This fall preschool craft was one of those awesome things that I just happened upon. It was one of those perfect storm homeschooling moments that come along once in a blue moon (you have those too right?).
It all started with popsicle sticks and silk fall leaves on the schoolroom table.
I picked up the items and began to think, “What if…?” and the discovery began.
You know, popsicle sticks really are amazing things. As are silk fall leaves.
Oh, these items may look humble. And both fall leaves and popsicle sticks come 100 to a package at the Dollar Store.
But seriously, each one seems to have an infinite number of uses! And when you combine fall leaves and popsicle sticks together in one craft? Magic.
These were the (albeit strange) thoughts running through my head as my son and I put together this fall preschool craft. The craft was just meant to be a lesson in learning shapes and colors, but as you can see, it also turned into a beautiful fall home decor item.
I also love this fall preschool craft because it combines discovery with learning. And it doesn’t hurt that it requires paint and the opportunity for sticky fingers. What preschooler doesn’t love that?
Here’s what you’ll need: popsicle sticks, white glue and silk fall leaves. Yep, that’s it!
Oh, OK… and I guess acrylic paints too. You see? You can tell I was just discovering as we went along because I forgot to show the paints in the picture.
We began by playing with the popsicle sticks. I simply asked my son, “What shapes can you make?”
And then I asked him to make specific shapes. “Can you make a triangle? Or how about a square?”
Then we played a make-a-shape-version of “Simon Says.” I told my son that I was going to make a shape with the sticks and that he had to copy the shape and then tell me the name of the shape. This was fun! And I couldn’t believe that he already knew the names of some of his shapes (we’ve only started learning that recently).
But seriously… I was just making it up as we went along. You could do whatever to just get your child into playing with the sticks and practicing shapes.
Then, I said, “OK, let’s make two squares and glue the sticks together.” This was the sticky fingers part, so my cute little man was happy to oblige.
We let them dry for a minute, and then I said, “What do you think would happen if we glued one square on top of the other like this?” I’m sure that one of you smarty-pants out there knows the exact name of the shape this creates (a pentagon, maybe?), but being the math-flunkie that I am, I simply described it as a “star” and my three-year-old said, “Ooooh… A star!” and so I was good with that.
I really wanted to let this dry for at least 5-10 minutes before moving on to the next part, so we moved to the couch and grabbed one of his favorite books right now, Secrets of the Seashore.
This book is ah-mazing to little guys and gals because you get to use a FLASHLIGHT when reading the book. Yes, I wrote FLASHLIGHT in all caps because I can tell that’s how my three-year-old thinks of it (the mad dash to the room to grab the flashlight and the utter joy in his eyes give it away).
See… look! The pages are sheer and have hidden pictures that are revealed when you shine a light through them! I told you! Definitely squeal-worthy for a preschooler.
By the time we were done with the book the popsicle sticks were dry and ready for… PAINT! (yes, this is another all-caps moment because this meant that my son had the chance to get paint not only on the sticks but his clothes, his hands…. YESSSSS!!!)
And this is where the lesson in colors came in. You see, we only had red and yellow (and we really wanted orange). So… I asked him, “What do you think would happen if we combined yellow paint with red paint?”
And of course, orange paint was born (he was delighted to see the transformation). He began painting the sticks, continuing to mix the colors as he painted which created a cool effect.
We got a little fine motor skill action in there too as he had to fill the corners with paint.
The paint needed to dry before moving on to the next step, so we killed time by playing one of his favorite games right now: “What Do You See? Colors.” It’s one that we play at least 25 times a week and he never tires of it. And, hey, he’s getting a lot better at identifying colors the more we play, so I keep pulling it out.
Anyway, that took about 10 minutes and the paint was dry (enough) to move on.
This was when we started adding the leaves!
Just a dot of glue, and then we pressed each leaf into place. More fine-motor skill work. Bonus!
He worked on it until we had the entire shape covered with leaves. You can see now the wreath shape!
I allowed everything to fully dry for maybe an hour or two (my son went down for a quick nap).
And that was it! Voila!
I loved this so much that I hung it in our hallway. Perfect!
Fun, right? And you get a truly stunning fall home decor item. Not many fall preschool craft projects can make that kind of a claim, right?
Enjoy making this adorable fall preschool craft with your little ones!