A Winter Forest Play Mat is handy for Christmas topics and can be used into the New Year in winter-themed small world play. I first created the table mat in this post for Mr. and Mrs. Santa paper dolls and then thought of more early learning activities for it. The versatile play mat is free to download below. It was designed for size 11-inch x 17-inch photocopy paper but could be printed on 8 ½-inch x 11-inch cardstock or regular paper.[Read more…] about Winter Forest Play Mat Activities
The picture book “Wink, The Ninja Who Wanted To Nap”, written and illustrated by J. C. Phillipps, is filled with energy, wisdom, and tidbits about Japanese culture. For young children, the story is a captivating read. The illustrations provide inspiration for multicultural story extensions.
In the story, a little ninja named Wink is excited that he is a famous circus performer. But he cannot get in a much-needed nap because his fans follow him everywhere! He walks through a garden of cherry trees, and moves through and hides in different parts of town, but his followers persist.[Read more…] about Wink The Ninja Book Theme
Inspiration For The Tree Art
Trees are a popular art theme, and I love using tree art in a mosaic pattern on a bulletin board display.
I’ve done a few tree displays celebrating our four Alberta seasons over the years. This year I chose an art project based on the storybook “Wow” by Tim Hopgood. In the story an owl stays up past his bedtime one summer night and notices the beautiful colors of early morning, midday, and dusk. The owl loves all the color schemes but decides the night colors are still the best. As I read the story, I was saying “Wow” right along with the owl, because the illustrations featuring the owl and tree throughout the day are gorgeous!
Tree Art Set Up
Based on the colors in the book, I used heart themed paper punches to cut a variety of leaves. I used circle paper punches for the suns and moon. Butterfly paper punches came in handy for the midday picture. A sticker owl was available to complete each picture.
For the art project I used four different blue shades of 9 x 12 fade resistant paper. This size displays perfectly as a mosaic pattern on a feature bulletin board I have access to. I cut tree trunks in different shades of brown, and glued one on each piece of blue paper.
Then children got a little bag with shapes to create a tree scene. Paper pieces were attached with a glue stick. Some children questioned why we were using heart shapes for the leaves, so I showed them heart shaped leaves from real plants.
Tree Art Themes
Children completed at least two of the following projects.
Some of the completed pictures were saved for each child’s memory album; others were saved for the bulletin board display.
Tree Art Printable
Another (and slightly easier) way to do this activity is to use a template with a tree, owl, and butterfly. The tree can be decorated with dot or fingerpaint leaves, or any way of your choosing.
Download the printable here. (This printable is for personal use or use in one classroom only.)