Summer to Autumn Tree

As I drive up and down my hill I’ve been noticing how stunning the ornamental cherry trees are looking at the moment. Their drooping fingers of leaves are turning to stunning oranges and reds. They’re absolutely beautiful and the inspiration for last week’s activity.

The idea was to take the green leaves and dab them with red, yellow and bronze paint to turn them into autumn leaves. The children would dab round the edges of the leaves on a sheet of sugar paper creating a picture with the outline of the leaves. Two creations in one – hurray!

The Tree

Making a tree has stumped me for a while. I made one a few years ago with cardboard rolls and modroc but it was a bit weird. However, the ornamental cherries around here are shaped like umbrellas and that got me thinking …

I found a broken umbrella, took off the canopy and wound pipe cleaners around the spokes. This was to help keep the broken spokes in place and to stop the leaves falling off once they were hooked on. I placed the umbrella handle in a bottle tube and packed round it with newspaper. I wrapped ribbons round the tube to give the trunk a silky smooth finish like cherry bark. Voila! One tree.

In a classroom you don’t have to have a 3D tree. You can have a tree on your display board and stick your leaves onto that.

The leaves were cut out of A4 green card. You can get four leaves out of one sheet of card. A hole was punched into the top of the leaf and a pipe cleaner used for the stalk.

The Activity

What a hit – with both children and adults. The mums and grans loved the concept. The children loved the dabbing and decorating.

One little girl made three leaves and three pictures. She couldn’t get enough of the dab, dab, dab.

One little boy, who hasn’t ventured to the art table in a few weeks, saw the leaves and was instantly there, putting his apron on, ready to get stuck in.

Another little girl made a series of leaves and you can see how she changes her approach with each leaf – the final one having a very deliberate design of five dots sprinkled with glitter.

All the children that took part in the activity enjoyed it and came to collect their leaves and pictures at home time.

This is a lovely project to do as autumn comes to an end and before the glitz and glamour of Christmas. See you next week with a project based on light and candles.

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