On the first day of crafting,
My project was to be:
A toddler decorated Christmas tree...
My almost 2-1/2 year old little guy has a thing for letters, numbers, and shapes. When we're out driving, every stop sign he sees is greeted by "Octagon. Eight sides." And every time we see a star he lets me know "Star. Five points."
I wanted to come up with an activity he could do that went along with his love of shapes, and the idea of the Toddler Christmas Tree was born. It only took a few supplies, most of which I already had at home, and a little bit of time.
To make the Toddler Christmas Tree, you will need:
Green felt (my tree is 21" tall and 24" wide at the base)
Pattern (Newspaper and/or printouts)
Colored felt scraps
Needle and Thread
To build the tree:
I took a piece of newspaper and cut out a tree pattern before cutting the felt. You can also use chalk or a fabric marker to sketch a pattern or go straight to the scissors, if you're brave enough. I subscribe to the 'measure twice, cut once' train of thought, so newspaper pattern for me. I also wanted to be able to hang the tree, so I attached a thick gold string at the tip of the tree. You could use ribbon or Velcro or another piece of felt if you want to add a loop for hanging, or this could be a floor/table activity. You can make your tree any size you'd like. If you have multiple kids, make a huge tree. You can get the green felt I used cut by the yard at a fabric. This one came from a bolt that was 72" wide.
I'm not great with free-handing symmetrical shapes, so I went into Word and made a template of the various shapes available in the draw feature. You can always eyeball it or use common household items (rulers, cups, etc.) to trace shapes.I cut the templates from the printout and then used them as patterns for the felt scraps. Once I had all the felt shapes I wanted, I attacked a small square of the nubby side of a Velcro strip to the back with gold thread. Make sure to use the bristle side of the Velcro, not the soft side, or the decorations won't stick to the tree. Also, I tried using super-adhesive craft glue to save time, but the glue didn't hold up after a few rounds of toddler decorating.
I wanted to use up some felt scraps I had left over from other projects, so I didn't go out and purchase new 9 X 11 sheets, but there are tons of super-cool felt sheets available: glitter, swirly designs, polka dot, and more. So, really, your decorations can be as simple or as fancy as you'd like them to be.
If you have any ideas on how to improve on this craft project or would like to share your Toddler Christmas Tree, please leave a comment!