Fall Tree Activity: Spice Paint for Toddlers

Fall is finally here! Celebrate with sensory filled spice paint!

I can’t believe it’s already fall! Not only does the year seem like it flew by, but we are having nicer weather than we did all summer! Spice painting has been so popular on Instagram lately, and I thought it would be the perfect first fall activity. The scents and colors are an amazing way to use almost all your senses, if your toddler is anything like mine they will probably try to sneak in taste too!

Materials Needed

  • Spices- we used cinnamon, sage, paprika, smoked paprika, pumpkin pie seasoning, cayenne pepper, turmeric
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Watercolor or fingerprint paper
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Glitter glue (optional)

Making Spice Paint

Spice paint is so simple to create! Simply pour a small amount of each spice into a container and add just enough water that you can mix it together and create a paste. This is a great activity to get your little one some practice in the kitchen, measuring out and mixing ingredients! You really only need a small amount of water, our first batch I filled the rest of the container and it made hardly any color on the paper!

As we mixed the paints I had her smell each spice. She said they smelled like banana bread and apple juice, which strangely makes sense?!

Painting with Spice Paint

To set up I placed finger painting paper and the spice paint in front of her. I thought it was very interesting that she was making deliberate lines and movements while painting. I’m not sure if it is because the colors are more monochrome than she is used to, but it’s something we will definitely be exploring more with. Aren’t those spicy swirls beautiful?!

She really enjoyed filling the entire page with the spice paint, stopping to sniff every once in a while. The spice paint leaves a really nice texture on the paper, and don’t worry if it doesn’t seem very saturated because it will dry darker!

Creating a Spice Paint Tree

She quickly filled up two full sheets of paper, and I set them out to dry not entirely sure what we would create with them! After walking to the park she really enjoyed seeing that some of the leaves were actually changing color, and I decided to cut our spice painting into leaves.

I sketched out the shapes of leaves and then 4 pumpkins, she’s obsessed with pumpkins right now. We’re still working on scissor skills, but older kids can definitely cut out their own leaves!

Once all the leaves were cut, I used brown construction paper to cut out a trunk, branches, and pumpkin stems. She then carefully glued the pieces of the tree and pumpkins together. Using a brush and slightly watered down glue makes this easy for little ones!

Because we have to add glitter to all of our projects, I took each leaf and drew a wavy line down the middle to look like the veins. She took her glitter glue and traced over each line very carefully. Showing her how to squirt out a small amount and then move the glue tip up and down on the line really helped. This is a great fine motor and tracing activity that will help develop writing skills later!

Once all of our pieces were dry, I put double sided tape on the back of each and she assembled the tree on the wall. I love that she is very particular about placement, making sure only two pumpkins on each side!

What are some of your favorite fall activities and crafts?

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  1. What a super cute idea! I have never heard of spice painting before, but will have to give it a try with my three year old. As the youngest of three I don’t do enough crafts with her (but I used to do tons with the first kid!).

  2. This looks like a really fun and sleep good activities! I wish my daughter wasn’t allergic to cinnamon, if it gets on her skin she gets all red. Eatting it is fine to a small degree!

  3. What a fun idea! I agree with Jessica (comment above). I don’t do very many crafts with my youngest because I have 2 older boys. This one looks like a very easy (and great-smelling) option. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Erin Phillips says:

    This is such a great idea! I’ve never heard of spice painting but I’m always on the look out for new fun crafts to do with my toddler.

  5. I love this idea! It is a perfect way to use up spices that may be a little past their prime for cooking, but still fragrant enough for this activity.

  6. This is a great idea! I’ve never seen this done before, but it’s a great suggestion for ringing in the Fall!

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