Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stacked Stars Christmas Trees

Christmas is sneaking up on us, and you're probably planning the Christmas art projects you want to get to with your students - and some kind of year end celebration, report cards, shopping and cleaning and wrapping for your own family, juggling staff meetings and... you're probably short on time and energy, even if you have visions of meaningful lessons and carefully crafted learning activities.  If you have everything under control, please share your tips!  For the rest of us, I thought I'd share another simple holiday activity that takes almost no preparation.

As is so often the case, I found my inspiration via Pinterest.com.  Unfortunately, the pin doesn't go to the correct page on the blog, and it is in French... but here's the pin to show the idea.

To make this adorable stacked star Christmas tree you'll need some light card (I used manila folders), star shapes in several sizes, paint, beads, one pipe cleaner per child, and doodads to decorate with.  We used sequins, but use what you have on hand.  It's also helpful to have small pieces of styrofoam to use as a base for your trees, but florist foam would be another option.

On the first day (it's a 2 day project) the children painted their stars, and we let them dry.  Later I cut the stars out - my kiddos were 3-5 years old, and I guess I wanted the finished product to look a little more polished than it would with 3 year olds doing the cutting.  If you have the time and patience, and your children have the skill, let them cut them out.

To assemble our stacked star trees, we first put one bead in the center of a pipe cleaner, and folded the pipe cleaner over.  Twist the ends together a little, to make one strong supporting "tree trunk".  Make tiny holes in the center of each star, and have the children order the stars by size, from smallest to largest.

Next the children will alternate threading on the stars (from smallest to largest) and 3 beads - the beads separate the layers of stars and give height to the trees.  When all the stars and beads are on, stick the remaining end of the pipe cleaner into the styrofoam or florist foam base.  Have the children decorate their trees with sequins, pompons, or other shiny bits and bobs, then proudly display them until it's time to send them home!


 If you're also looking for some help putting Christmas learning centers together, please stop by my TeachersPayTeachers store and see some of my other holiday activities!

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