Tag Archives: christmas trees

Star Tree

startree

Submitted by: Tracy Emond

This is a great math activity to celebrate the Christmas/holiday season.

Goals:

  • To help children practice fractions and measurement
  • To create a beautiful centerpiece to display for the holiday season

Before You Start:
Gather all the necessary supplies, including: green and yellow construction paper, rulers, tape, glue, scissors, glitter, sequins, beads, pom-poms and other decorating items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children measure 1″ increments lengthwise (and draw lines) on 2-3 sheets of green construction paper. Have them cut along the lines, creating 1″ wide strips.

Step 2.
Have children measure and cut the 1″ strips into the following seven lengths: 20″, 17-1/2″, 15″, 12-1/2″, 10″, 7-1/2″ and 5″. (For longer lengths, you may need to tape 2 strips together at the ends before measuring.)

Step 3.
Demonstrate how to fan-fold (like an accordion) the 20″ strip in 2″ wide sections. Have the children fan-fold the rest of the strips in varying increments. Fold 17-1/2″ strip into 1-3/4″ increments, 15″ into 1-1/2″ increments, 12-1/2″ strip into 1-1/4″ increments, 10″ strip folded into 1″ increments, 7-1/2″ strip folded into 3/4″ increments and 5″ strip folded into 1/2″ increments.

Step 4.
Let children decorate their strips on one side with the glitter, beads and other items and let dry.

Step 5.
Have them refold each strip and tape the ends together. This will create beautiful star shapes.

Step 6.
Starting with the largest star, stack them on top of one another, turning each one just slightly so they will balance on the one below.

Step 7.
Now you have a decorated Christmas tree to display in the classroom and/or use as a centerpiece for the holiday season!

Furthermore:
You can top off your tree by creating a star out of yellow construction paper or by using a large, yellow pom-pom. This is an easy project to take apart and reassemble over and over for years to come.

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Festive Foam Trees

foamtrees

Submitted by: Alicia Colebeck

You can make a unique Christmas tree, or even a forest, with foam and paper clips!

Goals:

  • To make holiday decor
  • To show kids that more can be done with paper clips than they think

Before You Start:
Get varying sized paper clips, festive holiday colored foam sheets and some scissors.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Show the students how to manipulate the paper clip so that there is a base and a piece sticking straight up.

Step 2.
Then cut varying shape squares out of the colored foam sheets.

Step 3.
Start to stack the shapes from largest to smallest all the way up the “tree trunk.”

Step 4.
As you place the next pieces on, turn the pieces just slightly so that they aren’t exactly the same way-this will give you the pointy-tree branches sticking out effect.

Step 5.
Once the “trunk” is full of “branches” you can simply glue the last piece to the top and your tree is finished!

Furthermore:
Try varying colors, different “trunk” lengths, and the color patterns you use for the trees, and then make a whole forest of festive trees!

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Matching Fun!

matchingfun

Submitted by: Teri Price

This is a fun matching game for any age.

Goals:

  • To help children match, categorize and have fun doing it
  • To match like objects and look for differences

Before You Start:
Get small wooden objects from a craft store. The flat ones can usually be bought in packs of 10. Paint them in pairs, making two the same. After they dry, place Hook & Loop Fastener on the back to use on a felt board – but you could also use magnets. This is a lot of fun to do with different seasons: *For Halloween, I made different faces on pumpkins. The children had to look for the different eye shapes and mouth expressions. *For Christmas, make different ornaments on the trees – make some look alike, just changing the color on a few ornaments. This makes it a little trickier for the children. *Easter eggs, leaves, beach balls, any shape would work.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Place the 10 shapes on a felt board and have each child match a pair.

Step 2.
Explain what differences to look for between the objects.

Step 3.
They can do this for circle time, or just free time. My preschool kids are excited to see the new ones up when they come each week.

Furthermore:
This activity is just a fun learning game. It really helps the children look for differences and like objects. It is fun for the teacher to paint too. Children can learn to be more observant. Make the pictures harder for older children and more obvious for toddlers and younger.

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Christmas Tree Craft

treecraft

Submitted by: Teresa Wirtz

A simple, but classic craft for the holiday season. Encourage young ones to be creative, and use an assortment of craft items to “dress up” your holiday trees!

