Christmas Tree Craft

easy christmas tree craft

This is a fun way to make a shape lesson festive. This Christmas tree craft is perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers but older kids will enjoy it too, just make sure to provide fun papers and have older children cut out their own shapes!  Also I have always found it tricky to work trapezoids into shape activities for young kids, this is a perfect time!

  1. Gather your materials.  You will need a red piece of construction paper, a green piece , some fun contrasting scrap pieces ( I used old card stock) , scissors, glue, some plain white paper , yellow marker and a paper punch if you have it.Christmas Kids Craft
  2. Start by drawing the tree with 1 triangle and 2 trapezoids on the green paper. Cut out.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  3. Next draw a star on the plain white paper – set aside.Christmas Craft 003
  4. Invite your child to the table and have them color the star- lately my son has been playing ” Am I done yet?” after making one dot of color my reply is always ” I don’t know are you?” to which is keeps coloring and the game continues.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  5. While they color cut out the circles and squares for the ornaments.Christmas Kids Craft
  6. Hand your child the red paper and glue. I showed my son how the shapes fit together to make a tree before handing him the glue. The sneak peak was all he needed to understand what we were making.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  7. Pop the largest trapezoid on ,  don’t forget to label the shape or ask your child what it is.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  8. Add glue for the middle.
  9. Add the shape.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  10. Add glue for the triangle on top and add it.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  11. Time to add the shape ornaments. My son was not happy that I pre-cut the shapes, so he had to make some too.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  12. Add as many or as few as your little Picasso decides. What’s nice about this craft is that kids are able to manipulate the shapes themselves, instead of simply identifying them on a page.Christmas Tree Kids Craft
  13. While they do that cut out the star.
  14. Add glue for the starChristmas Tree Kids Craft
  15. Pop it on top. Let dry. Christmas Tree Kids Craft

Because this is a flat craft this is a great one to send to far away grandparents or other loved ones in the mail !

Books

christmas_in_the_barn

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown will sound very familiar to you if you are a fan of her book The Big Red Barn, which both my son and I am. I like this book but my son kept saying ” That’s not right” thinking that this was the other book. They are that similar. In this book though there is something that the other doesn’t have, most notably Baby Jesus. It’s a calm and gentle book about the birth of Jesus in a way only Margaret Wise Brown could accomplish.  I would like to read it next year to my son when he can appreciate that it’s not supposed to be exactly the same as  the Big Red Barn. Great book for toddlers and preschoolers alike!

the_year_of_the_perfect_christmas_tree

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston made me cry. The story is about the hardships and love of one family torn apart by World War 1 as they prepare for Christmas with no resources. I love how strong the mother in this book is, she does the best he can with what she has, treks through snow to cut that big old Christmas tree down , and the part that made me cry uses her own wedding dress to make her daughter an angel costume for the Christmas pageant. Oh but that is not all she sacrificed, she  used the silk stockings her husband sent her from the war to make a doll for Santa to give to her daughter. The father coming home right as they were leaving the church service – once again starting my water works.  It’s an awesome story but probably too long for a group of kids , or toddlers , but perfect for a bedtime story for preschoolers on up. Also this book and the one previous were illustrated by Barbara Cooney , who captures such meaningful stories with her amazing work.

the star tree by Gisela Colle

The Star Treeby Gisela Colle  is a fable about the spirit of Christmas and how it gets lost in the hustle and bustle of modern life. An old man  decides to make gold stars just like he did as a child to decorate for Christmas, but when he looks out at the city and their gloom he decides he needs open space for his stars to shine. So he walks out to the country and soon he’s not alone, and before he knows it the stars have made their way back to the city and so has the spirit of Christmas.  Cute story with darker undertones for parents but my son really enjoyed the surface story about shiny stars and gloomy cities.

Advent Tree Craft

Sparkle !

