Branch Out

new year's wishing tree!
Photos: Courtesy of Kate’s Paperie

Break the taxi habit. Stop swearing. Eat fewer carbs.

You certainly have resolve. Now let your child hang her hopes on the coming year by creating a Wishing Tree, a decorated branch traditionally linked to the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. The kind folks at Kate’s Paperie whipped up this modern take on the project.

Wishing Tree

25 sheets of colored card stock or construction or metallic paper
Hole punch
Ribbon (color of your choice)
Tree branch (try one from the Christmas tree), houseplant (ficuses are great), or twigs in a pot

1. Fold pieces of card stock or paper in half and, with a pencil, draw half oval shapes at the fold lines.

2. Cut along pencil lines; the result will be in the shape of a leaf. Help your child write a wish for 2010 on each one.

3. Punch a hole near the top. Loop ribbon through the hole.

4. Hang the leaves on the tree branch, houseplant, or twigs.

5. Wish your dear a happy New Year.

For more crafty ideas, visit Kate’s Paperie
, 140 West 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues (212-459-0700). For other locations, go to katespaperie.com.

this week in new york!

The Nutcracker Sweets & The Steadfast Tin Soldier
What: Two holiday classics are adapted for puppet theater by marionette maestro Nicolas Coppola.
Why: String is the thing.
When: Thru Jan. 10. Sat. & Sun., 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.
Where: Puppetworks, 338 Sixth Ave., at Fourth St., Park Slope. Tickets at 718-965-3391.

Traveling the Silk Road
Kids collect stamps in passports as they wander through markets, watch silkworms spin cocoons, and more.
Why: Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project performs every Sunday afternoon.
When: Thru Aug. 15. Daily, 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Where: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park W., at 79th St. (212-769-5100). Tickets online at ev12.evenue.net.

Hansel and Gretel
What: Kids ages 5 and up will delight in the Met Opera’s version of the fairy tale.
Why: Fabulous falsetto.
When: Mon. & Wed., 11 a.m.; Sat., 1 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Center, Amsterdam Ave., b/t W. 62nd & W. 65th Sts. (212-362-6000). Tickets online at metoperafamily.org.

Photo: Courtesy of Kate’s Paperie

Kate's Paperie
140 W 57th St
bt 6th & 7th Aves
New York, NY 10019
The Metropolitan Opera
Amsterdam Ave
bt W 62nd & 65th Sts
New York, NY 10023
338 6th Ave
@ 4th St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Central Park West
@ 79th St
New York, NY 10024