Goals:

  • To encourage creativity
  • To reinforce fine motor skills

Before You Start:
You will need specialty craft scissors that create special patterns and designs (such as scallops or zig zags), green construction paper or cardstock, glitter pom poms in several colors, an assortment of glittering pipe cleaners, and craft glue. You might want to also use glitter to make the tree “light up” even more! You can also use jewels, sequins, or other craft items for decorating the tree.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fold a sheet of green construction paper in half.

Step 2.
On the folded sheet of construction paper or cardstock, draw a diagonal line from the top righthand corner to the bottom left-hand corner.

Step 3.
Cut down the line using specialty-edged scissors.

Step 4.
Open up the tree.

Step 5.
Glue the glittering pipe cleaners onto the tree for the garland, then decorate with the glitter pom poms.

Furthermore:
Adorn your trees with jewels, sequins, or other craft items to really make the trees dazzle! Display in your center, or have kids take their trees home for the holidays!

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Christmas Tree Count Ornaments

christmascount

Submitted by: Jennifer Galvin

Count the days until Christmas this year with these fabulous foam trees your class or family can decorate with a sequin each day. Finally, on Christmas, each tree will be covered with 24 gorgeous sequin ornaments and one shiny star. These tree ornaments will help your class or family count up to Christmas and then be ready just in time to hang on the tree for the celebration Christmas day!

Goals:

  • Create a festive holiday ornament for the Christmas tree
  • Enhance fine motor skills
  • This activity is especially good for practicing cutting skills
  • Practice counting skills every day, while counting up to Christmas
  • Use as a lead-in to calendar activities for the month of December

Before You Start:
Materials: Green Craft foam, a Christmas tree cookie cutter shape or a piece of cardboard shape that children can trace around, markers, a hole punch, string or ribbon, scissors, sequins, star shapes and Tacky glue. Before doing the craft with your class or family, make enough cardboard tree stencils (or purchase tree cookie cutters) for each table of children to share. Put scissors, the stencils (or cookie cutters), glue and the sequins in the middle of the table. Provide each student with a piece of green craft foam, a marker to trace with, and a 6″ piece of ribbon.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children trace around a tree cookie cutter or a pre-made cardboard tree stencil onto the green craft foam.

Step 2.
The children should now cut out their green foam trees.

Step 3.
Next, the children should trace around the bottom of the stencil to make a trunk for their tree and then cut out their trunk.

Step 4.
Now, the children should glue the trunk onto their tree.

Step 5.
Next, the children should punch a hole in the top of their tree. An adult should help with this step, but since children really like to hole punch things, I always let them actually do the hole punching. I just hold the hole puncher steady.

Step 6.
Tie a string through the top of each tree.

Step 7.
Each day, have the children glue a sequin to the tree to count the days until Christmas. On Christmas, have the children glue a star to the top of the tree.

Furthermore:
If you want to use this as more of a math activity, you can stress patterning with your sequins and place all the sequins in lines across the trees like garlands. Since most schools go on vacation before Christmas day, you can send children home with their remaining sequins and their star in a plastic bag to be put on at home as a family activity.

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3-D Christmas Trees and Wreaths

3dchristmas

Submitted by: Alicia Colebeck

This is a tangible tree for the children, with “branches” (the green tissue paper), ornaments, and gifts. Fun!

Goals:

  • The use of brads is a skill all on its own
  • The use of a whole puncher is also a skill builder. It’s for a fun Christmas/Holiday activity.

Before You Start:
Get heavy green construction paper, hole punchers, brads in lots of festive colors, or let them use markers or glitter to add some pizzazz to the brads. Then you’ll need green, red and white tissue paper. Set up your art area and make an example to show off. It’s best for the younger ones that you have pre-printed Christmas trees for them to cut out.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have the children cut the Christmas tree out.

Step 2.
Then have them use the hole puncher to punch wholes where they want their ornaments (they’ll need a lot of holes).

Step 3.
Then have pre-cut or let them cut smaller pieces of tissue paper out, and they don’t have to be perfect at all.

Step 4.
Then they crumble the tissue paper up and place a brad into the hole.

Step 5.
Then they simply close each brad and the brads hold the tissue paper on, adding dimension. The brads act as the ornaments on the front of the tree!

Step 6.
Trim off any excess paper form the sides, or just leave it a little fluffy if you’d like.

Furthermore:
You can use the brads to hold down other “decorations” for the tree – pom-poms, string, or whatever else you want to add to your Christmas tree. You can use a bigger piece of yellow tissue paper and a brad for the star on the top. You can leave paper at the bottom and add gifts held on by the brads.

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