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 for Toddlers and Preschoolers
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:
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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. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.