Tube Tree Painting Process Art: Discovery at Home


  • Paper
  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls x2
  • Various colored paints
  • Various colored markers
  • Paper plate, cardboard box cutout, or palette


  1. Draw a tree trunk with branches on a piece of paper.
  2. Color the tree trunk and branches in with markers or paint.
  3. Wait until the tree trunk is dry before making leaves.
  4. While you’re waiting for your tree trunk and branches to dry, prepare your paint for leaves on a paper plate, cardboard box square or palette.
  5. Take your toilet paper roll and squeeze it flat, then slightly bend it back so it makes an eye shape.
  6. Press the eye shaped edge of the toilet paper roll into your paint and start pressing/stamping leaves onto your tree’s branches.
  7. You can also use markers to trace around the toilet paper roll on the page.
  8. Add as many leaves as you’d like!

How to Expand it:

  • Are leaves only green? Try using different colors for your leaves.
  • Fold, cut, or bend your roll to make a different leaf shape.
  • What other objects can you use to create a leaf shape on your artwork?

What Kids Learn:

  • Spring has just begun! Leaves are starting to grow back on the trees. What signs can you see that spring is starting?
  • Kids can learn how leaves use the process of photosynthesis for food and how sunlight helps trees grow. Add painting or drawing of the sun on your page to give your tree some food!
  • Symbolic thinking, or the ability to think about one thing representing something else. When small children begin to connect a tree on paper to the tree on their street, they start building the connections in the brain that allow for reading and learning later.
  • Science vocabulary:
    • Leaf: a flattened structure of a higher plant, typically green and blade-like, that is attached to a stem directly or via a stalk. Leaves are the way trees absorb sunlight and breathe.
    • Spring: the season after winter and before summer, in which vegetation begins to appear.
    • Photosynthesis: How plants eat! The process plants use to take energy from the sun and convert, or change it, into the energy they need to grow.