At four years old, my girls have just about grasped the concept of months. This has taken some time but by involving them in physically turning the pages of our calendar and discussing the upcoming events, they can now recite the months of the year and know when significant occasions such birthdays and Christmas fall.
I thought now would be a good time to introduce seasons. I’ve already used season language with them and they will have come across the words in books too so I wanted to build on this. Maybe your little one is at a similar stage and would enjoy this activity too.
What You’ll Need:
- Brown paper or envelopes
- Coloured paper,
- Cotton Buds
- Paint Pallets (or just plates for mixing)
Using an A4 brown envelope, trace around each hand and cut these out giving them four hands. These will be your trees.
Glue these onto four pieces of paper. Set these aside and then prepare your paints for the first season.
You can either get the paints set up beforehand or choose the most appropriate colours together. For each season, I offered two or three colours but then encouraged them to make many more shades by adding white.
Here are the base colours we used:
- Blue/White (to mix)
- Green/White (to mix)
- Pink/White (to mix)
- Dark Green
- Primary Green
- White (for mixing)
- Red/Yellow (to mix and make orange)
- Red/Blue/Yellow/Green (to mix and make brown)
Of course you could just give the actual colours rather but getting them to mix encouraged up lots of language. Emily told me she’d made slime and a jungle colour. They also both made their own individual colours so the end result were different.
As the year starts in winter, this seemed a good place to start with this craft. We discussed how some trees lose all their leaves in winter and others stay evergreen. We also talked about what type of weather we get in winter.
To create the spotted effect, we used cotton buds and had a different one for each colour. The palettes we used were perfect for keeping these separate.
After each season, take away the artwork, prepare the next set of paints and then bring out the next blank tree. We spoke about each season in turn. I reminded them of specific activities such as beach trips or conker picking and we thought about the different clothing you wear in different seasons.
My girls love to paint but this was much more than this. Unbeknown to them, they were learning so much and also producing something lovely to display.
Structured Activity Vs Free Painting
I believe it’s important to allow children to freely express their creativity but this activity was more structured than a standard paint session. However, after we’d finished, they were enjoying the mixing so much that I pulled out some plain paper and let them continue.