Doesn’t everyone love a little process art mixed with a craft? That’s exactly what this pom pom splat fall tree craft is! It’s a little whimsical and a little messy and a whole bunch of fun. We add this to our fall activities for preschoolers every year.
Plus, find alternate ways to use the free tree template at the end of this post.
Fall Tree Art Activities for Preschoolers
Looking for a fun fall tree craft to add to your fall themes for preschool? Do you spend a whole week on teaching preschoolers about how trees change in autumn? This craft is mixed with a little process art, making it inviting to both preschoolers and toddlers alike.
In this fall process art activity, preschoolers and toddlers get to work their pincer grasp and other fine motor skills while crating vivid fall art.
FAQ About Teaching Preschoolers About Fall
Teaching preschoolers about fall (or autumn) is such a fun time of the year. Share with them that fall is one of the four seasons of the year, and during the fall season we transition from the hot days of summer to cooler fall days. We begin the transition into winter!
In many parts of the world, the leaves on the trees will begin to change color and the temperature begins to grow colder. During the fall, animals will start to prepare themselves for winter.
There are so many fall preschool themes to choose from, and luckily, fall lasts for several weeks, so preschoolers can explore many different activities. Popular themes to teach to preschoolers in the fall include:
~ changing trees
~ colorful leaves
~ corn and mazes
~ life cycles
~ five senses
Like any other theme, your preschoolers will thrive from conscious and intentional lesson planning. Activities should include fall alphabet activities and math lessons, fall science activities, fall sensory and art activities, and even writing and dramatic play.
Check out all my best autumn activities for preschoolers here.
Fall Tree Crafts for Preschoolers
Your preschoolers are going to adore this fall process art! It is probably unlike anything they’ve done before, and you can’t help but love it for the fact that it also works those small muscles in the hands.
You can grab your free tree template at the end of this post, as well as lots os suggestions on how to use the template. Dropping watercolor soaked pom poms is a fun way to create fall tree leaves, that’s certainly not the only thing we can do.
Materials for Fall Tree Craft
Print the template on heavy cardstock, or watercolor paper if your printer will tolerate it. Place the template on a tray, or if you can, using painters tape to tape the paper on the table. This will help prevent warping.
Set out some liquid water color paints and the pom poms and clothespins in corresponding colors. This will help the preschoolers not to mix the paint colors.
Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a printer, you can also just make a bare tree out of construction paper and glue it down. Or, cut strips of construction paper and have your preschoolers make their own trees.
How to Make a Pom Pom Splat Fall Tree Craft
The process is simple here. Just clip a pom pom into a clothes pin, dip it into the liquid water color, and then drop it on the paper and watch it splat!
This might get a little messy, so be sure to have your preschoolers wear smocks, and also use washable paints.
When doing messy art activities with preschoolers, it’s helpful to have some rules in place to minimize some mess. In this case, unnecessary splattering.
Science tells us that the more saturated the pom pom is, and the higher it drops, the bigger the splat will be. So, I directed my preschoolers to hold their pom poms not higher than their nose. They mostly listened.
If that rule is too abstract, then ask them to keep their elbows on the table.
But don’t forget to talk your preschoolers through all this science content! If you offer an art week at your preschool, you could add this technique to your preschool science center.
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?
If the clothes pins are too much for your toddlers, you can eliminate them completely. Just have them use their fingers! I used empty baby food jars to hold the liquid watercolors, but if you put the paint in a shallow bowl, toddlers will easily be able to grab the pom poms with their fingertips.
Yes, that will make your toddlers fingers a little messy, but what are fall process art activities without a little mess?
Since we used watercolor paints, the liquid paint colors began to bleed together, creating beautiful fiery colors that are so iconic of trees in the autumn.
You might be asking what the benefits are of art projects like this one. It’s not 100% process art since there is a “desired” outcome.
I believe there is a place for both in preschool. While the outcome, or purpose of this art activity was to make a fall tree, each preschooler’s tree turned out differently, and I don’t interfere with the process after it has begun.
But the advantages are that this is a wonderful hands-on activity for the fall season, and with the added science, it’s also a formal learning activity. I keep this in mind when planning all my leaf activities for preschool.
Other Ways to Use This Fall Tree Template
I love printables that have more than one use, so let me share with you some other fall leaf activities you can do with this tree template.
- Instead of using pom poms to make splats, try using wine corks dipped in washable tempura paint.
- Use crumped tissue paper to make textured leaves for the tree.
- You can even use real leaves!
- Try using small pieces of bubble wrap to stamp the tree leaves on.
- Or, use sponges.
- How about using an eye dropper to drip the paint onto the tree?
- You can also just use paint brushes!
There are loads of ways to use this printable. And don’t forget you can even turn it into a fall alphabet activity. For example, write the letters of your preschooler’s name all over the template, and then label some colorful dot stickers with the same letters. Have your preschooler match them!
Get Your Fall Tree Craft Template Here!
Think you need a bunch of autumn trees like these to decorate your classroom this fall? Grab your free tree template by filling out the form below.
Then keep reading for more fall themed activities for kids.
- Print tree template on heavy cardstock.
- Use clothespins to pinch color corresponding pom poms.
- Set out liquid watercolor in fall colors.
- Invite your preschooler to dip the pom pom in the liquid watercolor and then drop it onto the tree template, to make a series of fall leaves splats.
This can be messy, so have your preschooler wear a smock and use a food tray to keep the watercolor mess contained.
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I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m 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 a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of 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.