Fall Tree Finger Painting and Free Fingerpainting Printables

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We don't do a lot of finger painting in our classroom, but we probably should!

The children love to stick their hands and fingers into the paint - even when supplied with brushes and instructions to use them! :)  

This past week, I thought, why fight it?
Painting is fun, but indulging in the act of dipping hands and fingers into the paint makes it an awesome sensory experience, as well!

So we did some fall tree finger painting and saw quite the variety of results!

There were trees with small fingerprint leaves evenly distributed around the page...

trees with large blobs of leaves and fully painted trunks and branches...

and then there were the full-on hand smeared extravaganzas!

That reminds me.  
You'll want to have paint smocks on hand as well as some damp paper towels for finger wiping at the table!

But surprisingly, the finger painting process was not much messier than when we use paint brushes.

When I prepared this craft, I cut the tree shapes out of brown paper.

The students then glued the tree cut outs onto a blue page before they started painting.

Another option would be to print copies of a tree image on blue paper and then have the children do the painting directly on the page.  
The students could then colour or paint the tree trunk AND add the leaves. 
(And you would save time by not having to cut anything out!)

If you'd like to try this craft in your classroom, you may want to download the free tree printable below.  

And if you'd like to try a similar, but more involved project, you may want to download this page of 4 trees.  
Your class could paint one for each season!
If you decide to try worksheet #2, you may want to do one  tree at a time to avoid confusion (and lots of smudging!)

Since the trees on this printable are smaller, you may also want to consider having the students paint the leaves on these trees with a Q-tip rather than their fingers - or at least offering the suggestion!

To be notified of more ideas and freebies like this, just click on the sidebar of my blog to receive my posts by e-mail.  
I post a couple of new ideas every week! 

To download the tree images, just click {here}.

Leaf Crafts with Personality!

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I collected some leaves on the weekend to use at one of our art tables. 

It was a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the woods with my doggy!
Yes, Sammy, sniff in that lovely scent!  

 I was initially thinking the kids could do some sort of collage or painting activity with them, but then I thought of something a little more unique - 

Leaf People!

It was such an easy art activity - no cutting or prep for me - and lots of fun for the kids.

All you need for supplies are:

  • leaves
  • background paper
  • glue
  • googly eyes
  • markers/felts

 As you'll see in the picture, my leaves were a little spotty!  

Unfortunately, there's not too many red or orange leaves around here yet, but the projects looked fine nonetheless.

One thing to note is that the lighter leaves allowed the marker drawn mouths, etc. to show up the best.  
(An obvious result, but something to keep in mind when collecting leaves for this project the next time around. :))  

Here's some of the crazy leaf characters that were created.


I still have a lot of leaves left, so expect another fall leaf craft coming soon!

Fall Bulletin Board Idea and Free Crow Template

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 Ah, the start of a new week!  

Mondays are hard (especially in September), but hopefully none of you have problems like the teacher in the cartoon! :)

Like most of you, I started off the year by freshening up the class with some new bulletin boards.

This year we decided to go a little "earthier" 
so we began by covering the board in burlap instead of the usual coloured paper.

I love the look (and the smell) of burlap and we'll likely use it as our backdrop right through till December, just changing the images on top.

I set the stage for the students' artwork by adding a scarecrow, a corn stalk, and a scattering of fabric leaves on top of the burlap.

The students added their mark to the board with some leaves that they painted in fall colours (with a sprinkling of sparkles and sequins on top for fun!)
We laid out some leafy colours to paint with including yellow, green and red.  

We also encouraged students to mix colours in a separate container to see if they could make
 some new shades.   
Orange and brown soon arrived on the scene!

On a different day, our class made these adorable crows to add to the board, as well.
Some were more fluffy than others!

Put it all together and here's the final result!

It's been lots of fun singing songs about scarecrows and crows at circle time with this festive backdrop!

Some of our favourite songs include:
5 Crows All Shiny Black

This is Jack O' Happy

Have You Ever Seen a Scarecrow

and 12 Little Acorns

If you're interested in getting a copy of the magnet board songs above,  you might want to check them out in the
 packs below -  {here}

and {here}.

As for the bulletin board, if you'd like to try out this idea (or even just make the crows), just click {here} or on the image below to pick up a free crow template!

Materials required for this craft include:
black paper
yellow paper
black feathers
googly eyes
glue sticks


Picture Book About Feelings and a Freebie

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Those first crazy weeks of school are upon us.  How are you holding up?

How 'bout your students?

I know my kids tend to have a lot more emotional highs and lows in those first weeks in the classroom. 

Everyone's getting used to each other, the teacher, the classroom, the routine!  Lots of new stuff!
Who could blame them?

So I thought a good book pick for this week's 
Picture Book Pick of the week would be one about emotions.

I'm linking this book pick up with Deanna Jump's 
Book Talk Tuesday series so you may want to take a peek there later, too!

My favourite book about feelings is called,
                   The Way I Feel by Janan Cain 

This is a rhyming book with awesome illustrations.  

It touches on many common feelings such as 


and scared

as well as other more obscure feelings like
 like proud, thankful, and disappointed.

And it's the perfect length for the preschool to Kindergarten crowd.
(Even if I love a book, if I think it's too long for my wiggly group, it doesn't make the cut!)

The final page of the book assures kids that it's okay to have lots of different emotions.
It says, 
"Feelings come and feelings go
I never know what they'll be.
Silly or angry, happy or sad, 
They're all a part of me!"

After reading this book, we usually discuss emotions and how to deal with some of the trickier ones like anger.

I also give the kids a little exercise such as the one below.  

Since my class is preschool age, I scribe their ideas onto the worksheet and then they draw and colour the pictures.

I also created an 8 page Feelings Mini-book similar to this worksheet, but covering more emotions. 
You can see the mini-book and the full Freebie collection in the image below.
If you'd like to download a copy of this set, 
you can scoop it up {here.}  

Have a "happy" week!  :)  

FREE Wood Frames, Paper, and Signs Clip Art Set!

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My school isn't back in session until next week.  
But this week, I did spend some time in the classroom preparing materials and hosting an Open House night with my teaching partner.  

We met lots of great families and students eager to start the school year!

And on Monday, we begin!

That means I have two days to whip myself back into  school year mode.  

Yes, I must learn what day of the week it is, and I'll probably need to outlaw the  1 am "bedtimes," as well!    

But enough talk about work and schedules!
That's not fun!

Instead, let's talk about giving YOU a nice, new freebie

It's my way of thanking all of you who support me out there! 
Whether you follow me on one of my sites or shops, buy the occasional product from my stores, or just leave comments and feedback about my products or posts, I really appreciate it and I want you to know!

 For today's freebie, I have chosen a clip art set that I think would be useful to pretty much everyone.   

     The images in this 
Wood Frames, Signs, and Paper Clip Art Set 
include 9 items in total - 5 colour images, and 4 blackline.  

This set could be used in a myriad of ways throughout the year!

If you want a copy, just pop over to my graphics shop {here}.
If you like it, I'd love it if you'd leave feedback on it.
  It really helps me get my little store noticed.  

 If you'd like to be notified of the next freebie, just sign up to follow my Chirp Graphics shop while you're there!


And I almost forgot to mention!
The two contest winners for my 
10 Fall Magnet Board Songs Set 
Kayla D. and Carrie S.! 

They have been notified by e-mail and sent a copy of the product.

Thank you to everyone who entered!  

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