Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Blossom Tree Painting

It finally feels like spring has sprung in New York! It's absolutely gorgeous outside and I'm almost considering hanging my winter coat up for the season. Anyway, the perfect weather came just in time for my Spring Blossom Tree Painting program at our branch library.

This program, which was this past Wednesday, was for ages 3-5. I had a nice size group and started it off with a short storytime. First I read Wake Up, It's Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst; next we all sang 5 Little Ducks with the monkey mitt; and last, I ended with Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand. Both books were new to me and I think they went over really well. They're both super cute and easy pre-school-age-appropriate books about the start of spring. Like I said, perfect timing with the weather!

Then it was crafting time-- and a messy one at that! Good thing I remembered the baby wipes!

I had two different crafts out, one at each half of the table, however they very quickly got mixed up and became one in the same. Here are the the two springy flower paintings that I intended for the kid to make:

Spring Blossom Trees

For this painting, I used brown paint (with regular paint brushes) for the branches of the trees, then made the blossoms by stamping pink paint with the flat side of a piece of cut up okra. Here's a picture of the okra stamping supplies:

Pro tip: Advise the kids to "stamp out" the okra a few times on an empty plate or paper towel so there is only a light coat of paint covering the flat stamping side. This way you see the details of the "flower" better when it's stamped onto the tree.

Finger Paint Flowers

I used pre-cut stems (see below), glue sticks, and finger paint for the craft above.

The kids were supposed to glue the stems on the paper, then finger paint on dots for the flower buds.

Like I said, the two crafts quickly became one in the same. What REALLY happened was that most of the kids made several paintings by using the green stems (from craft #2) then stamping around them with the okra (from craft #1) and in all the different colors including the finger paints (again, from craft #2). Results below:

No big deal though. It was a big ol' mess of crafty fun. Maybe my idea was too lofty.

What worked least: I can't help but think that if I'd separated the two craft tables, we probably would have wound up with the two clearly distinctive crafts seen above. But maybe that's not necessarily better? Maybe the freedom to just make whatever kind of spring blossom was more appealing to the kids (and parents) anyway. Who knows!

What worked best: I was pleased with the books! As I said earlier this was the first time I tried both of these stories and I think they were hits!

Welcome spring! And Happy Earth Day!

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