A Birthday Tree!

I was talking to 2.5 year old C the other day about the up-coming birthday of Little Pop, and she and I got to thinking that a birthday tree would be such a cool thing. Why stop at Christmas eh?! Let’s be honest, I wanted one and she got excited about it. (I’ve never progressed fully into adulthood and don’t really intend to start now :-)
So, we set about making one from an old cardboard box, some paint and some stick on jewels. I cut out two, almost identical tree shapes from a large piece of cardboard. The trunks were nearly identical, but the branches varied a bit. (It does not in any way need to be perfect or a piece of art!)
I cut a slit from the top down to near the bottom on one tree shape, and from the bottom up to near the top on the other. Then they were able to slot together and stand up.
Then we got a few colours of pearlised and sparkly acrylic paint and got busy covering all of the card between us. It would have been easier to paint it flat, one side at a time, but this was more fun!
Hello lovely paints.
C used a thick, wide brush and then a flat sponge brush to paint with, as it was a big area to cover!
I love that she had a little lie down to really get stuck in to the bottom of the tree- total absorption!
Then we hung them on the washing line to dry!
When they were dry we stayed in the garden to smear on confetti glue, glitter glue and stick on acrylic craft gems. I squeezed the glue and she did the sticking.
Then we slotted the pieces back together to make it stand up.
Ta da! Little tree of sparkly beauty.
I love how the colours merged together as they dripped down while hanging on the line. Make me think another painting project might have to happen soon!
And no celebration tree would be complete without decorations! We added some sparkly pipe-cleaners and fabric flowers.
Then I made some little paper cut outs with the number one on and we hung those on with gold packing ribbon. 
And the first present is waiting underneath already (thanks Aunty Val and Uncle Andy!) It’s only a little bit ripped and peaked-into by Big Sister! ;-)
Someone is about to have a first birthday!
But she doesn’t have a clue! “Ooo this is pretty, what can I pull off and eat first?!”

This activity is good for:
* creating on a large scale
* fine motor skills; manipulating small tools, sticking
* creative and imaginative development
* knowledge and understanding of the world & PSHE: talking about celebrations, family, milestones and significant personal occasions
* recognising numbers

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