Allie loves to cut with scissors. She cuts up everything she can find, but she especially likes to cut craft foam because cutting it is smooth and easy, like a knife through butter.
My last scissor practice post was sort of free form. I helped Allie to cut straight lines and shapes, and she turned them into a fish.
This time, I gave her a little more structure in the finished project but a lot less structure in the cutting. Here's what we did.
Fall Leaves Collage Materials
- Kid scissors (obviously)
- Craft foam in four colors
- Dark-colored marker
Fall Leaves Collage Instructions
1. Draw a basic tree shape on a piece of craft foam. Talk to your wee one about the shape of a tree and where the leaves would be and where the roots would be and what a tree trunk looks like.
2. Ask your wee one what leaves look like. Help her to cut some foam - we choose yellow, orange, and green - into leaf shapes. Or somethings that she thinks looks like leaves. Allie likes to cut straight lines right now, so she cut lots of strips and rectangles and squares.
3. Help your little one put lots of glue on her tree where the leaves would go. When I asked Allie where the leaves should go, she first said at the top, then she said they fell down and put them at the bottom, too. It all works.
When kids make creative decisions, let them go with it.
4. She kept putting glue on her tree and more foam and more glue and more foam until she was happy with her tree.
And then we let it dry.
Beautiful fall leaves collage and lots of cutting practice, too.
Pair it with these 13 preschool books about trees
Here are some of our favorite books about trees for this age:
A Tree is Nice - This is a very simple book about the beauty and wonder of trees, written in a preschooler's language.
A Grand Old Tree - This is another simple book for little ones about the beauty of the tree life cycle. The illustrations are beautiful and the tree is given a persona that your kids will love.
The Busy Tree – This beautiful book encourages children to study everything that’s going on in and around a big tree. There are ants, chipmunks, a spider, a ladybug, and even grubs, and of course respiring leaves, winding roots, and waving branches. I really love this book.
We Planted a Tree - This lovely book is about two families on different sides of the worlds, each planting a sapling that grows into a huge tree. It also talks about Kenya's Green Belt movement which is also covered by the next book.
Wangari's Trees of Peace - This book is all about Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to earn a PhD, who went on to start Kenya's Green Belt movement, for which she later won the Nobel Peace Prize. Also check out the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast and listen to the episode about Wangari. It's 15 minutes of awesomeness that my kids both love.
There are many other picture books about Wangari if you're interested, including Seeds of Change, Mama Miti, and Planting the Trees of Kenya.
A Tree for Emmy - I love this story because it's about a little girl with fierce determination. She loves all trees, but she especially loves a mimosa tree in her grandma's pasture. But when she learns that mimosa trees aren't generally to be had at the nursery, she has to find a different way to get one to plant at her home.
Gus is a Tree - This is a beautifully illustrated book about a little boy who dreams he becomes a tree with beautiful colors and textures. He experiences the world as a tree - raindrops and wind and all. It's a very sensory book, talking about all the ways Gus experiences the world. We like it a lot.
Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems - We are super into poetry because we love poetry teatime, so this book was perfect for us. It is made up of many, many short poems about trees. Even though the poems are simple and short, they are packed with wonderful learning.
The Happiness Tree: Celebrating the Gifts of Trees We Treasure - I love the illustrations in this book. As the title says, it is a celebration of the beauty and usefulness of trees. It personifies the trees and gives them emotions that kids will identify with: peace, generosity, love, and happiness.
The Pine Tree Parable - I really love this book about a Christmas tree farmer's wife and her kindness and generosity. The first time I read it, I actually cried real tears at the end. I think I may have been pregnant at the time, but still, it's got a very poignant ending that you and your kids will love. The story doesn't specifically teach anything about trees, but it is a treasure that features a tree, so I included it here.