each bag. Then we went outside to do our shaking.
Note: Leave a good amount of air in the bag so there’s lots of room for the popcorn to freely move around and mix with the paint powder.
The kids had a blast with this step. They jumped, they bounced, they shrieked and squealed and they shook their popcorn like crazy until it was completely covered in the tempera powder.
As the paint powder soaks into the buttery popcorn, the popcorn becomes very vibrant.
While the kids were busy shaking, I used a hot glue gun to glue some small twigs to pieces of white cardboard.
When the kids had their popcorn completely coloured, we poured it out into some bowls and got to work.
The kids glued their coloured popcorn pieces all around the little branches of their twigs, and before long, their twigs looked exactly like little trees covered in fall coloured leaves.
The Best Way to Glue Popcorn to Paper
Initially we were dabbing glue onto our cardboard with Q-tips because the kids quite like gluing that way.
Unfortunately, popcorn is quite lumpy and didn’t stick so well to the small puddles of glue the kids were making.
Then we tried squeezing the glue out of the bottle directly on to the cardboard and that worked better, but the method that worked best was to dip the popcorn in a small bowl of glue and press it to the cardboard.
Learning through trial and error like this is a great experience in itself for the kids.
Instead of getting frustrated that their popcorn wouldn’t stick, they learned that we sometimes just need to put on our thinking caps and come up with another way of doing things.
Aren’t these popcorn trees beautiful? What a terrific little craft for fall.
More Fall Tree Crafts for Kids:
Sandpaper, cork and Tinfoil Apple Trees
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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.
Laura Pehrson Williams
This is so cute! I love the idea. I grew up in a church that sang a gun popcorn song in the spring. i think this would be fun to do and sing that song. I pinned and I have to share on facebook too!
Glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing on Pinterest and Facebook!
I love this idea and am with you on the pinterest. 🙂
Super fun idea! My class would love this!
Great Idea! Fun and Simple! Creative Playing! Have Some Fun Today!
This is a really neat idea. The trees look so pretty!
I’m so glad you liked them, Cindy. Thanks so much for passing them along to your followers!
That’s a clever idea. The popcorn makes it fun on so many levels.
Thanks, Deb! It WAS fun! Eating it, and then shaking it all up, and then crafting with it. Who knew popcorn could be so entertaining? 🙂
I love how you used popcorn–it’s one of my kids favorites!! Thanks for sharing–I pinned it!
Great idea! We are going to have to try this! Thanks for sharing!
I found your post through Preschool Powol Packets Facebook share.
I’m going to try this in my classroom. Great idea!
Great idea! Would this work for two year olds? Choking hazard?
It would depend on the child, Francie. You know your children/students best. If you don’t trust that they won’t put the popcorn in their mouth, I wouldn’t do this craft. Not so much because of the choking risk, but because the popcorn is coated in tempera paint.
Could you use food color instead of paint to make it safer for a toddler?
I’m not sure what kind of coverage you’d get with liquid food colouring, but you could try. You could also try with spices – cinnamon, turmeric etc.