Simple art project to welcome fall

Fall Finger Painting

I know I’m not the only one dreaming of fall while summer lingers on! Here is an art project to welcome fall with color even before the leaves start changing. You can also use this project to talk about colors and shapes with very young children, and why the leaves change and what colors you can expect to see outside in the coming months with older children.


Disposable aluminum baking pan

Paper (I used inexpensive art paper from Walmart)

Permanent black marker

Unused toothbrush

Paint palette or paper plate

Disposable cup


Baby wipes or wet paper towels


Step 1: Squeeze small dots of paint onto your palette or paper plate. I used acrylic paint, but you can also use craft paint or tempera paint.

Step 2: Using your fingers, paint 5 or 6 circles on the paper (one color each). I used colors like red, orange, burnt sienna, and different shades of yellow.

Step 3: Add to each circle with semi-circles of different colors. For example, I added an orange semi-circle around the top of the red circle. Do this twice for each original circle. I also used gold and copper paint on a few of the circles for added shimmer.

Step 4: Pour a thin layer of black paint into the aluminum baking tray. Dip the rim of the disposable cup into the black paint and press the cup down on top of each circle. I did this twice for each circle (I like the fact that you don’t have to line up the cup perfectly with the circles; they can be a little off center).

Step 5:There are 2 options for this final step:

Option 1: Use the black marker to draw small dots all over the paper.

Option 2: Add a tiny bit of water to the black paint and dip the toothbrush in the paint. Using your thumb against the bristles, splatter some paint all over the paper.

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Tips for a cleaner workstation:

Place the paper in the aluminum tray before you start painting. Put the black paint on a paper plate next to the tray while keeping the paper in the tray for the duration of the project.

Less is more. You don’t need much paint for this project and squeezing smaller dots of paint onto the palette or paper plate will minimize wasted paint and encourage little ones not to use too much.

Use the baby wipes or wet paper towels to wipe fingers each time you switch colors.

Robin Winningham is a mother and full-time artist in Charlotte, NC. She is also the owner of It’s an Art Party and specializes in mobile birthday art parties and art tutoring lessons for children ages 4 and up. Visit her website to see her artwork and check out http://www.itsanartparty.comto learn more about art parties and art lessons.