This past month I have spent my days with an 11 yo boy. Since I'm a girl and into girly crafts, I knew he wouldn't be interested, so I had to find other activities. First it was painting wood, then painting pictures, scrabble tile pendants, and now gem trees. The gem trees by far win his vote for favorite craft even over painting.
We started out making trees Monday of this week and he has made a tree almost every day. The first tree we made together with 3 and 5 stone branches. The second day he made a 2 stone branch tree all on his own and then the third day a 3 and 5 stone branch tree. I did do the gluing onto the rock base and he did make one at home one night...I haven't seen that one, but my mother said it didn't turn out too good. He really works best with supervision and verbal help occasionally.
Here he is with my brother (his dad) and two of his trees.
So, it is possible to teach kids how to make gem trees and to appreciate the design elements. He is already talking about wanting to go to the bead store and buy his own wire and stones....LOL what have I created.