Welcome to “Paint a Tree Farm” – a unique Christmas painting activity for kids. This activity focuses on geometry and art, as kids work with triangles and color hues/shades. With just a few minutes of prep, this easy Christmas art activity comes to life.
How this Christmas painting activity began
I came up with the idea to “Paint a Tree Farm” after my kids fell in love with the book Pick a Pine Tree. Have you read this book yet? It’s a 10/10.
And thank goodness for this book because oh baby, can you see how cool this project turned out? I am 100% smitten with this Christmas painting activity – it is exactly how I hoped it would be.
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Supplies for Christmas art
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- Kraft paper – or use white paper and a cardboard box
- Giant black marker
- Washable tempera paint – this is our personal favorite brand
- Paint brushes – big ones
- Paint brushes – small ones
- Painter’s tape
- Cupcake tin – I always use muffin tins for painting (it’s one of my favorite painting tips)
I know this list may look daunting but when you break it down, it’s paper, paint, and brushes. These are pretty basic art supplies and things most people have on hand.
I rolled out my paper to a size I liked. Option: You can make this GIANT like I did or on a piece of construction paper – that’s what my prototype was on! Generally speaking, younger children will do better with this on a smaller canvas.
Using a ruler, I started drawing overlapping triangles, varying them height and width.
This is just something you’ll have to figure out on your own – how many and where to put them. It’s like choosing a good melon. You just know.
Don’t forget to add little stumps – this takes it from triangles to trees.
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Tip – How to make the many shades of green
We couldn’t have blah, one tone trees on our Christmas Tree Farm – and the fun of intersecting triangles is you end up with all sorts of extra triangles hidden inside trees.
To mix up 12 different greens, we squirted different combinations of green, white, yellow, and black.
This mini-lessons on shades was amazing for my five year old. She really got into it. Plus, with only greens to work with, she was able to color mix to her heart’s content.
Tip – Choosing the right brushes
Use different brush sizes. Typically with activities, I set out one size of brush and call it good.
With this activity, you need variety of large and small brushes.
My daughter varied between the sizes depending on which section she was painting. This helped her be more accurate.
It was also a great lesson in choosing the right tool for the job. The size of triangle dictated the size of brush – that was a cool lesson for her to learn here.
Final Christmas painting activity steps:
Don’t forget to paint the stumps!
With a little cup from the kitchen, I gave my daughter a hint of brown to paint her stumps.
This was the cherry on the top and made her trees come to life.
It was an art project for the ages – and I’m truly not taking it down anytime soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
No – that’s just how I set it up. I’m a blogger and I need photos of my activities. This is easier when the art is up on the wall. When you do this, absolutely do it on the floor, table, sidewalk, or anywhere else you feel comfortable.
Have a wash cloth with the child. Since my kids were 18 months old, I’ve set a wet wash cloth next to them. This lets the child have a way to wipe their hands or to quickly wipe drips spills (or for you to come by with a fast assist). It’s absolutely one of the best ways to mitigate the mess from painting projects.
This activity is going to be best with preschool age to big kids. When considering the stage the child is in, they need to be fairly capable at painting small details.
Paint A Tree Farm: Christmas Painting Activity
- Kraft paper
- Washable paint green, white, black
- Large and small paint brushes
- Muffin tin
- Painter's Tape
- Permanent black marker
- Using a ruler and black marker, create intersecting triangles, varying in size. Overlap the triangles/
- Make sure to add a "stump" to each triangle to make it a tree.
- Create a palette of different shades of greens by mixing white, black, and green paint. Use a muffin tin to whole the paint.
- Begin painting each triangle. Use different shades and hues to paint the sections of each triangle. Vary the shade/hues of green.
- Use brown paint to color the stumps of each tree.
- No kraft paper? Use cardboard or white butcher paper.
- Use green, black, and white paints mixed together to make a variety of green shades and hues.
- Activity does not have to be painted on a wall. Use the floor or table.