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!
- 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.
- Start by drawing the tree with 1 triangle and 2 trapezoids on the green paper. Cut out.
- Next draw a star on the plain white paper – set aside.
- 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.
- While they color cut out the circles and squares for the ornaments.
- 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.
- Pop the largest trapezoid on , don’t forget to label the shape or ask your child what it is.
- Add glue for the middle.
- Add the shape.
- Add glue for the triangle on top and add it.
- Time to add the shape ornaments. My son was not happy that I pre-cut the shapes, so he had to make some too.
- 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.
- While they do that cut out the star.
- Add glue for the star
- Pop it on top. Let dry.
Because this is a flat craft this is a great one to send to far away grandparents or other loved ones in the mail !
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: 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 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.