Capture This Moment :: Autumn Handprint Tree

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Are the leaves changing by you?  We are starting to enjoy the fall colors as we move into October.  On our back patio door we have a beautiful sun catcher that the girls made at Montessori last year.  I love how the light comes through the colors.

I don’t have exact directions, but the concept is not that complex.  Have your child trace their forearm and hand on a piece of brown construction paper.  Give them some kid safe scissors and let them cut it out.

Let’s Lasso the Moon Tip:  Don’t cut the trunk out for your child.  It is much cuter with the jagged edges from them doing the cutting.

Grab fall color crayons like: yellow, red, and orange.  If they want the whole rainbow, go for it!  Put the trunk between the sheets of wax paper.  To create the melted leaves follow these basic steps from Sundance Beach:

Step 1: Choose the crayon colors you would like for your window art cutouts.

Step 2: Peel the paper off of each crayon you are using.

Step 3: Collect crayon shavings on a piece of wax paper, preferably from a crayon sharpener since that is the safest method.

Step 4: Fold the piece of wax paper in half and crease each side of the paper into a nice, neat little package to contain the crayon shavings.

Step 5: Place a piece of paper on either side of the folded wax paper to protect the surface to be ironed on.

Step 6: Go over the paper with the iron a few times and check the crayon in the wax paper to see the melting progress. Continue until desired effect is achieved.

Isn’t the little tree gorgeous?  The project goes perfectly with the book Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro.  We are absolutely smitten with the “Let’s Read and Find Out About Science” series.  They have two stages:

Stage 1 books explain simple and easy observable science concepts for preschool and kindergarten age children.

Stage 2 books explore more challenging concepts for children in the primary grades and include hands-on activities that children can do themselves.

How cool is that?!?  Click here to see some of the other awesome titles for Stage 1 and Stage 2 in the series.  We have read so many of these and they’ve all been wonderful.

I love the scene Sundance Beach created for their window.  We might try this technique and cut our leaf shapes to create a fall mobile.

So many ideas, so many possibilities, so little time.


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  • Hope Leader

    I just found you on Pintrest and I love your blog! This is an awesome idea! I think I will do this with my girls for our fall unit in our homeschool! Thanks so much for sharing!
    PS if you have time and want to see what we are up to, we’d love to have you stop by our blog!
    http://discoverydaysandmontessorimoments.blogspot.com/

    • Anonymous

      Hope, somehow I overlooked your comment. I recently started using DISQUS for my comments and must not have the hang of it yet. Thank you for the nice comment. I am going to add your blog to my RSS feeder. I can always use more Montessori ideas!

  • Hope Leader

    Hi Zina,
    We made these today and they are just beautiful! Thanks again for sharing the idea! If you want to see how ours turned out, here is a link to my post! http://tinyurl.com/3wpbblg

    • Anonymous

      They turned out BEAUTIFUL. I love how each one is so unique, just like each child. Thank you so much for sharing. As I am sure you know blogging is wonderful, but also time consuming. When I see ideas spreading like this it makes it all feel worth while.

      • Hope Leader

        I’m glad that you take the time to share! They are so pretty and so special! I told a friend of mine about the project today and she said she was going to try and make them with her girls too!

        • Anonymous

          Very cool. I love how the web is a network for moms to share ideas. I really think with our educational system going the way it is that “keeping the light of curiosity alive” falls on the parent. I am so happy to have you ladies in my pocket for inspiration.

  • Skooks

    What a cool idea. My kids would love to do something like this. Just FYI: the link for Sundance Beach is broken. I wanted to see what you were referring to, but couldn’t find it.