MAMA Activity Post – Trimming the Tree

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Since having my son a new level of excitement has been introduced to Christmas as there are so many family experiences to explore and fun arty activities to try! The design I chose for our first Christmas cards combined my love of hand prints and creativity, hope you enjoy making them as much as I did.

Equipment –

For the painting;

– Plastic activity mat to protect your floor. Can pick these up cheaply from £1 stores / art supply shops.

– Paper/card (for experimenting on).

– Plain white pre made cards/card that you can fold.

– Green paint (water based, non toxic).

– Paint containers (I often use old pots from custard/yoghurt desserts or paper plates).

– Paint brushes / sponges.

– Old clothes / aprons for you and your child.

– Wipes (lots).

– Old towel.

– Camera: take photos during the fun!

For the decorating bit;

– Pom poms / stickers / foam shapes.

– Glitter pens / felt tips.

– PVA glue.

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Step 1: Preparation.
Preparation is key with MAMA activities so I often lay out all the painting things ready during nap time so its all set and ready to go. I also get all my bath things ready incase wipes aren’t enough after the activity!

Step 2: Experimentation.
I’ve found it best to allow you child to explore the paints/brushes and mess around with it a bit first so they get used to the feel of it.

Step 3: Hand print time!
I do a handprint first to show what we’re going to do. Children naturally like to copy so this can help. It also shows it is fun. With younger children you brush/sponge the green paint onto their hand then either press the card to their hand (better if its on a small board/coaster to give a harder surface) or push it their hand onto the card which is on the hard floor (ofter you get better results with the later). As my son got older though he would put the paint on his hands himself and slam his hand down, so then it was a case of putting the cards out in front of him and directing them in the right area!
You need one green hand print per card, alternatively you can do lots of hand prints on one piece then cut them out and stick them onto the cards afterwards.

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Step 4: More experimenting.
Ater getting the handprints you want put them aside to dry and then let your child do what they like, I’ll often add in other colour paints at this time and its amazing what lovely pieces they can create!

Step 5: Tidy tidy tidy up!
After we’ve become good and messy I wipe up the main bulk of the paint with wipes, wrap him in an old towel and dunk him in the bath (often handy, if someone else has run the bath for you during step 4). There have been a few hand prints left on the floor and wall then he’s escaped from me and my towel wrapping so this step can be tricky if you have a toddler who likes to run away and hide! However the paint is water based and does rub off well I’ve found. After everyone is clean I then finish tidying up whilst my son has a well deserved snack!

Step 6: Trimming the tree!
With a smaller child PVA glue and pom poms are not great to use with them as they will inevitably put them in their mouth! Therefore I did the decorating the tree part myself and you really can do what you like here, so get creative!! I also found some ‘merry christmas’ stickers which looked nice. With older children they could help you do this decorating part as well.

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So now you have some beautiful cards to send out, but don’t forget to keep one to put in your MAMA journey folder and also take photos to create lovely memories!

Please feel free to ask questions/leave comments or share photos of your Christmas cards!
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