Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's Art Smarts: Zacchaeus's Tree

Last Sunday, our kids came home from church with construction paper tree crafts. They had talked about the story of Zacchaeus and how he climbed up into a tree so that he could get a better look at Jesus. 

I think the kids could identify with that. I know I did when I was a kid. Well, who am I kidding? At just over 5 feet, I'm no giant, and I spend quite a bit of time staring at other people's backs when I'm standing in a crowd. As I introduced this week's art project, we talked about Zacchaeus's determination to find out about who Jesus was.

Before I go any further, let me say that I didn't come up with this project by myself. It was actually suggested on the family page the kids bring home from church. After reading through the process, I thought it would be a great way to give the kids some creative freedom with something big. Really big.

This week, we're making Zaccheus's tree.


Large pieces of copy paper that can be taped together or large piece of butcher paper (I used white paper)
paints of your choice (we used tempera)
paint brushes


Since this was such a large scale painting project, I put both kids in adult T-shirts to protect their clothes. Then I sat them down with old magazines and showed them how to tear pages into 4 or 5 sections. They had a great time with this step and would've kept going for a long time. But it doesn't take long to get enough little pieces of paper.

While they tore paper, I drew a rough outline of a tree on several pieces of copy paper that had been taped together. If you have butcher paper (or newsprint, or any other large paper) I would recommend going with that instead. But the copy paper trick works in a pinch.

Then we opened the paints and started painting! I didn't bring out water since the idea was make a rainbow tree - we wanted the colors to mix and blend. And while the kids painted we did some experimenting with making new colors by mixing other colors. I think this was their favorite part.

Notice that they definitely painted outside the lines. It's okay - don't worry about that too much during this step. Just let them have fun with it.

The next step is to glue on the leaves. Guess what the leaves are made out of?

Magazine pages! 

I really had you on the edge of your seat, didn't I?

After your tree is all glued up you'll need to leave it alone for awhile to dry. I carried ours inside and then...

We got wet. You better believe that I was sitting in that little wading pool with them. 

Silas woke up at about this point and joined us.

 Look at those cheeks! Where's his mouth?!

After some hearty outside time, we came inside and ate lunch. Then the kids ran around like wild men and I cut out the tree.

The final step is to glue it onto another large piece of paper. I suppose you could skip this step, but it definitely keeps those little branches and leaves at the top from tearing.

We hung ours on the door that leads out to the play room.

Ta Da! It's a little busy and a lot crazy, but we like it. Not a bad way to review this week's Bible story!

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