Have I mentioned yet that I really love Lois Ehlert’s books? Her collage-style illustrations are just so simplistically and realistically appealing. Particularly for fall, they really capture the vibrancy and texture of the season! In Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, Lois Ehlert spotlights one of my favorite trees, Maple, as it is selected and planted while a seedling, then as it grows through every season, highlighting the narrator’s favorite season for the tree, fall! This book is great as a science focus, as well as for an art focus!
Afterward, have the children create their own colorful fall trees. First smock up! Once each child has a piece of paper on an art tray to work with, have each one take a brush, and with brown paint make the trunk and branches of their trees. Talk about the difference between the straight lines of the trunk and the curving, climbing, intertwining branches at the top.
Once everyone is done with the brown, bring in red, orange, and yellow finger paints – one at a time – and have the children dip their fingers into the paint and onto the paper to create small, falling leaves! (I usually use washable tempera paint for fingerpaint, and pour it into leftover plastic lids. The ridges help to keep the paint from spilling over. Painting is a great creative as well as fine motor experience for children. Adding fingerpaint also makes it a sensory experience. Here are some child samples:
(All of these samples show a two-stroke tree trunk, but a single stroke would do the job as well!)
Enjoy Red Leaf Yellow Leaf with your little ones!
For more favorite fall activities, click here!
Nikki Brewer says
thanks for the activity idea..i hadn’t done this in a long time….
You’re more than welcome!
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf is one of my favorites! This is one of the few activities I repeat every year. I’ve used hand prints at the top of the trunk for branches in the past, which is cute, but now I prefer to see the kids’ own interpretation of trees. The trees from your class are too cute!
Hand print branches – what a great idea! Perhaps the hand prints would be best for quite young children, while older children could take more time talking about the twisting branches and how they could interpret that onto paper with brushes and lines. Thanks for sharing your ideas!