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Super Simple Hands-On Autumn Tree for Preschoolers (older kids love it too!!)

Updated: October 2021

Are you missing the pretty autumn colors? Or maybe you live in a place where the leaves don't really change this time of year... Here is a simple, hands-on (and arms-on!) Autumn Tree that you can make with your child!

We could not find any trees with colorful leaves in our neighborhood and a trip to North Florida was not in the schedule for us, so we made our own. You can, too!

Materials Needed:

plain art paper or butcher paper (thicker than copy paper would be best)

tempera paints in a variety of fall colors

plate to put the leaf colors on

foam brush

paper towels (some damp, some dry)

I learned from this experience that projects do not always turn out the way that I had planned. As I was putting down the camera, she added a second hand print to her paper...that page then became our practice page! So have fun with it no matter how it turns out!

Let's Do This!

First, put some brown paint in a small bowl and with the sponge brush paint your child's hand. Give age appropriate instructions to spread fingers, put hand down and wait for you to push down gently on the fingers (and only do one hand print on the page...unless you want a forest!).

Next, paint a stripe down your child's arm and make your tree's trunk. We used quite a few paper towels during this portion of the project!

As we talked about what color the leaves should be, I put a blob of that color paint on her plate. I couldn't convince her that green was not a fall color, so our autumn tree has some green leaves on it!

Then have your child dip her fingers in the paint and make a beautiful fall tree. My daughter like to put one finger in each color then put them on the paper. Feel free to mix and blend the colors and have fun making a beautiful fall tree!

Talk About It!

During this activity, we talked about the parts of the tree (trunk, branches, leaves), we worked on the plural form of leaf (leaves), following directions, colors and action words (dip, tap your fingers, no! don't smear them!, paint, wipe and clean up). I am sure that in the years to come when I pull this painting from the fall decorations box and I will smile and love seeing how small her hand was and her sweet little finger prints!


We have hung this up every year at our house! We love it (well, I love it more than she does... but even she admits, "I was a pretty good artist when I was 3!").

I urge you to make something with your child that will develop her language skills now and be a lasting memory for both of you!

Happy Painting!


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