Today is our Poppins Book Nook club and this month we are celebrating the four seasons.
Each month, a group of creative bloggers shares some excellent kids books based on the monthly theme and matches them with some fun projects to bring the books to life.
This month, it was really easy to choose our favorite books -- we are big lovers of stories that share the various seasons. One of the book has been a favorite of mine since I was in third grade (no kidding!) --
The Berenstain Bears in the Bears' Almanac is a wonderful look at the seasons and holidays throughout the year. It begins on January 1st and Brother Bear takes us through the year while introducing the reader to the changes in nature.
The second book is by a wonderful children's author who writes great nonfiction books for kids. Gail Gibbons is one of my kids' favorite authors and her book The Reasons for Seasons is a peek into how the world around us changes each season. Ms. Gibbons does an excellent job and introducing the science behind each topic in a way that is easily understood by kids.
Painting the Seasons
When my son was younger, he did this awesome art project at school. Each child was asked to draw how the same tree would look through each of the four seasons. It's a wonderful way to tie in some science (seasonal changes) with art and I really loved the way the picture captures what he sees in spring, summer, fall and winter.
Unfortunately, the art curriculum has changed quite a bit in the last few years and my daughter has not had the opportunity to do this project in school. So I decided to do it at home (with a fun twist!).
Instead of drawing the whole tree, we decided to use real branches for the trunk and then paint the tree in each season.
What you'll need for the project:
- Four sheets of paper (we chose to use four shades of blue)
- Four branches that are approximately as long as the length of each piece of paper
- Tape (to attach the branches to the paper)
- Paint -- in a variety of colors
First, set up an easel or prep a table for painting. We love to bring out easel outside for art activities like this one since it allows the artist to see the item they are painting. Plus, I'm told by my kids that painting outside is just plain cool ;)
Tape the branches to each piece of paper -- we tried to glue nature items to paper but tape seems to work better for us. The branches can be bulky which is why I really like using the easel so the paper can hang and kids can easily work around the branch.
A tip about the process: I will tell you that I really didn't care for the look of the tape OVER the branches. I began using tape underneath to hold the branch in place (as you can see on the branch in the top left side) but my daughter really liked the idea of taping over the branches so we went with that option. With art, do try to remember that it is your child's creation and allow them to lead and direct along the way.
Ask your child to choose a tree (they may pick one from your yard or one from another location -- as long as they have a mental picture of what the tree might look like in the various seasons). The books might help them to think about how a tree may look but I prefer to read the books and then close them so the kids can use their imagination and creativity.
If they choose an evergreen tree, use that type of branch on the paintings. You will still be able to paint on the branches and it will be interesting to see how they view the tree changing through the year.
Pink buds on a tree in Spring
Time to paint! We worked season by season but again, follow your child's lead. You can also label each paper with the name of the season if you're afraid that they will get confused when painting. You can see how creative the kids can get with the branches. My daughter chose to put pink buds on the tree in the spring and then a variety of colors on the fall branch below.
Add colored leaves in the Fall!
Once they are done painting, you can talk about why they chose certain colors for each season and discuss how the tree changes from season to season in their painting.
I love the addition of colored leaves on the ground in the fall picture and the snow on the V of the tree and ground for the winter picture.
We have more seasonal fun for you from the Poppins Book Nook bloggers! And if you have any post about the seasons, please make sure to share it in the linky - we'd love to see it!
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