Build a Tree

Looking for a simple craft to brighten up any room and use natural materials? Then look no further! This activity allows children to get outside and collect natural materials to make their own tree, all while exploring texture and learning new names of plants and trees. Happy gathering!

Download and Print

Activity PDF

Explore and build!

Go on a nature walk and collect a variety of leaves, twigs, plants, flowers, and stems to create a unique, brightly colored tree! Children will love creating differently shaped trees out of their natural materials. No two trees are alike!

📝 Plan Ahead: Encourage children to plan out their artwork before committing to gluing materials down. By doing so, this allows children to see what their artwork will look like before it’s complete.

🍀 Use Caution: Depending on where you’re getting your materials from, some elements may be poisonous. Double-check before children pick up a leaf or flower on your nature walk to make sure it won’t cause an allergic reaction. 

🌲Keep it Accessible: Some children may not have access to a vast forest; if that’s the case, use other elements such as food (think: strawberry tops and grapevines) and household plants.

Materials

For this activity you will need:

How many green leaves do you have on your tree?

Why did you put the bark you found on the trunk of the tree?

Why do you think the leaves are different colors?

If you could call your tree anything what would it be?

Does your tree drop its leaves in the fall?

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Emotional

Skills

Self-Esteem

Indicators:

Setting goals for themselves and working towards them

Instructions

Step 1:

Start off this activity by going on a walk around the neighborhood and collecting various leaves, plants, twigs, and flowers.

Step 2:

Once you’ve collected all of the items you want, trace out the skeleton of a tree with branches on brown paper and cut it out. Glue the “tree” skeleton to the white paper. 

Step 3:

Encourage your child to plan out their artwork before they glue everything down. They can put their natural materials anywhere on the tree!

Step 4: 

Once they’re satisfied with how their tree looks, use the white glue to glue down the natural materials. Once dry, hang it up on display!

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Encourage older children to plan out their artwork and think about where a flower may grow on a tree as opposed to the bark. This will help introduce parts of a tree and flower to young children. 

⬇️ For younger toddlers: Younger toddlers may LOVE layering many materials together which may weigh down their final masterpiece. Encourage them to create multiple trees if you find the glue can’t hold all of their natural materials on one tree.

Playful questions

How many green leaves do you have on your tree?

Why did you put the bark you found on the trunk of the tree?

Why do you think the leaves are different colors?

If you could call your tree anything what would it be?

Does your tree drop its leaves in the fall?