This cardboard tree craft is a favourite of mine. With my love for small world play, I’m always on the lookout for some ‘natural looking’ trees. And handmade ones are the best!
I like this craft project for children because that it’s so easy and looks great. This activity can be done by children of (almost) all ages and the cardboard trees are made entirely out of recycled materials. It’s a win all around. Children will just love to make these simple cardboard trees and then go on to use them to set up their small world scenes. These trees could end up living on a farm, in the park or a forest or even find a place in the doll house garden. You name it!
Cardboard Tree Craft Learning Experiences
It never ceases to amaze me how many learning opportunities present themselves in simple activities.
While working on this cardboard tree, children get to compare the colours from the trees outside to the colours in the magazines. Children learn that everyday items like cardboard tubes can have many, many different uses and how recycling is an amazing thing to do! They can practice their cutting skills or smaller children can explore the very entertaining cause and effect of tearing paper. Then there’s the practising of those fine motor skills positioning the little pieces of paper on the tree shaped cardboard with glue.
And we’re not forgetting about the simple experience of creating something and the sense of achievement resulting from that.
Easy Cardboard Tree Craft Tutorial
You can do this activity with children as young as two and a half years old. Then use your trees to set up simple small worlds with some animals or go all out, make a variety of trees and create entire forests!
- cardboard (firm cardboard will hold up better over time)
- toilet paper rolls
- magazine pages with ‘bushy colours’ like greens and browns, but by all means let your imagination run free or work with what you can find at the time
Step by Step Instructions:
1. cut a cardboard tube in half
2. use one half of the cardboard tube to get an idea of where the base of the tree will be in your drawing
3. draw the shape of your tree on the cardboard
4. cut it out
5. cut out your images and tear (or cut) the into small pieces
6. glue the small pieces of paper onto your cardboard tree shape (both sides!)
7. make two little incisions in the one half of your cardboard tube
8. slide the tree shaped cardboard into the cardboard tube
9. Done! sit back and admire (or make some more!)
Make it Your Own and Have Fun!
In this little tutorial I used paper to decorate the tree shaped cardboard, but you can really use just about any material you’ve got handy or prefer to use. In the past I’ve worked with scraps of fabric, tissue paper or my daughter and I simply coloured with crayons!
Making your own scenery for your ‘playscapes’ is a big part of the fun and sets those creative minds in motion. A simple cardboard tree will go a long way in favourite scenes like the farm, fairy garden or jungle and will instantly bring more life to the simplest play scenes.
In case you’d like to know more about small world play, why it is so important for our children’s development and how you can easily get started at home, you can read my beginner’s guide to small world play here and have a look at our small worlds set ups here.
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