Spring is finally here in all of its beautiful, pale-pink glory. It has been a long, hard winter and this spring, in particular, comes in like a breath fresh air and hope. Let’s celebrate with some spring art for kids!
It is another unusual spring for cherry blossoms in Washington, DC. The National Park Service said it would limit vehicular and pedestrian traffic around the Tidal Basin, as a safeguard for public health in the coronavirus pandemic. Check out our guide to the cherry blossom festival for more information on family fun with cherry blossoms and some cute online offerings this year. Even if we cannot make it to the Tidal Basin, we can enjoy the flowers in your own neighborhood and bring the beauty of cherry blossoms home with these painting crafts.
These simple craft projects are easy to set up, fun for kids, and look sweet on display.
I kid-tested these projects in my own household and with a Montessori-inspired toddler class I taught a few years ago at my church, St. Paul’s K Street. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
You can still celebrate D.C.’s signature harbinger of spring at home with these spring art projects for kids!
Cherry Blossom Bottle-Stamp Painting
One of my favorite easy crafts: using things around the house to make stamps! In this case, the bottom of a plastic bottle can make a great flower stamp. (Just check first to make sure it has the right shape!)
Get a large piece of white paper, some (washable) paint, and your favorite drink that comes in a small plastic bottle. Enjoy your beverage while you paint a tree trunk and branches. Once empty, the bottle is ready to be used as a stamper. The tree outline is the template for your child’s work, stamping flowers. Make sure you paint the tree trunk at least an hour before your child is going to do the flowers, to give time for the paint to dry. *Older kids can paint the trunk themselves, but for toddlers, the flower stamping is usually satisfying enough.
Kid crafting time:
Let’s spring into this art project! Attach your tree trunk painting to an easel (or the wall) and set out pink paint and the bottle stamper. The child can dip the end of the bottle into the paint and use it like a stamp. Then they can use the tree trunk as their guide and cover it with pink cherry blossom flowers! This is a fun activity for little hands because it only requires the whole-hand grip, which even most 18-month-olds can do. Young children can use their hand-eye coordination to try to aim for the tree branches … or just paint the whole canvas in a multitude of flowers if that strikes your young artist’s fancy. I did this activity with 2-year-olds in my classroom, but my 5 -year-old son loved this spring kids’ art project too.
Cherry Blossom Thumbprint Craft
Your child can make cherry blossom prints on a smaller scale with this cherry blossom thumbprint or sponge-stamp craft!
Get paint, a dish to put it in, a sponge stamper (optional, like this), and colored paper for the background and tree trunk. We used brown for the tree and bright blue for the background, to contrast with the pale pink of the cherry blossom flowers. Depending on the age of your artist, either you or the child can cut out a tree shape in brown paper and glue it to the background. One of my favorite things about the mature cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin is the beautiful twisting shape of their trunks and branches. It was fun to try to imitate that for this craft!
Kid crafting time:
Place your tree art paper on a tray. Pour small amounts of paint into a small dish to make it more manageable for the young child. We mixed white paint with a tiny bit of red to add another layer of interest for the craft. Now the child can use their thumb or a sponge to make blossoms! My idea was for my son to cover the branches with his cute little thumbprints to make flowers. But, of course, he had his own idea. He wanted to use a sponge stamper. So he did another stamping tree! You can make this spring art for kids with whatever materials you have on hand.
Cherry Blossom Necklace
We made this cherry blossom paper necklace craft last year with the wonderful folks at the U.S. Botanic Garden. This necklace is a great exercise in fine motor skills and will likely work best with ages 3 and older.
This spring art project for kids is really fun if you can gather the materials. Get about 2 feet of string or thin yarn and tape it to a toothpick. You now have a preschooler-approved “needle” and “thread.” Draw flower shapes on thick white paper. Get paint, a paintbrush, and a dish to put the paint in. Cut paper straws to make long “beads” your child can string with the flowers on the necklace. We used these straws.
Kid crafting time:
First, the children can paint the flowers — either with pink paint or by mixing red and white paint together. Take a snack break or a walk around the block while the paint dries. Once it is dry, cut out the flowers and punch two holes in the center of the flower about an inch apart, so your child can run the thread through it. Children can then use their toothpick and string to “sew” the necklace– putting beads and flowers on the string.
For more fun activities at home, check out our 101 screen-free activities for kids while social distancing.