Christmas Tree Fine Motor Center

Want a fun Christmas tree activity for home or for school? Build this Christmas tree out of recycled lids from applesauce pouches and let your children have fun decorating the Christmas tree with pom poms.

Build a Christmas Tree with Repurposed Lids

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • recycled lids from applesauce pouches
  • glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • recycled 7 Up bottle
  • colorful pom poms
  • white cotton
  • plastic lid for base

Build a Christmas Tree

DIRECTIONS

  • screw lid onto clean, dry 7 Up bottle
  • start at the bottom
  • hot glue lids around bottle
  • continue gluing lids around base until you reach the top
  • hot glue lids to the top lid on the sides
  • hot glue on lid on top to hold the yellow pom pom or the star
  • hot glue the finished tree to a clear or white recycled plastic lid
  • READY TO PLAY

I added the plastic lid to the bottom to help give the tree a base.  It makes it easier for little hands to hold and place the pom poms in the holes.

Christmas Tree Center

SUGGESTIONS FOR PLAY

  • Say the colors while decorating the tree.
  • Count the pom poms – total count.
  • When finished decorating the tree, sort the pom poms by color.
  • Count how many of each color were used (red = 10, etc.).
  • Graph how many pom poms were used by color.
  • What color did you use the most?
  • What color did you use the least?
  • Use fingers (pincer grasp) or plastic tweezers to remove pom poms.

Start collecting those lids.  We have so many because my grandkids love applesauce pouches!

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SPINNER GAMES

Children learn best when playing games.  For some time, I used the pencil and paperclip method for the games that I made.  Unfortunately, it didn’t always work the best, especially with young children or those with fine motor delays. My daughter who has Down Syndrome always struggled with the pencil – paper clip method.  The game just became frustrating for her.  So I set out on a mission to make the best DIY spinner hack with everyday materials and let her test them all.  We came up with a winner!

DIY Spinner Hack
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ALPHABET NAME GAME

Have you ever wondered what letters you should teach your child first?  Teaching young children the letters in their names is a great way to introduce the alphabet. Young children need frequent practice to learn their ABC’s.  Using children’s name as a starting point for teaching letters will help motivate them.  After children are successful learning the letters in their name, choose other members of their family, friends, or pets.  You can even choose their favorite movie character.  Hint:  Think Frozen characters. Olaf is a great one!
Teaching Young Children the Letters in the Their Names
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MATCHING GAMES WITH ENVIRONMENTAL PRINT

ENVIRONMENTAL PRINT – WHAT IS IT?

Environmental print is everywhere!  Show any young child a picture of these labels: McDonald’s, Chickfila (mmmmm), Toys R Us, or Frozen and most will be able to read it.  Identifiable logos help build emergent literacy skills and provide young children with an “I Can Read” confidence.  Turning these logos into games is a wonderful way to learn and play.

Environmental Print Game
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SHAPES PRINTABLE GAME

Here is a fun children’s game for recognizing and naming shapes.  This game can be played individually or as a partner game. The shapes covered are circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, rhombus (diamond), and star. There is a free printable at the end of the post which has two versions.  You can choose either the diamond or the rhombus cards.

Have fun teaching shapes to your children with a fun printable game.
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NURSERY RHYME PRINTABLES

Learning nursery rhymes can help children learning crucial emergent literacy skills and oral language.  Babies benefit from hearing your rhythm, pitch, and fluency as you say these nursery rhymes.  Toddlers can join in by repeating and saying the words with you.  Pre-K and kindergarten children can learn to say them independently while learning to manipulate the words within the rhyme.

SPIN A NURSERY RHYME

Nursery Rhymes Blog Pic 2
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IEP AND FAMILIES

Preparing for your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be emotionally draining for parents.  I know this firsthand because my youngest daughter has Down Syndrome, Diabetes, and Celiac Disease.  Not only were we advocating for educational goals, she also required having a health plan.

IEP Quote
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MATH AND WATER FUN

Here is a fun way to incorporate fine motor, fun, and learning numbers too. Young children need many opportunities to recognize and learn their numbers.  I recently took the grandkids outside for some fun water play. The boys like to use spray bottles to erase chalk on the sidewalks. So I decided to change it up a bit and make it a learning game too.
Chalk Spray the Number

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OUTSIDE WATER ACTIVITIES

Do you want a fun, easy way to build gross motor and fine motor skills in young children?  Take them outside, give them a paintbrush, add a small bowl or bucket or water, and let them paint!  Water painting is great for little ones and for children who have difficulty making strokes with writing tools.  My youngest daughter has Down Syndrome.  I will never forget when her occupational therapist took us outside and taught us how fun prewriting could be with a paintbrush and water.  Of course my older children loved it too!  And now I get to have fun all over again with my grandchildren.

Let’s talk about what is going on in this picture.  I’ve numbered each picture, so I could better explain how to support your child with this fun activity along with how it can strengthen fine motor, and gross motor skills.

M Chalk Paint Brush
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