OK this is a super CRAFTY project but I have a 1 year old and a 3 years old who always want to "Art". So when Im caught off guard I" have to use things around the house. Heres what you will need.
paper towel or toilet paper roll
Hot glue gun (I used elmers because I didnt have a hot glue gun here)
thin carboard (cereal box would be perfect)
magazine or construction paper (if you want to add flowers or fruit to your tree)
Have your kids choose a color of paint for the trunk (paper towl roll cut in half) Its ok if they dont pick brown, let them be creative! Then they paint the roll.
As those are drying have your children paint the top of the tree on the thin cardboard. My kids are little so I had them just pick a color for the top of the tree and paint an area. Try to avoid drawing an outline for them to paint in. This limits the childs expression through paint and controls the natural shapes they will create with the brush.
Riley wanted to make pink flowers for her tree. She searched through a magazine for the right color pink. She then practiced her cutting skills but cutting out shapes and sticking them in the wet paint.
Depending on how thick they apply the paint it may take awhile to dry. You can speed up the drying process with a hair dryer. I let mine sit over night.
I was afraid that the trees would be top heavy and my 1 year old, Alex wouldnt be able to balance them. I found bottle caps that fit into the bottom and glued them in to provide weight on the bottom. If you dont have any bottle caps that fit, try adding a few layers of hot glue to the inside bottom of the tube.
Use the shape created in their painting to cut the tree top. If your child is old enough to cut the cardboard they can do this part themself.
Cut two notches across from eachother in the tube and insert the tree top in. Secure with hot glue
Once our trees were done Riley wanted to play "Forrest" So she got out her animals and princess castle. Alex jumped right in! Its amazing how something so little can spark such great imaginative play.