simple craft for kids: autumn dot trees

One of my goals this year is to do more activities with my kids. I’ve got the whole here kids you do this while I take care of this thing down, but actually sitting down and crafting or puzzle-doing or game-playing – that’s not my strong suit. So I’m making an effort.

Last week, we made these painted trees. It was a project I discovered on pinterest, originally from here.  The greatest part of this project was that it was equally enjoyable for my 3 year old, six year old and me. When my 2nd and 4th grader came home from school and saw what we had made, they wanted to make them, too. Good for all ages.


The steps are pretty simple: paint a tree trunk with three little branches with brown craft paint. Lightly draw a large circle to create a shape to paint within.


Then set out fall craft paint colors and a q-tip for each one. I used acrylic paint in red, brown, yellow, gold, orange and purplish-red.


Dip the q-tip in the paint and randomly dot onto the paper, keeping the dots within the circle.

kids-painting-dot-trees     painting-dots-for-fall-tree

Fill in as much of the white space as you can without completely overlapping the colors. This process is slightly mesmerizing. You just dip, dot, dip, dot.


It’s a fun craft that we’ll probably do again this winter {bare trees but white dots for snow} or in the spring {shades of green}. And don’t you think an ombre tree would be amazing?

If you’d like more ideas for kid crafts, this is my favorite site for art projects, Martha is always a good resource for attractive crafts, and feel free to check out my for kids pinterest board, too.

15 Responses to simple craft for kids: autumn dot trees

  1. sarah October 16, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    this will be a perfect fall party craft for my 3/4 graders. No parent has signed up to do a craft, so it seems it’s on me! This is a a great non-Halloweem themed craft and easy to do!

  2. amber September 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    love this. i pinned as well. reminds me of an art project from back in the day. thanks!!

  3. Aja @ sevenelles.com September 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the sparkle site. We homeschool our twin middle school girls as well as our HIgh Schooler and my little preschooler. This site will give us so much to do!

  4. Emily September 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    What a fun craft – I think I’ll do this with my 3 y.o. tomorrow!

  5. Heidi @ Decor & More September 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Yes, love this — pinning for my preschool class! Thanks, Emily!
    xo Heidi

  6. jamie September 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    So pretty! I love the colors. I did this last year with the kids, but instead of using q-tips for the leaves we used fingerprints. Happy fall!

  7. Jenn @ A Simple Haven September 23, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    I pretty much run from most kids’ crafts :) but I really like this one! I guess the secret for me is picking something I’d enjoy doing anyway or something that I’d want to display in the house.

  8. Etheline September 23, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Love this!! Looks like I just found my afternoon craft for my kiddos tomorrow:) Thanks for sharing.

  9. Meredith September 23, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    What a great craft–I can see my 4 and 6 year olds loving that! (And, a totally manageable paint project!). Have you thought about how you will display it? Do you have a spot for their artwork?

    • emily September 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      I don’t have a specific spot other than the fridge. I don’t tend to keep much artwork unless it is super special. We have a cable with clips {from ikea} that just needs to be installed and it will make a fun rotating art gallery in our bonus room.

  10. Mary Ann September 23, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    I think this is such a wonderful idea!! I have a question about acrylic paints…are there any that are washable? I shopped at Hobby Lobby for acrylics and what I found were all permanent. I’d much rather have washable paints because of my little ones. Any suggestions?

    • emily September 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      I just use regular craft acrylic and the kids seem to do fine with it. You could also get washable poster paint {crayola makes some} if you worry about the washable factor.

  11. Kelly September 23, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    I tried this after seeing your post on IG. It was so simple! My son made his tree and then went onto something else and then I realized that I had been sitting there for 20 minutes making dots by myself on my tree. Ha! You’re right, it is mesmerizing!

  12. Shannon {Our Home Notebook} September 23, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Such a simple pretty craft. I’ll have to try it at home with my two kiddos. I love ideas like this that suit such a wide age range. Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Jen September 23, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    My daughter will love this! Thanks for the idea!

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