Family Activity: Woodland Friends Tree

With winter chill keeping us inside everyday – taking the time to visit the outdoors and think of the creatures who live there is a fun activity for the whole family.
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It’s a wonderful time of the year to give and be generous – our hearts are full and grateful for all the goodness we have, and we want to share it with others! Have you ever given to the birds and forest creatures before? I certainly haven’t (other than that trail of dropped snacks my toddler leaves wherever she goes) – but this year, with some friends – we gathered and made tasty ornaments for a beautiful tree in the woods. Oh, those creatures are in for a Christmas treat!

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Gathering with some families or a group of children to create and decorate a tree for the animals is a wonderful alternative to your normal holiday party. It’s a lovely way to give back to mother nature and connect with your surroundings. With winter chill bringing many of us inside for more of our days – taking the time to visit the outdoors and think of the creatures who live there is a fun activity for one and all!

Tasty ornaments are simple and pretty to make…

*Cut slices of apple, orange or other fruits and using a large embroidery needle and thread – create loops to hang the slices from the tree.

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*Gather pinecones and loop string around the top for a hanger. Spread peanut or almond butter in the pinecone grooves, and sprinkle seeds or chopped nuts onto the buttered parts.

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*Thread popcorn, cranberries or other yummy snacks for the birds and squirrels – stale bread crusts, mild cheeses, roasted vegetables, dried fruits. With a large, blunt needle even the littlest helper will enjoy the work of threading.

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*Tiny baskets can also be filled with seeds, nuts and cake/breadcrumbs, and hung directly on the branches.

Once you have created a basketful of ornaments it’s time to hang them on your tree! Perhaps you have a nice tree in your backyard you want to decorate, or you could take a walk out into the woods and choose a tree there to adorn…whatever you do, Christmas carol singing makes it merrier!

Dangle the ornaments from the tree and wrap your strings around the branches. Doesn’t it look beautiful? Imagine the delight of those woodland creatures as they come out into the cold and discover the magical tree that has been decorated just for them! It will be fun to watch and see what gets eaten first. If possible, replenish your tree throughout the winter with more treats to see the creatures through until spring.

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Maybe this can be a new tradition…it will certainly be one of ours!

Wishing you and your family a happy and peaceful Christmas full of love!

Emily :)

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