Activity: Friendship Tree
- 12x18" black construction paper, 8.5x11" white or natural paper, non-toxic ink pads in various colors, handmade brown paper or contact paper in simulated woodgrain, black sharpie or charcoal pencil, white charcoal or colored pencil (optional), glue
- 1 hour
- Art & design
By Molly O'Shea
A friendship tree is a great way to help your children document and remember the friends they have made.
For younger children you may want to cut out the tree trunk for them. Older children can draw their own and cut it out themselves. Cut the black construction paper to 12” x 12” so it can serve as the frame for their art.
Creating Your Tree
Have the kids glue their tree trunk to the bottom of the long side of a sheet of white or natural paper. Next they will ask their friends and family to help them create the leaves. Each friend should put their fingerprint, or leaf, on the tree, then sign their initials or first name on the leaf. You can use different colored stamp pads for variety in your tree.
Draw the Surroundings
Have the kids draw the landscape surrounding their friendship tree. They can make clouds, draw some grass, a bunny rabbit, or whatever else helps to make their picture complete.
Finally, mount the picture on a black background sheet and add a title. You can create a dimensional title by cutting out some patterned paper or wrapping paper, and layering a smaller piece of white or natural paper on top of it.
Like trees, friendships grow, so be sure to ask new friends to add to the tree!
After 14 years of designing on the computer, it was volunteering as art docent in her son’s kindergarten classroom that made Molly realize how much she loved working with her hands. Her blog, Love the Everyday, is dedicated to turning everyday objects into something beautiful. She has a degree in Studio Art from UCSD and lives with her husband and two sons in Encinitas, California.
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