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Provide a dry pinecone for each of your children. Have them turn their pinecones into winter trees by dabbing on thick green and white paint. While the paint is still wet, let them sprinkle on salt for a "frosty" texture.
Cut thin paper plates in half, then into fourths to make triangular Christmas tree shapes (four per plate). Give one to each of your children and have them color their shapes with green markers. Then let them decorate their trees by gluing on gift-wrap scraps, scraps of foil, and star stickers. To complete, punch a hole in the top of each tree and tie on a red ribbon hanger.


Select five index cards and cut each one into two interlocking puzzle pieces. On one of the pieces, write a numeral from 1 to 5. On the other piece, rubber-stamp that number of leaf shapes. Continue until all five puzzles are complete. Then give the pieces to your children and invite them to put the puzzles back together.

At a Christmas tree lot, look for discarded sprigs of different kinds of evergreen trees. Collect two springs of each kind of tree. Later, mix up the sprigs and invite your children to find the match-ups.

Take your children on a walk to look for interesting trees. Point out deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the fall) and evergreen trees (those that keep their leaves or needles all year). Keep a record of the trees you see, and use the numbers to make a chart when you return.