This crumpled paper fall tree is a simple art activity that incorporates a sensory element for toddlers and preschoolers that allows for hands-on creating.
I love planning crafts and art activities that focus more on the process instead of the end result.
In my experience, I have found that toddlers and preschoolers thrive on simple setups when it comes to art.
Super Easy Crumpled Paper Fall Tree Art With Spices
Crumpling paper is super simple, even for toddlers! This makes the experience positive for everyone involved!
For this activity, you will need:
- paint (we chose fall colors)
- paper plate
- two pieces of paper (one for ripping and one for drawing the tree trunk on)
- a brown marker
- a glue stick
- a variety of spices from your pantry
I love incorporating sensory elements into our everyday play.
To add to our art experience, we decided to mix spices into our paint and create a “scratch and sniff” autumn tree.
We chose our spices from our kitchen that we like or that smell like fall. We used cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg, and vanilla.
I pre-measured the spices in cupcake liners. My three-year-old loved mixing and stirring the spices into the paint!
Mixing and stirring is also great hand-eye coordination practice!
Build Sensory Language While You Paint
After the paint and spices were mixed, I asked a few questions to stimulate my child’s senses.
“What does this smell remind you of?”
“What is your favorite smell?”
“Does it smell spicy or sweet?”
Once we had the paint mixed, I decided to use crumpled paper in place of paintbrushes for our trees.
I had my three-year-old rip a single piece of paper into three parts.
Ripping paper is an excellent fine motor activity and toddlers love it!
My kids love this cute torn paper tree craft!
I then encouraged him to crumple and squeeze each piece into a small ball. I explained that these would be our paintbrushes.
Once we had our three paper balls, we were ready to paint!
He enjoyed using a dip and sponge method verses paint strokes.
After he had most of the paint on his plate, I encouraged him to use a mix of rhythms in his sponging by calling out “fast or slow.”
He loved the anticipation of what I would call out next!
After his paper plate had dried, I drew a simple tree trunk on a white piece of paper. If you have an older preschooler, they may like to do this themselves.
I glued the paper plate to the tree trunk on the paper to complete our crumpled paper fall tree art.
Once it was hung, he loved going back and forth to his tree, scratching the “leaves” so he could smell them!
How do you incorporate sensory elements into your art?