For day 2 of Christmas Play Days, we have the fine-motor Christmas tree. Christmas activities for preschoolers are so much fun so we have teamed up with Play Trains, Nothing if Not Intentional, Fantastic Fun and Learning, My Nearest and Dearest, and Buggy and Buddy, to bring you all of the festive fun this holiday season!
My first play day activity was Christmas Pretend Play — Wrapping Presents. Today I’d love to share the fine motor Christmas trees my preschool kiddos had fun with recently!
Related: Christmas activities for preschoolers
I placed the following items out for the children to explore (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
Related: Button Christmas Crafts for Kids to Make
I orignally included tiny wooden dowels in the materials. However, the kiddos realized that the dowels were too big for the pony beads. The dowels were quickly discarded for red, white, and sparkly pipe cleaners.
How the Kids Played
The children immediately began placing the little plastic lights into the fine motor Christmas trees. They loved the colors, as well as the shape (they look like tiny lights). These lights really were perfect for pre-k kiddos’ hands!
Related: Christmas Process Art
Once they realized the dowels wouldn’t hold the pony beads, the kids searched out the pipe cleaners. They were so happy to locate the pipe cleaners so they could thread beads on them. I actually think the pipe cleaners were better than the dowels because the children were able to shape them easily.
The children loved decorating, and un-decorating, the little trees for quite some time! They only stopped because we had to clean up and move on with our day. As we were cleaning up, at least five of the students asked when we were going to do this activity again. I already have it written in my lesson plans for next week!
Other Ways to Play
Many of the children were keen to take the fine motor Christmas trees home at the end of the day. Since there were only a total of 4 Styrofoam cones, this wasn’t something we could do. I’m hoping to find smaller versions of the cones at my local craft store. This way, the children could each have their own tree in our classroom windows. They could be movable works of art!
Playfully Practicing Important Skills
I’ll admit it, as I looked at the finished trees, all I could think about were the Daleks of Dr. Who fame. If I wasn’t a preschool teacher, that might be all I would see! I can understand that it might be easy to look at an activity like this and wonder what the kids get out of it. In addition to all the FUN they had (and isn’t that, alone, worth the experience?), the kiddos:
- Practiced their fine motor skills. Those little fingers sure got a workout!
- Shared a variety of items with their friends.
- Worked together to create three-dimensional art
- Incorporated math skills with patterning, counting, and sorting
Christmas Play Days
Please come back on the 5th for the last day of our little Christmas Play Days series! Be sure to check out what these lovely ladies are up to, as well:
Pom Pom Painting Christmas Tree Craft for Toddlers by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Scented Wreath Craft for Kids by My Nearest and Dearest
Holiday Breakfast Train Activity for Kids by Play Trains
Toddler Christmas Activity: Decorate the Felt Christmas Trees by Buggy and Buddy
Christmas Discovery Boxes: Simple (and Free) Christmas Play Ideas by Nothing if Not Intentional
Shared at Discover and Explore
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week, all while balancing other teaching responsibilities and a personal life, can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
Preschool Teacher 101 is excited to share with you some amazing lesson plans, activity packs, and other resources made specifically for preschool. We offer a wide variety of themes that are frequently used in preschool classrooms as well as less common (but super interesting) themes. Click on the image below to learn more about some of our great Christmas-themed resources!
Join The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101 today for exclusive access to our amazing products. And we even have three different membership options to suit your needs!
Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest says
I KNEW I should have picked up some of those foam trees when I was at Michaels the other day! I really, really want to set this up at our house!
Mary Catherine says
Ann, you are too sweet! 🙂 Those foam trees/cones are holding up super well! The kids have used them over and over, and I’m pretty happy with how long they’re lasting with the rough use. Let me know if you try it at home!!!
Jessica @ Play Trains! says
This looks so, so fun! I bought some of those “lights” when I saw them at Michaels for another activity — so glad to have another way to use them!
Mary Catherine says
Thanks, Jessica! We’re still having fun with those Styrofoam “trees” — they’re holding up super well! I love using materials in different activities, too. Let me know how it goes if you and Little Engineer try it out. 🙂
Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventures says
Alright, Mary Catherine! You’ve convinced me that I need to get off my duff and start making sensory bins for my little ones. I KNOW they’d love it!