Christmas Advent Craft

I love glitter and it’s a good thing because my kitchen , my son and I are all  covered after this and we bought pre-glittered stuff!  I figure a little extra sparkle is never a bad thing! This advent craft is a fun number search every day leading up to Christmas, it’s also a great Christmas centerpiece.  My plan is to take each number off the tree and place it on to our Christmas tree ! These are great kid friendly ornaments that add sparkle but not a lot of cost to your decorating budget.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun wire decorative branches, some snowflake ornaments, some labels ( pre cut circles ones would be way easier) some crayons, a marker and a vase.advent craft
  2. Start by writing out the numbers 1-25 on the labels. I didn’t have circle ones  so we cut ours into circles but if i did this again we’d get pre-cut circle ones. advent craft
  3. Have your child color the numbers, and identify the numbers they are coloring too ! Yay Math!Chirstmas advent craft
  4. Cut into circles if you need to.Christmas Advent Craft
  5. Peel and place the stickers on each snowflake ornament. Press firmly. advent craft
  6. Hang onto the tree! Christmas advent craft
  7. Have fun counting down to Christmas! Christmas Advent Craft

Books!

little_drummer_mouse

The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer is a beautiful book. The dedication to his grandchild is perhaps my favorite part even though the book itself is wonderful too! Read it and you’ll see !  The story is a retelling of the little drummer boy , but in this book he’s a tiny little insignificant mouse. At least he thinks he’s insignificant until he follows the bright star to the manger on the very first Christmas night! The little acorn drum that this little mouse beats is anything but insignificant and he is thrust into the spotlight as Baby Jesus likes his music best of all ! The illustrations are amazing, they have so much detail I find myself opening this book over and over to just look. Great book, the test is lengthy for toddlers but preschoolers and older will love it.


Merry Christmas, Mouse!
by Laura Numeroff is an adorable little Christmas counting book. Most of the praise should really be on Felicia Bond the illustrator because the pictures take the cake on this one. The book follows the mouse as he decorates the Christmas tree, 1 Star… 2 angels… etc… It’s a perfect to read and then count the ornaments on your own tree. After reading it my son and I found 4 bells, and 3 trains on our own tree.


McDuff’s Christmas by Rosemary Wells was a classroom classic in my last year teaching. I think I read it every day for 3 weeks straight and then a few weeks after Christmas too! In it McDuff the little Westie dog saves the day finding Santa stuck in the snow! I love Susan Jeffer’s retro illustrations and the little details like the dad feeding the baby, the doggy sweaters the McDuff wears in the snow, and how Santa gave them all gifts they needed in the story . This book was never really put away after last Christmas and has been in bedtime reading rotation since, a definite favorite of my now 3 year old!

Holiday Book Sneak Peak

guess_whos_coming

Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola is a funny book about the classic family gathering. I don’t know about you but our family Christmas dinners were more comical than Norman Rockwell and I related so well to all the different family personalities, and quirks. My son thought the fact that one of Santa’s friends brought a polar bear was hilarious, but was perplexed by the absence of any elves.  I like that Santa is exhausted by his family but in the end happy he hosted such a large family gathering.  My son liked it, and loved the illustrations  but it is a longer book so take a flip through it to see if your child is ready yet.

cockadoodlechristmas

Cock-A-Doodle Christmas by Will Hillenbrand is a really unique Christmas story. A little rooster is at the center of this book, he is so little that his cock-a-doodle doesn’t wake anyone up.  He is very sad about his inability until that night he finds himself in the manger with Baby Jesus and finds his voice. It’s a simple book, with profound meanings. This is a great book for a Christan family or to read at Sunday school.

