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I know it feels a little early for Christmas crafts but this is really about Thanksgiving.  My niece is now 5 and her brother is 2.  We all gather at my parent’s house for the once a year visit for all the grandkids.  To say there is not a lot to entertain the little ones is an understatement.  On top of the lack of playrooms, my niece is one who has a hard time settling into activities.  Her parents are those super protective type so there is no outdoor time or television or all those fun things I used to distract my child.  This means coming up with activities that will keep her attention, be appropriate for really young ages (so brother can participate) and not make me completely crazy as the activities coordinator.

This is one I had planned for last year but ended up doing by myself after Thanksgiving.  However, I believe it’s a winner.

It all starts with this craft project.   While they have some cute ideas, I just borrowed the template and cut out several trees in a variety of green papers.  Here you have a choice, you can pre-assemble the trees or leave them flat.  It will all depend on how you want to glue on your decorations.  I used tacky glue which worked well but I did have some sliding buttons.  For young children, a flat surface for gluing might be nice.

I finished the bottom with pieces of Christmas duct tape.  For the top – a star attached with sparkly hot glue.

When working with small children, it is best to have most of the pieces ready for assembly before they arrive (so start now).  I went with the colored paper because it meant that no matter how many decorations they put on, the tree would look great.

Having more than you think you need will mean having enough to keep them busy if they find it fun.  Keeping it simple helps everyone feel accomplished without adding stress.  And if they decide it’s really not something they want to do, then you have a fun project for later.