A fun and easy outdoor activity that feeds off the excitement of the holiday season is decorating trees in nature. You can do this pretty much anywhere (make sure to have permission if you are on someone else's property!) - all you need is a tree and your imagination!
Be sure to include your kiddos in the planning of this adventure! They may have a particular tree in mind that they spotted from a previous hike. Or maybe you are close with a neighbor who has a nice little evergreen in their yard? Let them help decide where you will go!
If you are decorating a tree on a trail or in some public place, using things from nature is the way to go. Part of the fun is in the collecting! Grasses, pine cones, berries and rose hips, vines, leaves...whatever you can find! Make sure to bring a bag or basket to store things in while you collect!
If you are decorating a tree on your own property or with permission from a friend or neighbor, you can extend this activity with some indoor decoration prep. Keeping with the nature theme, you can make birdseed ornaments to hang on the tree. This is not only a beautiful decoration, but your feathered friends will appreciate the extra snack:
Animals will also enjoy garland strung up with popcorn or "O" shaped cereal and fresh cranberries! For popcorn and cranberries, you will need to support the little groms as this requires some needle work. Popping popcorn is super fun for kiddos and they can help you make a pattern out of the berries and popcorn while you string it up (fishing line works great here). You can help them get started with a strand of cereal...use fishing line again and tie up a piece of cereal to the end of it. Let the kids string as many on the line as they'd like and tie it off!
Another fun activity is to freeze nature objects (or birdseed and cranberries), into ice shapes that you can hang on the tree. Have the kids gather some items and put them into a small bowl or container. Fill the container with water and put a piece of string half in / half out of the water (if it has a hole in the middle like the photo below, you can just string it up after it is frozen). Freeze it overnight and pop it out when you are ready to decorate! If you are having trouble getting it out of the container, rinse it briefly under hot water to release the ice.
I hope this inspires an outdoor adventure for you and your family! Remember, winter is a season to be celebrated!
Stay Wild and Free,