Imagine the following scenario: One mom, who is not very creative in the art department, is listening to her very artistically inclined preschooler beg to do “more school.”
Said mom knows that at some point she’ll need to break down and do a craft with the three year old. She ponders what she can do that’s quick, easy, and somehow related to fall?
And then the idea hits. A fall tree picture. A fall tree picture made with popcorn, to give it that oh-so-textured crumpled leaf look! Perfect!
As you’ve guessed, I’m the not so crafty mom, and Boo is the super creative preschooler. And yesterday we made an autumn leaf craft with colored popcorn. The best part? It was a lot of fun! The second best part? We ate the popcorn we didn’t use!
Falling Leaves Tree Craft
You probably have all the materials you need for this craft already at home.
- White Cardstock
- Brown Construction Paper
- Green Construction Paper
- Red and Yellow Food Coloring
- Ziplock Bags
Trace your child’s hand and arm on brown construction paper. Cut it out and glue it on the white cardstock. This is your tree trunk. Cut a strip of green construction paper to make grass and glue that onto the cardstock, too.
Pop your popcorn. The amount you pop will be determined by how many trees you are going to make and on whether you want to snack on popcorn. We started with a half a cup of kernels, and that popped enough for our craft and a good sized popcorn snack for me and all the kids!
Grab a ziplock bag and pour a tablespoon of water into it. Add five drops of red or yellow food coloring (or three drops each of red and yellow to make orange). Add a couple of handfuls of popcorn and shake vigorously.
The colored popcorn will be too wet to work with at first, so lay it out on a paper towel to dry. If you’re impatient like me, you can spread it on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven at 200 degrees until it dries out. Fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, and teach your 10 year old a grammar lesson. Then come back to check the popcorn, which should be fairly dry.
Pour some glue into a small dish and let your preschooler paint a thick layer of glue on the branches. If the glue isn’t thick, the popcorn won’t stick. (Cool rhyme, eh?)
Gently press different colors of popcorn onto the glue and let dry.
Here’s what the end result looks like!
After your tree dries, you may find some of the popcorn falls off when you lift the painting. Just like real autumn leaves!
This post is part of the Ultimate Homeschool Linkup at Homeschool Village.