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Last winter I bought the beautifully illustrated and embossed book, The Snow Tree, for Peanut (now 4.5). The Snow Tree tells the story of Little Bear and his forest friends decorating a snow-covered tree with the colours of nature. With its gentle story and focus on friendship, nature, and the magic of the Christmas season, the book quickly became a favourite.
Peanut (4.5) and I love stories about woodland animals and making nature crafts, so when Mama Miss was looking for contributors to her series about Christmas ornaments inspired by books, I knew immediately that we could create some lovely natural ornaments based on The Snow Tree.
The animals in The Snow Tree each find the most colourful things they can to decorate their tree. In our neck of the woods, finding colour in nature right now is a bit of a challenge. However, we do have one plant growing in our backyard that is colourful and that I had already had success making ornaments with: red twig dogwood. And we have something in our fridge that, although store-bought, is also entirely natural: whole cranberries. All set!
Red Twig Dogwood and Cranberry Ornaments
Fresh red twig dogwood (choose thin twigs, 10 – 14 inches long, with no offshoots)
Whole cranberries (this craft is easiest to do with large and soft (but not squishy) ripe cranberries.)
Twine or ribbon
This is a very easy craft that is great for preschoolers on up.
1. Thread cranberries onto the red twig dogwood by pushing the twig through the end of each cranberry.
How many cranberries you use is up to you (or your child, of course).
2. Bend the twig into a circle so that the ends cross (fresh red twig dogwood is very flexible. The dried variety is not). Pinch the ends together with one hand while using your other hand to wrap twine around the place where the ends meet. Young children will need this step done for them. Older kids may be able to do it themselves.
3. Hang them on your tree! I should note here that I have no clue how long these ornaments will stay fresh. I’ll update this post once ours have gone past their prime. I plan on giving them to Peanut to hang outside once they do.