I am always looking for easy crafts for kids. I love creating crafts that are kid friendly and use simple materials that allow children to create something beautiful.
All you need for this craft is construction paper and glue! It is really easy to prepare and easy for little hands to use their imagination and create.
I did this hands-on art activity with over a hundred 3-6 year olds, and every single child created a tree that they were proud of (and resembled a tree.) I love when activities are successful in this way.
The materials for this activity are very simple, and you may already have most of the supplies already on hand. As a teacher, I love the fact that the materials are inexpensive and easy to prepare.
- Construction Paper
To prepare your materials, all you need to do is cut up a variety of colors of the construction paper into small squares and rectangles.
You can roughly cut the paper. The pieces do not all need to be the same size. In fact, I personally prefer that the cut outs are all slightly different sizes.
You will also need to cut up brown rectangles for the tree trunk.
In the interest of time, I cut up the construction paper ahead of time for the children to use. However, if you are working with an older group, or want the children to practice their fine motor skills if they are learning to properly use scissors, you can have the kids cut up the construction paper.
You will also need one full sheet of construction paper (not cut) for each child to use for their background. Give children the choice of a variety of colors for their background.
Step to Create Your Easy Crafts for Kids
Basically for this craft, children will be creating a tree using the colorful pieces of construction paper.
Once you have all of your materials ready, you are ready to introduce the activity to the kids. Since I work with young children, I started by doing an example on the board.
I glued the tree trunk to the page and drew 5 branches coming out of the trunk. You can use as many branches as you want. I was specific for the students because I find for little ones being specific helps – plus then they are counting as they draw!
For other groups, I cut up long strips of brown construction paper to use for the branches. Children then glued the branches onto the tree trunk.
We used glue sticks, so I showed everyone that it is easiest to put a long line of glue on the branch and then stick their pieces on versus gluing each square individually.
It is much faster this way and a lot less messy.
Once I modeled it, everyone got to work. Everyone chose a background color and then started gluing the squares on. I encouraged everyone to add lots of leaves/squares so that their tree was full. Children made beautiful trees!
You could easily tie in a bit of math into this art project by encouraging children to create their tree using a pattern. They could try making each branch follow a pattern. Or the whole tree could create a pattern, like a rainbow.
Many children also started sorting the colors and squares before they started gluing.
You could even add to the project, and the challenge, by telling children that they can only use 50 squares for their art. This would be best for older children. They would have to count out their pieces and plan their craft using the specific pieces.
Some children even thought outside the box by adding extra details once they had finished the leaves on the tree. They used the squares to create a sun or clouds in the sky. Some children glued a line of green squares along the bottom to look like grass.
In the end, I was thrilled with how well this activity went and it was such an easy craft for kids that they all felt successful when making it.
I love that this art project is very simple and children feel successful when they create because their final result always looks great. However, I also like giving children extra options and the freedom to create whatever they want.
If you are interested in trying process art. Art that is child directed and each child creates a unique project using the materials provided. I love doing process art because I am always amazed at what children can come up with.
If the creation of the trees is not something you feel your group of children would enjoy, or if you are simply looking for new easy crafts for kids, you can present this project differently.
Using the same materials, as well as some extra construction paper, simply ask children to create. They don’t need to make a tree. They can take some time looking at the materials provided and then create whatever their imagination come up with.
Each picture will likely be different, but there is something very beautiful about that!
If you are looking for more easy crafts for kids, using just construction paper and other simple materials, there are links below to other hands-on crafts that I have done, both in a classroom setting and at home with my own kids.
Another option for this easy art project is to use it for a theme. For example, during the fall, the trees could become beautiful fall trees, by only providing yellow, orange and red cut up squares.
In spring, the squares could be spring colors, such as pastels, like pink and purple.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more activities and ideas to do in the classroom, or at home with kids, below are some of my favourite and most popular learning activities.
From more easy building projects, to arts and crafts to escape rooms and outdoor learning activities there are lots of things to keep kids busy and learning.