Fall Window Tree
This is a lovely activity for Fall as you start to observe the changing colors and falling leaves around you. When you are done you will have a window full of Fall colors. It uses one of my favorite materials for toddlers; contact paper. Contact paper collages are perfect for young toddlers. It is open ended, simple, and ideal for repetition. Many of the things that toddlers love most. This activity is all about process, Fall vocabulary building, and fine motor skills.
Originally published October 25, 2013
Cut a tree out of a large piece of construction paper. I just eye balled it, but you could draw it out first and then cut.
Contact paper it to the outside of your window.
Cut leaf shapes or simple squares from colored dividers and placed these in a bowl.
Usually I set up things like this while my twins are asleep or busy, but I was inspired so I just went ahead and did it during play time. I put some contact paper sticky side up on a window nearby for them to play with while I worked on the tree. They stuck the leaves on the contact paper and pulled it off. They seemed to like watching the leaves fall.
This activity is an invitation. An invitation for your toddler to create and explore. For them to do at their own pace and on their own schedule. As I mentioned, usually I set this sort of thing up during one of their naps for them to discover. When I was done, the tree was on the window and the basket of Fall colored divider squares was on the floor. Before they start, lightly spray water on the inside of the window. When damp, dividers stick brilliantly to a window surface. You might need to occasionally respray the surface, but I only needed spray it a couple times a day.
Our toddlers enjoyed sticking the leaves on the tree, pulling them off, watching them fall, and repeating. As you observe, use language to expand their vocabulary such as "I see leaves falling down" or "You stuck a red leaf to the tree." You could remind them about when they watched leaves falling off the trees outside.
We left this activity up for about a week and they would come and go from it several times a day.
When it was clean up time any extra pieces on the floor got put back in the bowl (I also pulled some from the tree when they weren't looking to keep up our supply). If you are curious, this is why I did not use real leaves. I love using real materials whenever possible, but it was my intention to have this on the window for a while. Leaves unfortunately dry up and turn into crumpled pieces after a day or so. Not ideal for continued use.
When they lost interest, the extra pieces got added to our collage bin and the contact paper was pulled off the window and tossed.
Contact paper does remove easily from a window, but I wouldn't leave it for more than about a week or two or it will start to leave some marks. These can be scrubbed off, but it is much easier if more temporary.
Construction Paper (fall colors)
Water (preferably in a spray bottle)
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