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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Create a seasonal four corner picture

Show how a tree changes through the seasons using four different art techniques.

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You’ll need

  • Glue sticks
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • Bowls
  • Chairs
  • Sponges
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Pens or pencils
  • Sticky tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint
  • String
  • Tables
  • Access to water
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper
  • A4 card
  • PVA glue
  • Rulers
  • A4 paper
  • Masking tape
  • Something to protect surfaces (for example, newspaper or tablecloths)
  • Lollipop sticks

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. There's also more guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Planning this activity

  • You may want to set up several art tables, each with a different art technique, for young people to move between.
  • It's good to be well prepared with everything ready before you begin. You may want to set up the craft and paint items, tables and chairs before this activity. Make sure equipment and materials are age appropriate.
  • If they’re younger, remind everyone not to put anything in their mouths, including paint. 
  • You could run this activity over two sessions to give everyone plenty of time to finish it. 
  • To help contain any spills or mess, you may want to use wipe down tablecloths or put sheets of paper behind the canvases.
  • Remind everyone not to bring or wear anything that can’t get damaged or messy during arts and craft activities. You could ask people to bring, or provide, aprons.

Run the activity

  1. Gather everyone together and ask if anyone knows what the four seasons are. They're spring, summer, autumn or winter. You could ask what people’s favourite seasons are.
  2. Tell everyone you’re going to create a piece of artwork based on the four seasons. You’ll draw a picture of a tree, then divide the artwork into four sections, with each section showing the tree in a different season.
  3. Ask everyone to think about what you might see on a tree at different times of year and in each season. For example, in spring the tree might have lots of flowers, in summer there may be green leaves, in autumn the leaves could turn yellow and brown, and in winter the tree may have no or only a few leaves.
  4. Everyone should take a piece of thick card or canvas board.
  5. Using a pencil, everyone needs to lightly draw a picture of tree onto the card. The picture should fill up the page, reaching as close to the edges as possible. It can be in any style and as creative as possible, with different things in the background or surrounding tree.
  6. Next, using a pencil and ruler, people should divide the card into four corners. To do this, draw two lines to form a cross, one vertically down the middle of the hard card and one horizontally across the middle of the card. This will divide the card (and the picture) into four.
  7. Now, it’s time to start decorating each square for a different season, using any four different art methods. Each of the four squares needs to be completed using a different art method to build up the picture.
  8. Remind people to think about what you might see on a tree in each season.
  9. We’ve listed some ideas for different art methods on this page, however everyone’s encouraged to use their imagination to create their artwork.
  10. Once it’s finished, people should put their artwork somewhere safe to dry and tidy up.
  11. After the art has dried, you could display your artwork or invite in people in to view it.
  • Watercolour paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Pastels
  • Felt tips
  • Pencil crayon
  • Collage
  • Tissue paper
  • Dipping cotton buds into paint to create dots
  • Wax crayons
  • Fingerprinting
  • Using clean household objects to print, such as toothbrushes or forks
  • Using buttons, pom poms, sequins, feathers or stickers
  • Gluing down string or thread and painting it
  • Using nature or natural objects
  • Using paper straws of different colours


In this activity, we learned about different seasons and got the chance to be creative. How did everyone find drawing their pictures? How did you decide how to draw your tree? What did you include alongside your tree? How did you show the different seasons? Were you inspired by any other artist?

This activity was all about trying different painting techniques, too. What techniques did you use? What was your favourite method? Did anything turn out differently to how you thought it would?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Small objects

Make sure small objects are used under supervision. Make sure small objects are not put in mouths, ears, noses and so on. Remind people to not put anything in their mouth and wash their hands regularly.

  • To make this harder, you could make the portrait bigger. You could also divide the artwork into more sections, such as six, and use more artistic techniques.
  • To make this easier, you could divide the image into two halves and just use two seasons.
  • If anyone needs help or struggles with fine motor skills, give them the opportunity to work in pairs, with a young leader or an adult volunteer. Alternatively, swap out the items for something easier to handle. If anyone needs support in using craft items, allow them to work with someone else who can help them.
  • People who struggle with making choices could find all the options a bit overwhelming, so they might need extra support or to work with a young leader/volunteer to be able to create their artwork. Anyone who struggles with creating a design could be given paper with a pre-drawn image that they can glue or stick craft materials onto.
  • Some people might struggle with using scissors. Make sure that volunteers or young leaders are there to help as much as needed. Child-safe spring self-opening scissors may be beneficial for some people.
  • Arts and crafts activities can be done sitting or standing – whichever way works best for everyone. Make sure that all the materials are at a level that can easily be collected by and worked on by wheelchair users.
  • Anyone who struggles with creating a design could be given a template with a pre-drawn image that they can glue or stick craft materials onto. They could also be given printed designs to colour in or copy.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

You could create a single bigger image, drawn across lots of pieces of paper, with people decorating one each using a different method. You could then bring them all back together to create a wonderful big piece of art, making up one image.

Let young people choose the art techniques they want to use and have the freedom to be creative.