Latkes

Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland is a Hanukkah story about kindness repaid and how things can go awry. Sadie is a kind young woman and after she offers her fire wood to an older woman who is cold the older woman repays her with a magic frying pan. This pan magically makes latkes , as many as you want if you say the magic words . Her hungry brothers are overjoyed, their bellies are full but as often happens, they get greedy.  See the frying pan will keep cooking and cooking unless you know the magic words to make it stop, and her brothers didn’t hear those words. Mayhem ensues but the family and village find a way to make the mountains of latkes into a celebration. Beware you will be craving latkes after reading this, luckily there is a recipe.

han

A Confused Hanukkah: An Original Story of Chelm by Jon Koons is a delightful story about the village of Chelm, known by some as the village of fools.  The people of Chelm aren’t the brightest and when their Rabbi is away they have no one to guide them about Hanukkah. So they send a villager out to find out how to celebrate it, only he misses the nearby village and ends up in the big city where there are Christmas trees.  After he returns the village gets ready for Hanukkah with a dreidel covered Christmas tree, and they select the biggest fattest villager to be dressed as their version of Santa. Luckily the Rabbi returns , and gets the village back on course , explaining the proper Hanukkah traditions and the reasons behind them all. I love this book, I think it’s a great comical look at Hanukkah while really teaching much about it as well.

Bear Stays Up

Bear Stays Up for Christmasby Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep.  They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!

Homemade Christmas !

Candy Cane Scrub

Peppermint Salt Scrub

This is an easy make at home Christmas gift that your child can help make and have fun doing it.  Salt scrubs are awesome for dry skin and exfoliating, I have followed many recipes for oil and salt ratio but found the best is to simply add the oil slowly enough that you get the consistency you want. We have many more Christmas crafts on the way.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some kosher salt, vegetable oil, peppermint oil ( or extract – which contains alcohol so it can be drying, I used it but oil would be ideal) , a cleaned recycled glass jar, some material , ribbons etc.. for  decorating the jar.Salt Scrub
  2. Start by pouring the oil in a little at a time.Salt Scrub
  3. Mix Salt Scrub
  4. Add more until you are at the consistency you like. Homemade Christmas
  5. Add your peppermint, for this large jar I added 1/2 a tablespoon. If you are using essential oil, start small it’s very potent! This step should be done by an adult! Candy Cane Scrub
  6. Scoop into your jar.Homemade Christmas
  7. Add some fabric and ribbon and you are done! Peppermint Salt Scrub


More Christmas Ideas

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2009  Holiday Gift Guide

Recycled Christmas Tree

I love this craft, I have done it over the years with kids ranging from 3 – 13 and although he needed help and skipped the star my son (who is 2)loved it too. This is a great project when you have a wide range of abilities because it’s easily adjusted. For older kids have them add on ornaments or a Christmas message cut from the catalog’s text.

  1. You will need a brown grocery bag, some catalogs you are trying not to order things from, scissors, glue and a marker.
  2. Start looking through the catalog for green things, you want them to vary, it’s what makes the collage so cool. Cut them out. I have done this with 4&5 year olds and I would rip out pages that had green on them before starting the activity, and they would cut out the actual picture. Older kids can search for the pages themselves. Toddlers will may get very frustrated very fast, so do this step for them, or be prepared to do it with them.
  3. Draw or have your child draw the outline of a Christmas tree.
  4. Have your child color the tree- skip this step with kids that will be able to cover the whole tree, this fills in the gaps well with the little guys though, and they have fun!
  5. Grab that glue, no need to be exact !
  6. Start putting the cut out green pieces on the tree. Show little ones that you want the green side facing out, but if they object, I would let it be. If you are using this as a color lesson just label the color that is showing saying something like ” Oh wow your tree is purple”.
  7. Keep adding glue,and pieces of catalog. Don’t worry if all the corners are glued down, they will roll up and give the tree some texture. If you have a toddler help them with this step, once my son saw that I was popping the catalog cut pieces on anywhere he started adding one after another.Also the lines are just guides , if your collage goes over it that’s fine , you will cut it out in a later step. Let dry.
  8. These next steps I did myself, at this point my son has had enough and was off to play. Draw a star in the corner.Find gold and yellow pictures in your catalog and cut out.Glue onto the star shape. Let dry
  9. Cut both the tree and the star out .
  10. Glue the star on the top of the tree and voila!