Celebrate the changing of the seasons by creating a huge tree made from paper. Craft the trunk from brown butcher paper or craft paper. Then, add different seasonal elements each month to demonstrate how trees change with the passing of each season. This is an entertaining and educational project to do with children. They can work with you to create the colorful leaves, flowers, fruits, animals and insects that decorate the tree throughout the year.
Make the Tree Trunk
Things You'll Need
- Roll of brown craft paper or butcher paper, 36-inch or 48-inch
- Roll of double-sided tape, mounting tape or poster tape, 1-inch or 2-inch
- Measuring tape
Butcher paper or craft paper are preferable for this project since they come in large rolls and easily provide enough paper to create the tree trunk.
Determine the height of the tree trunk you want to make and multiply this measurement by 2. Cut a length of brown craft paper or butcher paper to this measurement. For example, if you want your tree trunk to be 4 feet tall, cut an 8-foot length of brown paper.
Lay the paper flat on the floor. Add texture and depth to the paper by scrunching it. Starting at one end, grab sections of the paper and squeeze it in your hands to crumple and wrinkle the paper. Continue along the entire length of the paper until you have achieved the texture you desire.
Allow children to help with this process. Remind them to be gentle so as not to tear the paper.
Measure the length and width of paper after crumpling it. Adding the wrinkles will have reduced the size, but it still may need to be trimmed to your desired height and width. Trim the paper to the desired height and width if necessary.
Exercise caution when using scissors and other sharp objects around children. Only allow children to use scissors with adult supervision.
Turn the paper over so that the back side, the side you will adhere to the wall, is facing up. Cut a 2-inch length of double-sided tape. Adhere the tape to the bottom right corner of the tree trunk according to the manufacturer's instructions. Cut another 2-inch length of tape and apply it 2 inches above the first. Continue along the entire right side of the trunk. Repeat on the left side of the trunk.
Once all of the tape has been applied to the back of the tree trunk, lift it up and put it in place on the wall. Press firmly on the edges to adhere the tape to the wall.
Some brands of double-sided tape have liners on one or both sides of the tape to protect the adhesive. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for removing liners if necessary.
Cut lengths of paper for branches. The branches should be thinner than the tree trunk, so cut the strips of paper in varying lengths and widths.
Crumple the strips of paper for the branches in the same manner as you did the trunk.
Apply double-sided tape to the back of the branches.
Adhere the branches to the wall. Point them in an upward direction. Put the thicker branches closest to the trunk. Add thinner branches and twigs to the thicker branches at various angles, but always pointing upwards.
Add Seasonal Decorative Elements
Things You'll Need
- Construction paper in various colors
- Tissue paper in various colors
- Paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils
- Craft glue
- Double-sided tape
Trees change throughout the year, so add different decorative elements to the tree each month to signify the changing of the seasons.
- In the fall, cut leaf shapes from red, yellow, orange and brown construction paper, or paint leaves in these fall colors.
- Paint paper plates red, green or yellow to make apples and add brown stems and green leaves made from construction paper.
- Create pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, black cats and scarecrows from construction paper to sit at the base of the tree.
- In winter, the trees are bare, but you can cut out snowflakes from white paper to decorate the branches.
- Make snowmen with paper plates or cotton balls and place them near the tree.
- Add winter birds made from paper or ribbons, such as cardinals, to sit on the branches.
- In spring, make tissue paper flowers in spring colors such as yellow, pink, white and purple and place them all over the branches.
- Add springtime wild life with construction paper butterflies and paper birds nests with eggs.
- In summer, finger paint green leaves to cover the tree, and add busy bees and birds made from paper.