Add this geoboard Christmas tree to your Christmas activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids this December. It’s very easy to make, and you only need a few materials to get started.
On top of it being low-prep, the Christmas tree geoboard is incredibly engaging for your students. It’s novel shape and concept really draws the children’s interest.
Use the Christmas geoboard tree during small group math lessons, or place it (and a few buddies!) in your math center for independent practice. Kids practice multiple early learning skills as they play and interact with the foam geoboard trees.
Related: Math Activities for Preschoolers
We’ve had fun creating all kinds of geoboards throughout my teaching career. Many are nonseasonal, but the most interesting ones tend to be the creative seasonal geoboards.
This one was inspired by a walk through a local craft store. I loved the foam trees they had available and knew the kids would get a kick out of them. Add in the children’s interest in pounding golf tees and making shapes with geoboards, and here we are.
Geoboard Christmas Tree
Now let’s jump into all the fun! Please keep in mind that I’m sharing how it went in my pre-k classroom. You know your students and their needs best, so feel free to make adjustments based on that knowledge.
Also, please note that these don’t have to be Christmas trees. They can just be plain ol’ geoboard trees. We were using them near Christmas, so that’s what the kids started calling them and I ran with it. But you don’t have to!
How to Prep the Christmas Tree Geoboards
First, go ahead and gather the materials you’ll need. Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Green and white foam cones
- Golf tees
- Rubber bands (we used the tiny ones leftover from rainbow loom bracelet-making)
As I mentioned earlier, you really don’t need many supplies to make your own Christmas tree geoboard. I do suggest making more than one if you have a group of kids. It’s just more fun that way.
Once you have the supplies, it’s time to get those geoboard trees ready. Here’s what to do:
- Gently push golf tees into the foam cones, spaced somewhat evenly apart.
- Place rubber bands or loom bands nearby.
- Don’t forget to leave out some extra golf tees for the kids to use.
And that’s about it! If you want, you can also place some shape images nearby as visual cues for the children.
Yes, I’m aware that the tree geoboards look a lot like Dr. Who’s Daleks! In fact, the first year we did this, my English friend and co-worker walked in and immediately spotted them, saying, “Oh, look at the little Daleks! Dalek geoboards!”
How to Use the Geoboard Christmas Tree with Kids
Geoboards are often used to explore shapes and sizes with young children. Older children can use them to practice more sophisticated geometry concepts.
Related: Pumpkin Geoboard
With that being said, the geoboard Christmas tree invitation is an open-ended one. Children make the decisions about how they interact with the materials (within basic classroom expectations, of course). This means you will see all sorts of playful learning!
Here are some of the ways you might see kids using the geoboard trees (I know because I’ve seen my former preschoolers do so):
- Create geometric shapes with the rubber bands.
- Add as many rubber bands to each tree as possible (sometimes they count the bands, sometimes they don’t).
- Put all the trees together, trying to create one big geoboard (this process was hysterical to watch).
- Place rubber bands in lines vertically around the foam trees.
- Attempt to create letters using the bands and golf tees.
I used Styrofoam cones for this activity. And they were used over and over and over again! I’m interested to see how the “softer” foam cones would fare.
I think the children might be more inclined to add and remove the golf tees with the softer cones, giving them even more options with the geoboard Christmas trees. Or it might be that I placed the tees in the cones from the beginning, so perhaps I’ll leave them off next time.
More Christmas Fine Motor Activities for Kids
If your students loved the geoboard Christmas trees, and you’re looking for even more fine motor development ideas for the holidays, I’ve got you covered:
Christmas Tree Roll and Color Games
Let Preschool Teacher 101 make your life so much easier with fully-developed, done-for-you early childhood resources. From lesson plans to dramatic play packs to classroom management guide, and more, we’re here to save you time. We even have The Pack, a membership for preschool and kindergarten teachers who are really focused on being amazing teachers without sacrificing their personal time.
If your students enjoyed the geoboard Christmas tree activity, I bet they’ll love our Christmas tree roll and color math games. Click on the image below to get your own copy:
If you’re looking for even more, click on the images below:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Originally published December 15, 2013.