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Celebrating Arbor Day at The Holiday Zone

Art and Craft Projects for Arbor Day

Arbor Day Placemats

Collect a variety of leaves. Pour thinned green paint (of varying shades, if desired) into spray bottles. Cover work area with newspapers; then, give each child a large piece of white paper (11 x 17 or A3 paper is ideal). Encourage children to arrange leaves in desired pattern, then use spray bottles to spray over entire page. Allow projects to dry completely before removing leaves.

Add additional decorations if desired. Laminate finished placemats before use.

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Fingerprint Tree

Paint child's forearm, wrist, and hand brown. Have child spread fingers and stamp arm/handprint onto white paper. Allow to dry. Once this arm/hand tree trunk is dry, children may add leaves by dipping their fingertips into green paint and stamping fingerprint leaves onto branches.

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Four Seasons Quilt

Have children draw and color pictures of four trees -- one in winter, one in spring, one in summer, and one in fall. Mount pictures on colored paper, and label.. Arrange four pictures in quilt pattern and display on wall. For younger children, you may wish to supply a blackline master of a tree trunk. A blackline master is available here.

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Leaf Guide Book

Collect undamaged leaves from different types of trees (as many as possible). Lay leaves between several thicknesses of newspaper and place heavy books on top. (Dictionaries work well!) Allow leaves to dry at least three or four days (more in humid climates).

Cut waxed paper into 8-inch by 10-inch sheets. Place one dried leaf on the right side of a piece of waxed paper, and fold the left side over to cover (creating an 8-inch by 5-inch page). Use a warm iron to press leaves into waxed paper. Continue until all leaves have been made into pages.

Using a marker, write the names of the trees the leaves came from on each page.

Stack pages neatly.

Fold an 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch sheet of colored paper in half. Place neatly stacked leaf pages between the two sheets of colored paper and staple.

Finally, use markers, crayons, or stickers to create a cover for your leaf guide book.

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Leaf Rubbings

Collect leaves from different types of trees. Place leaves under a sheet of paper and color over lightly with a green crayon. Label each leaf to tell what type of tree it comes from.

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Pine Sprig Paintings

Collect enough pine needle sprigs for each child to have one. Cover work area with newspaper. Pour green paint into styrofoam trays, give each child a sheet of paper and a pine sprig "paintbrush" and encourage them to paint to their heart's content.

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Tissue Paper Trees

Divide children into groups of four to six. Have each group draw a large tree trunk and branches onto a sheet of white poster board. (Or predraw for younger children.) 

Give each group a group of brown, green, pink and white construction paper as well as glue. Show children how to tear tissue paper into tiny pieces. Encourage them to cover the tree trunk and branches with torn bits of brown tissue paper, create leaves with torn bits of green tissue paper and add blossoms with torn bits of pink and/or white tissue paper.

Variation: Divide students into four groups. Assign each group a season and supply them with appropriate colors of tissue paper to represent that season. Display the finished projects on a wall of the classroom.

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Trees are Terrific!

Create a poster showing why trees are important to our environment, animals that live in trees, or products that are produced from trees. Fifth graders way wish to enter their creations in the National Arbor Day Poster Contest. Additional information about the poster contest is available here.

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