Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tree Painting and Birdseed Ornaments

Hello friends. A cold spell just hit Texas and brought Winter our way. Really! It was 87* just two day ago and today it's 35*. Brrr! We are keeping warm, staying indoors and working on crafts. Charlotte has LOVED our Christmas Book Advent. She jumps out of bed every morning, rushes into the living room to turn the Christmas tree lights on and barely contains her excitement when she finds the next book to open. I've also included a little handmade felt ornament for her to find each day too.  You can find the super cute free patterns at Imagine Our Life! I've had a blast making them for her!!! A couple days ago, the book we unwrapped was A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree  I fell in love with it the moment I first read it, but I wasn't sure how a three year old would react to it. Thankfully, she loved it. She listened contently, asked questions, and really loved naming all of the different birds that come to decorate the tree. The moment we finished the book, she asked if we could do a paint project. I decided to draw some inspiration from the book to come up with a couple projects for the day. First up was painting a Christmas tree. 

This idea is all over Pinterest. It's a quick and easy project for any toddler to do. You will need washable paint, paper, an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, scissors, Q-tips and glitter. I started by drawing a big triangle onto the paper and instructing Charlotte to paint in and along the triangle to create a tree shape. I gave her an empty, whole toilet paper roll and she immediately started dipping it in the paint and making little circles everywhere. Once she had it covered fairly well, I used my scissors to snip off the end of the used painted roll. I then cut it in half and let her "stamp" with that. It was the perfect way to make the tree look like it had tiny pine needles all over it.

I've seen some examples online where you can use your fingers to paint ornaments all over the tree. Charlotte remembered our Fall art projects and asked to paint ornaments with Q-tips. I poured out several colors and let her add dots all over her tree. She also painted the trunk and star with a Q-tip. We added glitter to the wet paint on the star to give it some extra sparkles. I think that it turned out super cute!

As the day went on and we had read the book again, Charlotte kept talking about the birds in the story. After lunch, I decided that we could make some special treats to share with the birds that like to visit our yard!

I followed this tutorial for the directions and birdseed recipe. Only thing I added was chopped up dried apricots. The star cookie cutters are from the Target $1 bin!!! I did all of the prep and then Charlotte helped me fill each star. We had a lot of fun making them all. Once all of our stars were complete,  I hollowed out a grapefruit half, tied some twine on and filled the leftovers in the little bowl.

We checked on them all evening and flipped them over a few times to make sure both sides were drying correctly. We then left them out overnight to fully firm up. They turned out perfectly and were super easy to gently push out of the cookie cutters.

We had fun taking them all outside and finding a place to hang them. I have to admit, I smile each time I look out the back window and see them scattered in the trees.

I hope that our feathered friends enjoy their little treats. I think we will definitely be making this project repeatedly. I'm happy we got it out there right before the cold weather hit too. I would love to make some of these and take them to a park to hang up or even decorate one of those road side "Christmas" trees that everyone does. Has a book ever inspired you to do a certain craft?

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