Painting fall trees with egg cartons in preschool

Explore fall with your students by making art with recycled materials

After a little fun with fall leaves on the flannel board, we explored a little fall leaf egg carton printing..

Making their Drawings

The children started by drawing their own fall tree branches on a sheet of paper…

Adding to their Creations

Then they dipped the bottom of a cut-up egg carton container into some red, yellow, or orange paint…

Next, they pressed the egg cartons on the paper to make fall leaf prints…

Enjoying the Process

Each child chose a little different approach to their painting with the egg carton…

Some of the children preferred to go up and down with the egg carton and others chose to rub the egg cartons around on their paper…

Reusing Recycled Materials

Although we had paint on the bottom of the egg cartons when we finished, I still saved the egg cartons to use again for another day…

By |2019-01-03T17:02:51+00:00September 25th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Lessons from the Boys September 25, 2011 at 10:58 am - Reply

    I love this idea. My 2 year old doesn’t like to paint, for fear of getting dirty. But I think he would like this, because his hands won’t go near the paint!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:20 am - Reply

      Haha – this may just help!

  2. Gaby September 25, 2011 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Thanks! Excellent idea. I`m goning to do this job with my kids

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:20 am - Reply

      Thanks you Gaby:)

  3. Amber September 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Yes, simple but “new” idea for me. One thing I love about blogs. Even after 15 years I can find a new twist on things. Easy to get in a rut when it comes to projects. Anyway, this is a perfect project for tomorrow! I think we’ll work together and make a fall tree for the entranceway. Like another reader mentioned, I have a 2 year old that doesn’t like to get paint on him and every time he uses a brush he gets it on him somehow or another so we’ll try it with egg cartons! Thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:20 am - Reply

      I have some children that do not like getting paint on their hands so this did seem to be a nice alternative. Have fun with your project!!

  4. Lauralee September 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Such an awesome idea! I never would have thought of it.

    I’m reposting it on Facebook!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:19 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing it with others Lauralee!

  5. Andrea September 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I love that! I needed a leaf craft for our fall unit – thanks for sharing this one!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:18 am - Reply

      You are welcome Andrea:)

  6. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas September 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    oh, I had never thought of this! How creative & fun! I love recycling & crafting crafts! 🙂 The trees came out great & it’s always nice to see how different the kids finished products come out.

    Hope to see you share on the Sunday Showcase


    • KM September 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm - Reply

      So lovely!!!!

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:18 am

        Thank you Katherine:)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 12:18 am - Reply

      I keep forgetting to add my link! Thanks for the reminder:)

  7. Kristina September 26, 2011 at 3:50 am - Reply

    These turned out great. I agree with Amber- love how simple it is… and yet, something I wouldn’t have thought of. I have tons of egg cartons stacked in my “trash” cupboard… this could be fun to do with a Halloween theme too. White paint on black paper (dragging them a bit) and make lots of little ghosts… or orange paint and make lots of little pumpkins. Love it when your ideas move me to try something different.

    PS- I shared your blog on my new weekly Sunday Blog Share post.

    Thanks for your wonderful ideas!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Haha!! I agree – the ideas are endless!!!

  8. Christie-Childhood 101 September 26, 2011 at 4:59 am - Reply

    What interesting prints, I love this 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 9:15 am - Reply

      I liked that it made four at once – I think we will explore it some more so the children can see other ways to use the ‘four-print’ process…

  9. La-La's Home Daycare September 26, 2011 at 6:59 am - Reply

    What a wonderful idea! I have plenty egg cartons I have been saving. We can put some to use now!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 26, 2011 at 9:13 am - Reply


  10. Darlene November 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    What a great idea, using egg cartons for leaves!

  11. Reyna November 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    I now know how to incoporate Autumn with this weeks lesson plans!! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Yay!! I love it when a plan comes together:)

  12. Akane January 5, 2012 at 2:34 am - Reply

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing! I did some egg carton painting with my daughter…and she loved it!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 5, 2012 at 2:39 am - Reply

      So glad she liked it:)

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