Super simple learning activities that cover multiple leveled learners and can be set up in just minutes. Yes, please! The month of December in preschool flies by. Instead of adding more to your plate, set up your classroom in a way that you can enjoy your preschoolers throughout the month without the added stress. Our play dough Christmas tree activity easily incorporates fine motor and math skills and offers different ways to play!
Play Dough Christmas Tree
Setting up the play dough Christmas tree activity takes no time at all. If you use the Gingerbread Literacy & Math Centers, grab the gingerbread play dough mats you already have prepped from there. Place them on the table. I place a play dough mat at every chair. You could also easily use small trays too!
You will need green play dough. Asking a parent to make a big batch of play dough would be a great idea to use for the Christmas trees. Just be careful to share a play dough recipe that you have used before. I find that some use too much oil…and the play dough ends up too slimy.
You can use pipe cleaner pieces, cut up straw pieces, or even beads for the ornaments on the play dough Christmas trees. I have a collection of Lite Brite pegs that we use. They are really perfect for sticking in play dough.
For older or higher level learners, you can also add dice to the activity.
Now It’s Time to Play!
For toddlers and the younger preschoolers, set out the green play dough (make a forest of trees all over the table. And then add pretend ornaments to a small bowl or tray. Invite the younger preschoolers over to play and push the ornaments into the trees. Model how to count as you decorate the tree with ornaments!
Some preschoolers may be ready to roll and then count their ornaments as they place them into the play dough Christmas tree. Add a die with dots or with numerals on it. Roll the die, identify the number, and then count as you add the ornaments to the tree!
Once the tree is full of ornaments, roll to take out the ornaments! Roll the die, identify the number, and then take that many ornaments out. Keep going until the tree is empty again.
For an additional challenge to the original play dough Christmas tree activity, add 2 dice! Roll the dice, identify the numbers, and place that many ornaments near the die. This is a great step to include so that your preschoolers can see how to break down the steps of the addition of the numbers on the dice. Once the ornaments are counted out and organized, count each one as it is placed on the tree. The number of ornaments you place on the tree is the total of the 2 numbers rolled!
No matter which way you play, lots of early math and counting skills are being practiced!