In this post regular contributor, Debi Huang of Go Explore Nature shares five fabulous nature inspired Christmas projects.
If your family is like mine, the holidays are filled with family traditions. Every year, we look forward to baking holiday cookies, watching Christmas movies and going to see outdoor lights displays in our neighborhood. We also enjoy spending time getting crafty with outdoor Christmas projects. Here are five of our favorite family friendly, low-cost, nature activities perfect for the holiday season.
1. Holiday Card Tree
I don’t think my kids are unique in their love of receiving mail. During the holidays, they are especially eager to run to the mailbox every day to see what new cards have arrived. One fun way to display these cards is by making your own holiday card tree:
- Gather some branches on a nature walk through your yard, neighborhood or a local park.
- Choose a vase or other decorative container. Add rocks or pebbles to weigh it down and provide support for the branches.
- Insert the branches. Arrange as desired.
- Add other bits of nature around the base of the card tree for a more decorative look.
- Punch holes in holiday cards and attach to branches with ribbon or twine.
2. Decorating with Nature
Much of the holiday season’s décor involves glittery baubles, little white lights and yard neon aplenty. But it’s actually not that difficult to add some natural elements to your holiday traditions. Choose a live tree, wreathes and poinsettias instead of fake versions. You can also create your own ornaments by adding favorite nature finds to clear ornaments. Or decorate a tree in your front yard (see below).
3. Twig Star
Some sticks, twine and a few other bits from nature are all you need to create a twig star – which among other things makes for a great tree topper. This project actually starts with a nature walk to collect the items you’ll use – some sticks and other natural items you find along the way, like small pinecones, feathers or flowers. Then create your shape and connect sticks with twine (and glue if desired).
4. Birdseed Ornament
Consider this your gift to the neighborhood birds. The kids will enjoy mixing up the ingredients for birdseed ornaments and getting into the holiday spirit with fun-shaped molds (think snowman, star, Christmas tree).
One tip, molding the birdseed ornaments is a slow process – allow an entire evening before hanging these creations outside.
5. Decorate a Tree for Wildlife
We love decorating our Christmas tree indoors, but it’s also fun to decorate outdoor trees. Although you can use traditional decorations, we like to decorate for wildlife too.
Start by choosing a tree in your yard that you know birds frequent. Then adorn the tree with items they might enjoy like a birdseed ornament, fruit, dried apples, raisins – even some pumpkin if you have any. We add on some popcorn and cranberry garland, and sparkly ornaments for a little color. If you haven’t hung bird feeders before, expect it to take a few days for the birds to take notice. Then enjoy some bird watching!
What is your family’s favorite outdoor holiday craft or activity?