“How Lovely are your Branches”

Our house is decked for the holidays, and aren’t those beautiful trees so enticing to little hands? The pretty lights, the shiny ornaments, of course our little ones want to join in on all of the holiday fun and tear every single ornament within reach off of that tree! 🙂 This year I have added a couple of Christmas tree alternatives to our house to help appease my helpful friends.

First we have our felt tree. I had a ton of leftover felt from our monster costumes this Halloween and luckily one of my little monsters was green! I cut out a tree from the green felt and tacked it to the wall. I then cut different shapes from both the green and pink felt and we got to decorating! The felt tree was wonderful! We peeled the ornaments off and stuck them back on, we sorted by shape and by color, we decorated the tree in patterns and different designs. It has been an excellent quiet time activity and a great early mathematics game.

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Our next alternative Christmas tree is our giant coloring page Christmas tree! I stumbled upon this when looking for simple Christmas themed coloring pages. I am not typically a fan of coloring pages for this age group, I feel that they tend to stifle creativity and create an unrealistic expectation of what this age group should be able to do. Luckily I have no perfectionists in my group and they love the familiarity of an image (santa, a tree, a snowman) and they scribble all over the image with enthusiasm and proudly show off their “snowman!”

So back to the Christmas tree. This gigantic coloring page prints out in 26pages, then you tape it together and post it on the wall. Now the five year old girl in me was so excited! I knew that my kids wouldn’t necessarily appreciate it like I did but that’s ok, I let go of control and let them scribble away, I colored the little pieces that they let me have and they have re-visited the tree over the past few weeks adding a scribble here and a scribble there. I am keeping this link for future years, I can’t wait to see how our coloring progresses! Here is the link: http://www.mrprintables.com/christmas-coloring-pages-for-kids.htmlDSCN1483 DSCN1484

Of course the real tree is still just as enticing, beautiful, and magical!

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