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Arbor Day Arts & Crafts
What is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is the time for planting new trees in yards, parks, neighborhoods, and communities. National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, but the date of each state's Arbor day can vary depending on the growing season. Arbor day is also a time to appreciate trees both for their beauty and their usefulness. Talk with the children about how trees provide us with shade, food, and firewood as well as wood for making such things as paper, houses and furniture.
Every Day is Earth Day by Kathy Ross
The Official Earth Day Guide to Planet Repair
Arbor Day - Holiday Histories
Arts and Crafts
Trace around hand and arm to make a tree and trunk. Color. Or, for a neat effect, color a piece of paper with colors so it is completely filled like a sunset, then trace around hand and arm on black construction paper. Cut, and paste onto sunset.
Mini Forest Making
Gather up fallen branches from outside. Let children place in square flower holders (I don't remember the name, but florists use them in baskets to put flower arrangements into) to make a forest. Add details such as animals, small nests, etc.
If you have the bark of a wild tree, the children love to see the shape the ringworms made on it. Then they can draw a tree and make similar shapes.
The kids can gather fresh leaves and bark, press them, and let them glue them on paper in the shape of a tree. Then cover with clear contact paper, and they have their own pressed leaf tree.
The Tree Life Cycle
Show the kids how the leaves/buds of the tree look in the four seasons by making a poster. For younger kids, have trees made, and let them color the leaves green, yellow, or make buds, and leave one blank as it is in winter (some kids will color snow on it.) For older kids, they can simply draw the tree in context, associating it with the season.
Supplies: one small sponge for each child
Construction paper or art paper
It works best to talk about how trees look, with pictures of trees, first. Then, show the children how they can use the sponges as a paint brush, either by stroking the sponge on the paper, or dabbing it onto the paper, which leaves the texture kind of like leaves on a tree. They can then create tree pictures. I've done this with fall colors, evergreen trees with snow, etc.
Paint child's forearm and hand brown and print on paper. This forms the basic tree trunk and branches. After brown paint is dry, let child add leaves and/or flowers either by tearing green paper into pieces and gluing them on, using fingertips in green paint to add leaves to tree, sponge painting leaves on tree, gluing on old puzzle pieces for leaves, etc.
Paint hand with brown paint, and stamp on paper. Then dip fingers in paint and make apple blossoms (white and pink paint), Cherry's (red) or fall colors.
The children can make bark rubbings during a walk or bring leaves back with them and do leaf rubbings in the classroom.
Torn Paper Tree
The students can tear up pieces of green and brown construction paper. The torn effect is wonderful for creating trees. The students can work together to create a giant class tree made out of the torn up paper. Draw an outline of a tree on a large paper and have the students glue the torn paper all over it.
2 Paper Grocery Bags
Get 2 large paper grocery bags for each child. Cut a large oval out of the bottom of one. Slide it into the other bag, open end first, so that the oval is on top. The oval will be the monster's mouth. Decorate the top of the bag with construction paper eyes, mouth, hair, whatever. Poke a small hole on the top center, about 2" from the edge, and another on the back, about 3" from the top. Run a pipe cleaner thru the two holes and twist together to make a handle. Then take the monsters for a walk, and "feed" them any trash you find. Also looks cute for a trash bag in the child's room. To empty and reuse, untwist the pipe cleaner and pull the top bag out, empty and replace.