We did felt board stories, learned about the life cycle of a tree, sang songs, and even made our own little trees, all leading up to decorating our family Christmas tree. We actually spread the everything out over two days, setting up the tree the first day and actually decorating it the second after all of our activities..
Skills: counting, science, math concepts (classification),fine motor, art, music, letter recognition
Prep: medium (if you have the supplies it really is a low prep time)
Felt Board Christmas Trees
Supplies: felt board, green felt (I used two pieces of green felt from the craft store)
I cut out 10 fir trees out of green felt with the trees starting small and getting progressively bigger. I then layered the trees on the felt board to make one big tree. As we read the following poem, we would take a tree off of the big one and add it to the board so that the number of trees would grow out of the bits of one tree just like in Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree.
There are three trees so cute and green
One big, one small, one in between
Counting trees, one, two, three, four
I wonder if I’ll see some more
On the board now there are five
Those trees are doing a Christmas jive
All different trees are in the mix
So now our trees will number six
Oh wow isn’t it so great
All our trees add up to eight
In front of me I see a line
Of Christmas trees that number nine
A forest now we do see
A forest full of ten fir trees
While the trees were all out we looked at which one were bigger and smaller and counted them again on the board. Then we sang the following song based on 10 Little Indians:
One merry, two merry, three merry Christmas trees, Four merry, five merry, six merry Christmas trees, Seven merry, eight merry, nine merry Christmas trees, Ten merry Christmas trees there.
Ten merry, nine merry, eight merry Christmas trees, Seven merry, six merry, five merry Christmas trees, Four merry, three merry, two merry Christmas trees, One merry Christmas tree there.
Life Cycle of a Fir Tree
Ahead of time, I printed out pictures of the different stages for a fir tree–seeds, sprouting, seedling, full grown, pine cone–and mounted them on construction paper. The girls and I went through each card talking about what a tree was doing, really focusing on seeds and pine cones. The second day we actually pretended to be trees, starting curled up in a ball as a seed and then growing big and tall. It was a little silly but the girls thought it was funny.
Pine Cone Christmas Trees
We also made our own little Christmas trees out of pine cones (I remember doing this myself when I was little). First the girls painted the pine cones green, next sprinkled them with glitter, and then glued pom poms on as ornaments.
As we live in the desert, pine cones are hard to come by. I just picked some up at Michael’s. They are the scented ones but that just added some extra Christmas cheer to the house.
When starting our activities we talked about where Christmas trees first started, looking at Germany on the map. If you don’t have a globe or map, you can find great maps here. We also colored sheets on T is for Tree and practiced the letter T using some of the worksheets found here. And we sang the song “Oh Christmas Tree.” To round off our theme, we cut our peanut butter sandwiches in the shape of a Christmas tree with a cookie cutter.
Finally, we were ready to decorate the tree!