It's also the sort of craft I really love, because it gives the illusion of a messy and complicated project, without actually being messy or complicated.
So, before I cleaned up the cardboard left over from our cookie craft, I asked the older girls (and a friend who was visiting and needed something to do) to cut out a couple of trees each for the younger children. There are templates all over the place online - we used one from a freebie math craftivity featured this month at TeachersPayTeachers.com (there are all kinds of great Christmas themed worksheets to be found over there right now - many of them free).
Anyway, once the girls were done with the trees, I cut alternating slits from the bottoms and tops of each pair, midway down...
...so they could be slipped together to make a standing tree - just like with the slip-together playhouse.
Then, I took them apart, for the children to paint green on both sides (the part that seemed messy, but with washable paint, and paper covering the table - really wasn't).
We left them to dry overnight (making them seem complicated), flipping them every once and a while, so the paint wouldn't stick to the paper.
Making for a great seems-like-a-lot-of-work-but-is-really-quite-easy kind of Christmas craft. Now I just have to dig out our copy Hans Christian Andersen's The Fir Tree, and we'll be all set.
It's great to be a homeschooler.