Have you ever used a tree as an easel?

Have you ever used a tree as an easel?

I know the title of this post sounds odd but if you haven’t ever used a tree as an easel, then let me show you why you might want to consider giving it a try.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the children explored their very own trees. As a part of their exploration, I invited the children to paint on their trees.

Although the children could have actually painted on their trees, I decided for this exercise to have the children use the tree as their easel instead and then look at and around their tree for some artistic inspiration.

Each child chose a tree of their very own then taped a sheet of paper to their tree. We had to go back around and add a staple to the piece of paper to keep it on the tree as the tape just wouldn’t stick well enough.

On the classroom table, the children found paint pallets (cut from cardboard), paint brushes, and paint colors.

The children added colors of paint to their paint pallets and went off to paint on the tree easels.

While the children painted, they suddenly became very quiet.

You could feel the warm breeze, hear the birds and see each child quietly and peacefully working on their paintings. It was really something else.

One thing that really stood out was that the children who do not typically choose to paint our regular easels absolutely loved painting on their tree easels.

It was amazing the difference in how much time and thought each child spent on their paintings.

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  • Julie Posted April 21, 2017 8:36 pm

    Love this and will definitely do next fall. We do CC, and do the tree study. Question, did you have water available to rinse b/w colors?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 21, 2017 11:34 pm

      The children were told they could take their brush to the sink to rinse out but a bucket of water sitting outside would do the trick. However, I only had one student decide to rinse the paintbrush. I also showed the children how to “dry” or rb off most of the excess paint from their brush by rubbing it on a dry spot on their art pallet. Most of the children chose this approach instead of washing out the brush and it worked brilliantly.

  • Dawn Tomsik Posted April 22, 2017 1:55 pm

    I have done these in the past as well. The first time we did these it was a blast! Learning from experience, when we did these the second time we made small holes for their thumbs to fit through which allowed them to hold on to their board better.

  • Lynette H. Posted April 23, 2017 8:11 pm

    This is an awesome idea. My Pre-K class is performing a Tree Study and you have given me some fantastic ideas to incorporate the outdoors with their learning about trees.

  • Joy Posted April 24, 2017 12:40 pm

    You could also read _A Tree is Nice_. An old classic!

  • Denitsa Getsova Posted May 3, 2017 3:52 pm

    What a great idea! I will definitely try to incorporate this summer!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted May 4, 2017 6:32 pm


  • Chris Posted August 15, 2017 10:28 pm

    Why is it that every comment I leave on your site begins with, “Ooh, I love this idea!”? 🙂 This sounds like so much fun! I have a bunch of plastic palettes with dry water colors in them. Perfect for a fall tree lesson!!

    • Deborah Stewart Posted August 18, 2017 2:27 pm

      Haha! I love your “oohs!”

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