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Easy Preschool Fall Tree Art Project

Fall has arrived in Michigan! The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are changing color. Peak color in our area has recently passed, but I am clinging to every beautiful moment of this season. Right now is the perfect time to be out for a walk because there is still plenty of color on the trees to enjoy, but many leaves have already fallen and they make the most delightfully crunchy sound with every step we take. I’m not the only person in the Gavin house that is embracing fall – my daughter Dessa is entranced by the colorful leaves. She collects them on our daily walks, treads repeatedly through beds of fallen leaves on the sidewalk, and especially loves to “splash” in the leaves as she throws them in the air. I decided to channel all that leafy enthusiasm with a super-fun, quick and easy tissue paper preschool craft. This simple fall art project is virtually mess-free and only uses a few basic art supplies, which is always a win in our house. Ready to get started?

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog. 

Materials Needed

Before you begin, you will want to collect a few basic supplies to get started. Here is everything you need. (Don’t you just love a good project with a short supply list?)

white cardstock (white paper will work, too)
brown and green Do-A-Dot Markers
glue stick
red, yellow, and orange tissue paper

This just might be the world’s easiest art project to prep for a preschooler. The only work I did in advance was cut the tissue paper into approximately 1″ squares. The actual sizes of each piece varied because I did it in a hurry, but my quick handiwork got the job done. If you want to be extra efficient, you can always purchase a set of pre-cut tissue paper squares on Amazon. (They’re great for making seasonal window decorations – click here to see some of my favorite window crafts.)

Making the Tree

Once I was ready to start crafting with my little one, I used the brown dot marker to draw two curved lines as the tree trunk. That’s the only work I did to help Dessa create this project. Everything else was all her, which is one more reason to love this craft!

I handed Dessa the dot marker and told her to paint the tree trunk brown. She started by drawing her own lines at the top and bottom of the trunk to enclose the trunk, then began to fill it with brown dots.

Dessa loves using dot markers and uses them almost every day in our house. I think the ability to quickly and efficiently fill a space gives her a boost in confidence and I’ll take a dot marker picture any day over a picture scribbled in with traditional markers because the lines are so thick, bold, and bright.

Once the tree trunk was filled in, it was time to add a little grass to our scene! Dessa used the green dot marker to put some grass at the bottom of the picture. A little bit of green ink got onto our coffee table, but it wiped right off without leaving a stain.

You’ll also notice a few tissue paper leaves that have already been added to our tree. Dessa got really excited and wanted to add some leaves before she painted the green grass. I’ll fill you in on that step in a minute, but it’s easier to explain the project in a more logical order rather than skip back and forth between steps.

After the tree trunk and green grass were painted, it was time to add some fall leaves! Dessa used the glue stick to apply a little bit of glue onto individual pieces of tissue paper, then added them around her tree trunk.

It didn’t take long before she had created a beautiful fall tree with falling tissue paper leaves.

This was such a great preschool art project for so many reasons. The simplicity and minimal prep made it a great activity for this busy Mamma, but it also provided a little fine motor practice and an opportunity to work with glue for my three-year-old.

Even better, this is a Dessa-created piece of artwork that I’m so excited to display in our home.

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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