A Painted Branch // Collaborative Art with Kids

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

This week for art class I tried something new. Our neighbor (a church) cut down some branches and left them on our property. They’d been there a while, actually. We kept thinking they would clean them up. As I was staring at them from the kitchen window Monday morning I thought that I should really make a phone call. But then, a lightbulb went off in my brain. I’m quite certain it wasn’t an original thought (is there really such a thing anymore?) but maybe I could drag one of the branches inside and the kids could paint it for art class today? So I did it. Broke off a piece and put it on the art table. Voila! Easy peasy. I mixed some paints, put them around the branch and just hoped and prayed that the kids would think this was as brilliant as I did.

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

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Supplies:

Tempera paints (I mixed colors and added a little white to each for opaqueness, except for the gold and silver)

Glass jars

Paint brushes

Elmer’s glue

Pom-poms

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

There are really no instructions, no rules. Other than, don’t splatter paint on other people on purpose, share the paints, and be kind!

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

After the branch was flipped over and painted on all sides, I brought out the glue and pom-poms to create some more texture. The glue got very drippy, which the kids loved, but it was all good because the tables were covered and everything is washable!

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

It’s hard to photograph such a long, skinny piece of art! After letting it dry overnight, I couldn’t wait to lean it against a wall. My own kids and even my husband were all like, “mom, that is so cool!”. I want to figure out how to hang it from the ceiling. How awesome would that be?

I love collaborative art with little kids. It’s such a good way to foster teamwork and social awareness. Sharing with your neighbor, listening to conversations, taking turns and complimenting another’s work are very important skills for the little ones to acquire. What better way to learn these important character traits than through art?

Let me know if you try this one!

xo, Bar