We got a real Christmas tree from Swansons Nursery at their Reindeer Festival (experience captured here) and it was a joyous family event putting up the baubles together.
Miss 19 months enjoyed the Christmas tree decoration tremendously. She single-handedly put up 20 Christmas baubles lol.
My husband and I decided to extend this interest by DIYing a mini Christmas tree from upcycled cardboard to let Miss 19 months decorate her own little tree whenever she likes. That way, she's happy doing her thing and our real Christmas tree is spared from daily decorating efforts haha.
Just look at the fun Miss 19 months had!
Cardboard Christmas Tree Decoration Fine Motor Activity with Toddler!
Tutorial to DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree
You'll require the following materials to craft the cardboard Christmas tree:
- 2 equal sizes of large cardboard
- 1 small piece of cardboard
- White ink marker
- Use the pencil to draw a Christmas tree on cardboard
- Cut out the cardboard Christmas tree
- Cut a long slit in the middle of this cardboard Christmas tree from the base to nearly the top of the tree
- Place it over another piece of cardboard and trace its outline
- Cut out an additional cardboard Christmas tree
- Cut a short slit on this cardboard Christmas tree in the middle from the top down
- Decorate Christmas tree by inking patterns on it (white ink looks really pretty on brown cardboard)
- Fit and overlap cardboard Christmas trees so it becomes self-standing
Optional: Make a Base for the Cardboard Christmas Tree
- Align the intersection onto a small cardboard piece and trace the "+" outline on the cardboard
- Use penknife to make light slits for the "+", do not cut all the way through, but just enough to fold the cardboard
- Slot Christmas tree into the base
How to let Your Toddler Decorate Cardboard Christmas Tree
Provide the following materials to your toddler for draping over the tree:
- Bead necklaces of different colors and sizes
- Ribbons of assorted textures, colors and lengths
Other decoration ideas:
- Stick pom pom balls onto the Christmas tree to pass off as baubles
- Poke holes to fit short straw lengths throughout Christmas tree and loop pipe cleaners around the straws
- Let your toddler freely sticker on Christmas themed stickers (Amazon gives out holiday gift guides with such free stickers in them!)
Developmental Benefits of this Activity
- Sensory play with ribbons aids cognitive skill development and brain growth
- Improve hand-eye coordination
- Fosters concentration and focus
- Fine motor practice (with all the pulling, stretching, draping and arranging of ribbons on the cardboard Christmas tree) strengthen hand muscles and tendons, which help with later skills like writing and drawing
- Free artistic expression enables children to build creativity and confidence
- Object and shape recognition (Star/Tree)
- Display of decorated tree artpiece at home enables children to feel that their work is valued and they are useful members of the household
Other Cardboard Christmas Tree Tutorials
I scoured the blogosphere and found these amazing DIY cardboard Christmas tree crafts you can reference too!
- Colorful Christmas Tree Craft with DIY kid-made ornaments by Hello Wonderful
- Christmas Tree Craft with Buttons by Artful Parent
- Modern Christmas Tree Craft which doubles as a guest book by Chatelaine
- Life-size Christmas Tree by Live Colorful
- Huge Christmas Tree by Geek Dad
If you're interested in other Christmas themed DIY projects, try making a Life Size Cardboard Santa Sleigh for your little one to ride! It brings great imaginary fun!
To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram), save our pins or join A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.