Doesn’t everyone love a little process art mixed with a craft? That’s exactly what this pom pom splat fall tree craft is! My toddler, just turned two, loved it, as well as my preschooler and my kindergartener.
A few weeks ago, my parents moved. It was time for them to downsize, seeing that they no longer needed a five bedroom house for the two of them. My husband and seven-year-old spent a Saturday morning helping load boxes onto a trailer while I stayed home with our younger three.
Now, typically on a Saturday I’d just let the younger three entertain themselves while I try to get some extra housework done, but not that Saturday. I’d thought of this fall craft in the middle of the summer and I had patiently been awaiting any sign of fall to justify doing it. And this Saturday…well, we saw that a single leaf had turned yellow on our neighbor’s maple tree. It was time!
Process Art and Craft in One
This is not purely a process art activity. It certainly has its elements, but since I had an overall purpose for the process, I can’t say it is just process art. It is both, but all three of my younger kids loved it!
Materials for Fall Tree Craft
- liquid watercolor
- watercolor paper or heavy cardstock
- 1/2 inch pom poms
- clothes pin
- brown construction paper
- glue stick
I started by cutting out our tree shape from the brown construction paper. Since my youngest two are too little to have scissor skills beyond short snips, I completely cut out their trees. For my daughter, who is five, I cut out the branches and left the trunk for her to cut out herself. (She asked me to help out that way since she still gets frustrated by lots of curves and small turns when cutting).
Alternatively, you could also cut the brown construction paper into strips and the children can build their own tree and branches.
Glue the tree onto the watercolor paper.
Pour a small amount of liquid watercolor into a paint pallet or small, sturdy container. (I actually love to use small glass baby food jars for liquid watercolor. It’s crazy easy to clean up and you seriously don’t have to worry about kids spilling their paint).
Set out a clothes pin and a 1/2 pom pom for each child.
How to Make a Pom Pom Splat Fall Tree Craft
This is where the process art comes into play. I invited my kids to use the clothes pin to grab the pom poms. (Yup, an excellent fine motor activity!) They gently dipped their pom poms into the jar of liquid watercolor, making the pom poms saturated and dripping with paint, which in this case in not a bad thing.
Then, I directed my kids to hold their pom pom in the air above their paper and squeeze the clothes pin to drop it onto the paper!
We discovered that the higher we held the pom poms, the bigger the splatter would be. (This sounds like a great art and science experiment!) My preschooler doesn’t love huge messes, so he held his pom pom closer to his paper.
We also discovered that if we did use a bigger pom pom…well…what is your hypothesis?
We used three different colors of liquid watercolor, red, orange, and yellow since those were the colors that reminded us most of fall. As we splattered the pom poms onto our papers, we aslo noticed that due to the nature of liquid watercolor the colors bled together, mixing into the most wonderful hues.
Alternatively, to make the splats even more noticeable, you could let each color dry before continuing to the next. Allowing the paint to dry between colors would have created a “hard edge” around each splatter shape, which may give them an even greater illusion of leaves on a tree.
The best part about our colorful fall tree craft is that it is suitable for even young toddlers. My son, pictured above, wasn’t even yet two when we did this project. While he didn’t have the coordination to pick up his pom pom with this clothes pin, he certainly knew how to squeeze the handle to make the pom pom drop, which delighted him to no end!
One Last Note
I do have to warn you, this is a slightly messy activity. Messy as in I was washing walls when we were finished. After all, our goal was to make the paint go “splat” so with that kind of action, of course there would be some mess. But, since I only use washable paint in my house, it was no bother to give the walls and table a wipedown once we were finished.
Looking for Other Fall Activities for Preschoolers?
Then you may be interested in some of these popular posts:
Have You Seen My Autumn Activity Pack?
Looking for something educational to keep the kiddies busy learning for the coming harvest season? This Autumn Activity Pack includes six super fun activities and multiple variations of each! It’s perfect for any fall or autumn theme in preschool.
Take a closer look!
Some of Our Favorite Preschool Art Essentials
Join our community!
I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction