Now that my family has arrived for the holidays we have been watching Christmas movies, football, running out for errands and generally off our regular schedule. Sticking to a familiar routine helps my kids and stealing my daughter away from my mom for a few minutes to have some quiet time with me was just what we all needed. I got her up to the playroom with no plan at all. I looked at what we had and the time we had to do it in and this idea popped into my head. This is a simple Christmas tree craft but never seems to lose it’s magic even with older kids. Using the glitter glue was a perfect amount of shimmer without any mess.
I didn’t plan this easy Christmas tree craft at all. I grabbed these little wooden Christmas trees off an end cap at Walmart to appease my daughter. I was zooming around the busy store looking for a specific gift that was not where one would think it would be and she was threatening mutiny from the cart. “What’s that you want a tree? Two? Don’t unclip yourself and we have a deal!” She sang to them while I finally found the obscure item and made a beeline to the check out just in time to get us home for the school bus. After we got home I looked at what we had on hand and this craft took shape.
Gather your materials. You will need little wooden trees, paint ( we used acrylic glitter and metallic paint ) , painter’s tape, some brushes ( we ended up using sponge brushes and q-tips but I had already taken my supply picture. We also used a paper punch to punch out the tape stars.
Let dry. Now hours later I am staring up at these next to their elf houses from last year and loving our growing collection. So thankful my daughter spotted them and I didn’t have the patience to do anything other than grab them to keep the peace.
We love playdough and this fine motor activity isn’t just a fun way to build and challenge fine motor skills it also naturally encourages counting, color recognition and or course pumping everyone up for Christmas. We had fun trimming our tree earlier this month and my daughter has been moving ornaments around so I knew she would be into a tree trimming themed activity. If you have Styrofoam from Christmas packages you could use that instead of playdough for the tree but we didn’t have any handy so we used this.
Gather your materials. You will need some mini ornaments ( these were found in Target’s dollar spot a few days ago), toothpicks, green and yellow playdough, a mat and a fun container for the ornaments.
Start by making a tree with a star with the playdough. Kids can do this or you can. I did it for my daughter. Make sure it’s thick enough to hold a toothpick upright.
My daughter was interested in the metallic colors trying to decide which gold tone one was rally gold and what the other one was. She ended up calling one gold and one pink-gold. I thought that was pretty accurate.
I was so pleased with how well she took to this activity. She loved it.
When they are done let them be done, don’t push to add them all. As long as kids gave the activity a great go pushing them to do more more more will only end up in a negative feeling about these little skill building activities and can result in them refusing to give the next one a try. They will have lots of must do activities while they are older when they are little I like to be a fun buffet of ideas to try instead. Leave it out if it’s something they can do independently and let them return or not return to it at their leisure. I left this out for a few hours. She was done for good though, and that’s OK.
I thought I was done with Christmas crafts ( I have a few more ready to post) but when I found these little checkers pieces I knew just what I wanted to do with them. It’s a fun, easy Alphabet For Starters activity but can be adapted for older kids as well. Alphabet for Starters is our series of fun and playful ideas for teaching children the alphabet. See the end of the post for ideas of how to play with this alphabet activity in a more structured way .
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of construction paper ( any color and green) , glue, velcro dots, star sticker, checkers pieces ( these are from the dollar store checkers games) , marker, scissors and possibly contact paper * see below for my explanation of why.
- Start by cutting your green paper into a Christmas tree.
- Glue to the other paper , add the star and add velcro dots. ** If you are making this for a class or for kids that might be anything but really careful I would laminate or cover with contact paper before adding the dots so that the velcro doesn’t simple rip the paper when it’s pulled. I made sure my kids only gently placed the letters and prayed it didn’t rip. I was lucky.
- Write the alphabet on the checkers pieces.
- Add the other half of the velcro dots on the checkers pieces.
- Let all the velcro set for at least 30 minutes. We practiced cutting and did puzzles while we waited.
- Add some garland and lights ( aka some silver sharpie) .
- Add the letters! Most children will narrate as they go especially if they are used to you labeling letters for them. My daughter searched for letters in her own name and those of her family. 26 letters are a lot of r a 2 year old so I asked her to choose some to give to mommy to add. Of course she grabbed some labeling each before handing them to me. Then finished it herself.
- Later that afternoon when we showed her brother what we did while he was at school he took each off and added them in alphabetical order . He can also spell words with it and my favorite is to fill in the blanks.
I love Christmas crafts and kids love making them. These Christmas tree crafts are all easy to do , inexpensive to make and educational too. Some make great add ons to Christmas gifts, can be used as gift tags or even ornaments. Many of these are the lucky crafts I actually keep and dig out every year to display and reminisce with my kids. Here are our favorites .
Recycled Christmas Tree Craft
Craft By Numbers – Pom Pom Tree
Salad Spinner Tree Ornament
Baby’s First Christmas Tree Craft
Fork Painted Christmas Tree
Shape Christmas Tree Craft
Button and Nail Christmas Tree
Hawaiian Christmas Tree
Bubble Wrap Christmas Tree
Ice Cream Cone and Candy Christmas Trees
Sticky Wall Christmas Tree