With the kids back in school, it's time to direct your attention away from last month's crafts into new ideas for our favorite season--fall! With the smell of pumpkin spice lattes, the feel of soft cable knit sweaters and an array of colors to see in the changing leaves, there is no shortage of inspiration for crafting this season. Here is one of our favorite ideas that kids of any age can enjoy: the fall handprint tree.
We know that not all of you are lucky enough to see the leaves change. However, we do know everyone can appreciate a simple craft that adds a little fall color to any room of your house. We're also confident it will help you feel like you're in the North, even if you're living among the palm trees of Los Angeles! All you will need are sheets of white paper, fast-drying tempera paint, paper towel, a large paintbrush and some wet wipes for cleaning up the mess.
Make sure your child is wearing a short sleeve shirt (or one that can be rolled up). Some young children might need extra help. You can assist them by using a brush to apply brown tempera paint from palm to elbow. Assist your young artists by encouraging them to spread their fingers wide, then help them press their painted hands and arms against the paper.
With the trunk of the tree set up, allow the paint to dry before proceeding to the next step. When you are ready, fold a piece of paper towel, allowing for enough room so that the traditional fall colors--red, orange, and yellow--can comfortably fit on the paper. After dipping a cotton swab into a color, you can dab it on the page around the trunk to create the appearance of a leaf. Adding some dabs at the base of the trunk also allows you to show any newly fallen leaves.
Do you have older kids who might think this project is too easy? Buy other colors of paint and encourage them to draw pumpkins or other spooktacular creations (witches or black cats, to name just a few examples) in the spirit of Halloween. It's also important to give these older children smaller paint brushes because these brushes offer more control than cotton swabs.
After all of the paintings have dried, feel free to stick them on the refrigerator, or even frame them in simple way that matches the size of your white paper. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you can deck out that frame to match the landscape your kids have created.
Feel free to share your other ideas below, or check out Babble's guide that includes 9 other seasonal craft ideas!