The holidays are coming and so is Christmas tree hunting! Do you and your family find a live Christmas tree every year? This is one of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions. The local Christmas tree farms here have Santa, hot cocoa and candy canes galore. One year we even had a Christmas tree flocked!
Before you head out to gather your tree this year, let’s build a Christmas tree plan with sensory and fine motor practice. Children learn so much when they “plan ahead” and this toddler-friendly activity can be completed with children of any age.
What you need:
- 1 Bag of Dry Spit Peas
- 1 Plate
- 1 Bag of Craft Pom Poms
- 1 Black Marker
- 1 Box of Crayons/Markers
- 1 Glue Bottle (Liquid Glue works best)
- 1 Piece of Paper
- 1 Craft Tweezers, spoon (or you can use your fingers)
1. Draw a Christmas tree outline on a piece of paper with a marker (green or black).
2. Allow your child to fill in the tree with glue.
3. Pour some split peas into a bowl or plate.
4. Ask your child to use tweezers, a spoon, or their fingers to fill up the Christmas tree with the green peas.
5. Hold the tree over a large bucket and allow the split peas to fall into the bucket that isn’t glued to the tree.
6. Let the peas dry on the paper for about 10 minutes.
7. Count out 1 pom pom (any color), 2 pom poms of a different color, 3 pom poms of a different color, 4 pom poms of a different color and 5 pom poms of a different color.
8. Allow your child to place 15 dots of glue on their tree, wherever they want to hand their “ornaments.”
9. Tell your child to use the craft tweezers or their hands to place the pom poms in any order onto the glue spots.
10. Have your child count how many pom poms there are.
11. Ask your child the name of each pom pom color.
12. Place one pom pom of each color used on the tree on the top of the paper.
13. Place a drop of glue down so you can glue down the 5 pom poms from step 11.
14. Ask your child to count how many pom poms of each color there are.
15. Write down the number your child says next to the corresponding pom pom color.
16. Using markers or crayons, have your child trace the numbers with the same color marker as the corresponding pom pom.
17. Let the tree dry for another 5 minutes.
18. Hang up your Christmas tree so when you get your tree, your child will be able to hang ornaments in the same spot as on their drawing!
Split peas are a great sensory bin material because they are edible and too small to choke on! Place the rest of the peas into a small bin, add some scoops, spoons and plastic animals to let your children participate in pretend play activities. If you have older children, add in some pom poms for more Christmas ornament play!
What did your child learn?
- Sensory Language (What does it feel like?)
- One to One Correspondence (Counting)
- Fine motor development
- Following simple directions
- Using words to describe objects
- Color Identification
- Tracing and number Knowledge
- Compare and Contrasting
- Staying inside lines
The holidays are filled with fun, family and friends… and amazing crafts! This craft includes some sensory fun that everyone can participate in. If you have an infant or toddler, you can allow them to play in the sensory tub while your preschoolers help create a tree. Having the family play together creates memories that will last a lifetime.
Looking for a fun way to teach your child letters? Through hands-on play, join Sammy as he plays fetch with letters in “Sammy Chases the Alphabet!”
BIO: Jeana Kinne, MA received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been a preschool teacher, preschool director, parent educator, and now works with infants and toddlers with special needs. Jeana loves working with parents and families, creating simple and fun ways to teach children new skills.