Christmas Tree Decorating Creative Table

As much as I’d love to have an entire room dedicated to play and discovery, our little two bedroom house simply doesn’t have the space.  So instead of an actual playroom, we’ve taken various playroom elements and created play spaces around the house so that Gracen always has plenty of opportunities to create, explore, and play.  If you were to visit our house, you’d most likely see some sort of sensory tray or bin happening in our kitchen, an easel and art supplies in our dining area, a felt board station, creative table, and toy area in the living room, and a nature shelf, dress-up corner, and book nook in Gracen’s room.  This set up works really well for us and the nice part is that if I’m making dinner or folding a load of laundry or doing some sort of other job, Gracen always has the choice of doing a project or activity of her own in the same room.

One of the areas Gracen’s especially taken interest in lately is her creative table.  All it is a regular kid-sized table and chair set, but the fun part is that new creating materials find their way onto the table every few days.  Some days the materials are really simple (something like card stock, stickers, and crayons, or paper, stamps, and ink pads), and other days the materials are a little more exciting (sparkly pipe cleaners and shiny pony beads, or chocolate play dough, gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutters, and buttons).  I almost always put out new materials while Miss G’s asleep, and I leave them for her to discover on her own.  Though I don’t actively encourage her to engage in the activities at her creative table (they’re more of an ongoing invitation to create), she almost always squeals in delight upon finding something new and gets creating right away.

Christmas Tree Decorating Creative Table | Mama.Papa.Bubba.This invitation to decorate paper Christmas trees was a HUGE hit today.  So much so that she ended up creating seven different trees and took her time with each, creating seven unique masterpieces.

Here’s what she found at her table after nap time…  Some tree shapes cut out of green construction paper, some crayons (Melissa & Doug’s jumbo triangular crayons are by far the best ones we’ve ever used), white glue, a glue pen, and a tray full of goodies.

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The decorations are all things I had on hand… Shape stickers, buttons, yarn, sparkly pompoms, sequins, pony beads, and foam circles.  Of course, these items could be swapped out for just about anything – and if you don’t have a large stock of craft supplies on hand, look in your kitchen.  There are so many fun things that can be used as craft supplies in your pantry.  Fun-shaped pasta, rice, dried beans, lentils, cereal pieces – anything goes really.

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The beauty of Miss G’s creative table is that she uses the materials the way she sees fit.  I don’t set out an example or show her ‘the right way’ to do the activity (although I try to avoid both of those things for most activities, not only those happening at her creative table)…  It’s open-ended and she’s free to interpret the project as she likes.  (While these materials quite easily lend themselves to a certain finished product, they can still be used in many different ways.  Some children may stick the paper trees together, some may use glue as a decoration on its own, and some may rip up the trees into new shapes…)

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Gracen adored this set-up and particularly liked how I had moved her table next to our real tree this time around.  She oohed and ahhhed over the materials and then announced that she was going to decorate her trees.

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One thing I had forgotten {and should really know by now} is a damp cloth.  My girl likes to be able to wash the glue off of her fingers as she goes.  My mistake!

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I left her at her table, popping in every so often to snap a couple photos or ask her about her trees, but she was very content on her own.

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Other than the stickers (she’s sticker obsessed), these sparkly pompoms were her favourite material.  She kept saying, “Dese sparkly pompoms sooo prickly, Mama”.

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Her creations took her well into dark until Papa returned home from work.

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By the end of it, our coffee table was fully covered in drying Christmas trees and our little lady was very proud of her creations.


For more creative table inspiration, pop over to Tinkerlab, a wonderful resource for all parents, teachers, and caregivers.

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8 thoughts on “Christmas Tree Decorating Creative Table

  1. This is a really cute idea! I would love to see more pictures of your house (play stations) in a future blog. I have 3 kids; 8, 3 and 6 months. I hate to say it but even our 4 bedroom house doesn’t work for us most of the time. I feel like I’m always running after them cleaning up and stuff ends up everywhere so I’m always looking for ideas of ways to create “play stations” so things look good being all over the house :) My older 2 never want to be in there rooms, they want to be where I am so I need better ways of entertaining them in every room. Love your blog!!!

  2. My little lady is still a bit young for her own creative table but what a fab idea. I’m going to set up a little creative corner early next year and hope that she keeps her creativity in the corner rather than on the walls, floor and throughout the rest of the flat! He he! We are big fans of your blog and are inspired by all your ideas. Happy Christmas!

  3. I saw this on No Time for Flashcards today! What a great idea! Looking forward to trying it out with my Little Guy in a few weeks! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow, so loving this :) It is so nice that she continues with her activities while you step away, Aarya would just follow me or do something that I will be horrified about; so I keep sitting there, watching :)

  5. Love this idea! I set it up for my son this morning and he had a great time creating 3 Christmas trees. Easy prep too

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