October 19, 2013

Toddler's Christmas Tree


 photo file-23.jpg In addition to being just plain fun, this "3D felt board" can also provide a way to reinforce the names of colors, shapes, and Christmas images. My granddaughter will be 23 months old when December rolls around. She can play "Decorate the Christmas Tree" to her heart's content.

I still have to make more Christmas specific ornaments: stocking, Santa, angel, etc., but the tree is almost ready to go.

Yes, I know it's still October, but I wanted to post this early. It seems to me this is the sort of project there's no time for when we get into November.


I made the largest 1/2 circle I could make out of green felt and lined it with a double layer of bathing. (Why double? - because there was so much of it and I figured if I paid for it, I might as well use it.)  photo file-10.jpg

The radius of the half circle was 35-1/2 inches.
When shaping the half circle into a cone, I only overlapped about 1/8 of the half circle. I wanted the slope of the cone to be fairly gradual (like a Hershey's Kiss). That way, the felt ornaments would be more likely to stay in place when a toddler "slapped" them on. You can't tell how wide the base is here, as the back of the cone is collapsed in this picture.
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The whole thing took 5-1/2 bags of poly fill, plus the left over scraps of batting. I wasn't careful about stuffing the tip of the cone. So, after it was all put together, I had to go back and rip open the seam just enough so that I would be able to insert my finger. Additional filling was added until the tip was firm.
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A circle was cut from 1/2-inch plywood.
Quarter-inch would have been sufficient (and a lot lighter too), but I used what I had on hand. After cutting it out, I had to trim 3 times before it was the right size.
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The cone was stapled to the bottom of the plywood in about 8 places. Then I finished stuffing the base and stapled all around.
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I stapled on a handle, as the base is wide and this made moving it around a lot easier.
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A green felt circle was glued to the base. The edges of the circle wouldn't stay down long enough to dry, so I ended up whip-stitching it all around.
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Painted some tree boughs and added a star.

DONE!


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4 comments:

  1. Aren't you so crafty and talented to put this together! What a great idea and would be perfect for an educational game/gift at Christmas. Sure wishing I had a grandchild for this...but who am I kidding, I'd have to hire you to make it! Maybe one day, I'll be in touch.... So good, seeing you post here again.

    DD

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  2. Lovely congratulations, I'll try to make one for my toddler

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  3. Wonderful idea. Now that's it's been used, how essential is that circle of plywood? Any other suggestions (from use). Any photos of it once in use? (I'm so interested in this ---- I had already bought the green felt for a tree, before deciding on its shape. So, your sharing is just the perfect find for me. Thank you so much.

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  4. L'orraine, you know, it never occurred to me not to use a wooden base, but now that you mention it. I think you could make one just using the felt. Now, my little Zoe was still very little, the little ones tend to put things in place by "slapping them on." I know the weight of the base kept it from tipping over. I'm not sure you'd have that if you went without something to weight down the bottom. The tree worked just as I expected. I wouldn't think you would need to change anything - it's pretty simple. No real parts. Just tree and ornaments. I now my grandchild's mother works with her all the time, so I'm sure she sat with her on several occasions while she decorated, using it as a teaching tool. They still have it (She's turning 3 in December), so she may use it more independently as a toy, decorating more on her own this holiday season, as she understands the word "decorate" from helping me with my Halloween decorations. Oh, I would include a box to store the ornaments, so your little decorator can have practice putting away her toys.

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