How to make Broccoli Tree Art & “Nope. Never. Not for Me!”

tree trunk handprint next to Nope. Never. Not for me! book with plate of various paint colors and broccoli in each one.

A Sensational Book (Series) & Broccoli Tree Art!

After reading Samantha Cotterill’s “Nope. Never. Not for Me!” we decided to use actual broccoli & our handprints to create these colorful fall trees! I’m excited to walk you through how we made this creative Broccoli Tree art, so let’s get started…

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

Summary of “Nope. Never. Not for Me!”

Nope. Never. Not for Me!” by Samantha Cotterill is a sensational book which is part of a fantastic series called “Little Senses”. “Little Senses” is a collection of children’s books for all kids; especially those on the autism spectrum or who have sensory issues. We LOVE this book & the Little Senses series! This book shows a very common challenge…a child not wanting to try broccoli. But it shows a unique response…a parent who has a terrific supportive strategy to help them. πŸ™‚ The illustrations are also superb. Highly recommended. You can learn more about Samantha Cotterill and her amazing work here.

How We Made Broccoli Tree Art…

hand and arm painted with brown paint to make a tree trunk

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity my daughter and I took turns painting each others hand & arm brown. This is a nice way to connect as its pretty silly to get your arm painted and they just might be pleasantly surprised you’re letting them do it!

hand pressing other hand onto paper to make tree trunk with colored paint on a blue plate next to it.

I realized my arm was gonna be too long for this sized paper so I let her paint both my hands instead & decided to make my art look as if you’re laying under the tree looking up at the leaves. This is also a great option for little ones who may not be ready to have their whole arm painted.

What if My Child doesn’t want to Touch the Paint?

This happens, its okay. The important thing is to support them. Here are some suggestions…

  • Let them paint your hands first so they can see what is happening before participating and they can also see that it washes off.
  • Let them paint their own hand, so they feel more in control.
  • Have them paint the trunk with the paintbrush then only paint one finger and add the branches of the tree one by one.
  • Do the painting right next to the sink so they know it will only be for a quick moment. You could even have some warm soapy water in a bowl waiting for their painted hands.
  • Another fun way to make a tree without having to touch the paint is to scoop some watered down brown paint onto the paper and blow it with a straw. The blown paint will look even more like a trees branches, going this way and that way.
  • Remember each step is them making progress. Perhaps today they squirt the paint onto the plate and touch the paintbrush with paint on it and the next time they touch a dot of paint and wash it off. Just like in the story, they are trying and they should get praised & encouraged.
hand making broccoli tree art by stamping paint on paper with broccoli

After working with many children as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher; I’ve found that having a positive attitude and not making it a big deal is the key. I typically approach it like, yep, we’re gonna do this fun thing…then just do it. If you hesitate or walk on eggshells worrying about their reaction, they will respond accordingly. Your confidence will fuel their bravery. You got this! πŸ™‚
A Printable of these tips is included in our FREE Printables Library! πŸ˜‰

Back to what we did…

We then grabbed a piece of broccoli, dipped it into the paint and stamped it onto the paper as leaves for our trees. That’s all there is to it. You can stamp as many colors and as many times as you like. Maybe your tree is full of leaves or maybe it only as a few, as winter is near. There is no right or wrong in art, the point is to have fun!

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

Nope. Never. Not for Me! book with a piece of real broccoli and broccoli painted tree art

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each art has its own identity. I would suggest Broccoli Tree Art if you’re looking for an easy and creative art activity to connect with your child & indirectly expose them to a new food or a food they might not prefer to eat (yet). πŸ˜‰

Materials We Used

  1. “Nope. Never. Not for Me!” book (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Cardstock paper
  3. Paint
  4. Tray
  5. Paintbrush
  6. Dish or palette
  7. Baby wipes
  8. Broccoli
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Newspaper Broccoli Tree Art?

  1. Lay the white cardstock paper on the tray.
  2. Squeeze a little of each color you plan to use onto a dish or palette.
  3. Dip the paintbrush into the brown paint.
  4. Paint your forearm and hand brown. *Be mindful that your arm tends to twist when you move it from painting to placing on the paper.
  5. Place your painted arm with your fingers open wide like a trees branches onto the paper.
  6. Wipe your hand and arm clean with a baby wipe.
  7. Dip your broccoli into the paint and give your handprint tree some beautiful “leaves” by stamping it onto the fingerprint part of the tree.
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of β€œCommunicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar πŸ˜‰ ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. πŸ™‚ Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! πŸ˜‰

If you liked this Storytime Art activity you might also like…