I have a thing for trees. I don’t know why, but I. FREAKIN. LOVE. TREES.
One benefit to moving is a sudden abundance of cardboard boxes! After a recent flurry of naptime unpacking, I found myself with a pile of cardboard just begging for a project.
I used cardboard because I had it, but I’ve also done this with large pieces of easel paper. Older kids can help cut out paper trees and branches, but if you’re using cardboard like we did, an adult will have to do the scissor work.
After attaching the branches to the tree trunk with masking tape, we got to the good part… painting! (Yes, the cardboard was already brown, but what fun is that?) You could paint with brushes or fingers. I decided to use sponges this time, to add some texture to the “bark”, and I also offered J a few different browns to give the tree more color depth. This gave us a chance to quickly talk about color mixing (add black to darken brown, white to lighten, and yellow to create a chestnut shade).
So. Much. Fun.
When the paint had dried, we taped the tree to a wall in the playroom. Every tree needs sun, so we did some more painting. Twist my arm.
My boys love books. Be still my heart. We’ve been checking out library books on trees and seasons and talking about how a tree looks in the winter. Ours started with bare branches, but as we moved closer to spring, we needed to add some leaves! The boys painted with greens this time (adding black to green to make it darker, white to make it lighter, and yellow to make a beautiful, fresh green). I pulled out several different types of craft paper, all in the green family, to add more variety to our leaves. After the boys’ paintings dried, I used two different leaf tracers (if I had flipped them over, you would have seen they were made from a cut up Teddy Graham box).
We live in New England, so on the first day of spring (yay) we got 6 inches of snow (boo). Screw that, we added leaves to our tree. We choose spring.
We have big plans for this tree. J envisions bird nests, bird houses, birds, flowers, apples, squirrels, chipmunks, owls… Stay tuned.