Autumn Tree Paint and Scratch Pictures for Early Years

In our video, Susie is inspired by a beautiful red acer bush to create a vibrant red and green painting. Show the children the video to help them develop an awareness of their environment and learn how to look carefully at what they see. Then let them respond to what they have seen by creating their own painting.

Download the accompanying PDF

For this activity you will need:

• Paper
• Paint
• Brushes
• Paint Palette or Paint Pot
• Aprons
• Table covers

(all items are available from our website)

After watching this video, it’d be fun to go for a walk to kick up the fallen leaves, breathe in the earthy autumn air and take in the beautiful autumn colour. Then go back to your setting and create autumn paintings using the techniques of laying down paint and scratching into it to create texture and interest.

Painting – a wonderful way to explore mark making
Like Susie, make sure the children are wearing aprons when painting. Even if you’re using washable paint it’s much easier to avoid getting paint on clothes than it is to soak and wash it out. If a child is reluctant to wear an apron then it’s best to not let them paint. The earlier you can establish that painting needs an apron the better.

Let the children decide which colour paper and paint they want to use. Letting them make these decisions is an important part of the creative process and making the painting their own.

Use a good quality ready mixed washable paint or create a thick mix with powder paint. The ready mixed paints have a wonderful creamy consistency which makes them a joy to brush onto the paper. Don’t be surprised if a child gets totally absorbed in just spreading the paint all over the paper and forgets about making marks.

Susie has used the end of a paint brush to make marks in the paint but you could have an assortment of different tools for the children to experiment with – for example sticks, clay tools, patterned rolling pins or even their fingers.

After the picture is finished the children should wash their hands if they have paint on them. Again this is a good routine to establish early so you don’t end up with paint all over your setting or home.

Have a chat with the child about the painting by talking about the colours used, the marks made and how they made them.

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