I love Christmas time for the sheer amount of art and craft activities that people think of! There are so many great ideas out there on such awesome blogs that it’s impossible to do them all. Especially if you also need to fit school into the mix. That’s where projects that bring school and fun together are so important. The kids can do all the fun projects and play with the different symbols of the season and learn at the same time. These Christmas tree learning activities and games are just right for mixing fun and learning into your school day!
My littlest one, Shiloh, is really becoming interested in doing “school” while the other girls are doing their work. I certainly wouldn’t want to leave her out, so I created a few activities that were just right for her. These would be great for toddlers or special needs preschoolers like her.
Despite the fact that she is almost 4 years old (wow…my baby!!!) Shiloh doesn’t know her colors yet. In fact, she doesn’t understand most abstract things like that. She doesn’t understand why two different pieces of candy are called different things like red & green.
These activities bring color into a more concrete activity by having the child match the colors to another object instead of just arbitrarily mentioning color names. For most kids you could say ‘the sky is blue’ and they would come to the understanding that things that are the same color as the sky are also blue. Kids who require more concrete thinking wouldn’t understand that. In fact, Shiloh is confused by that. Saying ‘the sky is blue’ might lead her to believe that the sky has two names. Make sense?
Instead having two or more objects that are the same color can reinforce the fact that we are not talking about the objects themselves, but the color that they have in common.
These two activities worked great and Shiloh was having fun repeating ‘red’ and ‘green’ after me. Of course, we are far from mastery of the two colors, but the fun part is the process!
Christmas Tree Learning Activities and Games
Materials needed for foam Christmas tree sort:
Cupcake liner or small bowl
Red & Green Christmas M&Ms
1 each of a red and green foam Christmas tree. (Ours was from a value pack that we’ve been using in other learning projects this month.)
Place all of the M&Ms in the cupcake liner or bowl.
Lay the Christmas trees in front of the bowl.
Sort the M&Ms by matching the colors on the trees to the candies.
Be sure to reinforce the color names for each and every candy that is placed on the trees. If they get one wrong, that’s okay. Don’t say “that’s not right”, simply say “That M&M is green. Can you move it to the green tree?” or something along those lines.
Materials needed for the Christmas tree spot match-up:
Red & Green Christmas tree M&Ms.
Have your child match the M&Ms to the spots on your tree. As with the activity above, focus on positive reinforcement rather than pointing out when they have done one incorrectly.
As with all of our activities make sure you have lots of fun! Check out these other great posts from the Playful Preschool team!