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Fall into Autumn – Colorful Tree Collage
My son Alex, three, can not pass a single leaf on the ground – let alone a pile of leaves – without stomping on it. Whenever this happens, our whole family breaks out into a song I learned when I was in kindergarten. “Crunchy, crunchy, hear the noise/ made in leaves by girls and boys. /Oh what fun to walk in leaves/ that have fallen from the trees/ crunchy, crunchy hear the sound/ fallen leaves upon the ground.” This time of year always makes me want to do fall crafts for kids at home and with my preschoolers in the classroom as well.
Autumn is a season that awakens all the senses: the sight of the leaves changing, the smell of fresh rain, the taste of crisp apples and warm cider, and the sound of leaves crunching under our feet. My students love to do kids crafts revolving around the fall season. Sometimes we do a nature walk and collect leaves and twigs for our projects, but we can have just as much fun staying inside on a rainy day. This autumn crafts project is simple but comes out beautiful and unique every time.
I start with a sheet of brown foam for the tree trunk. I trace each child’s hand (fingers spread apart) and arm on a piece of foam, all the way up to his elbow, and then help him cut it out. The arm becomes the trunk and the fingers are the branches of the tree. Each tree gets glued onto a sturdy piece of cardstock or tag. Then out come the baskets of collage materials: tissue paper, sequins (or as my daughter Marni calls them, “sequences”), scraps of fabric and foil in fall colors, and even leftover pieces of leaves and twigs from past nature walks. Some of my students would sit there for hours if I’d let them, picking out just the right scraps and gluing them in just the right places on their trees. These fall craft projects decorate one of my bulletin boards for at least a week or two before being sent home. They are just as beautiful as the changing autumn leaves on the trees outside our classroom window.
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