Inside: Want to make your own toddler Christmas tree? It’s easier than you think. Plus try three hands-on toddler learning games you can play with your child all winter long!

I’ll be honest, when I first made this toddler Christmas tree a few years ago, the sole purpose was to avoid broken glass and crushed Christmas dreams. A one year old boy and a real tree simply don’t play well together, you know?

We didn’t even have a grown up tree that Christmas when my son was one year old. It was so bad, that one of my friends gave us a tiny Charlie Brown Christmas tree to put on our side table. It was pitiful, y’all.

Well, we’ve come a long way since then, mama! Our little guy is a preschooler now, and he’s bursting with that independent spirit. We stuffed a huge tree in our tiny living room and I decorated it to my heart’s content.

Of course, I still had that felt tree stored in my son’s closet. When he saw me bring it out, I could see his eyes instantly light up with recognition. “That my own tree, mommy!”

Well, up in his room it went! I hung it up, and my son fell in love with his tiny tree all over again this Christmas. I’m so glad he has a little bit of Christmas cheer spread to his own bedroom this year!

DIY Felt Toddler Christmas Tree

Materials:

  • One large piece of green felt (about one yard will do)
  • A pack of assorted felt colors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Command strips or thumbtacks (optional)

How To:

  1. Take a large piece of green felt and fold it in half. Cut the zig-zag branches, making sure to get wider at the bottom and ending in a point at the top. Folding the piece in half will help you make sure both sides are symmetrical.
  2. Add big felt squares and squiggles at the bottom for presents. Attach them with hot glue. I left mine hanging down below the bottom of the tree so they could hang freely over the baseboard.
  3. Make a variety of colorful felt ornaments. Add a star if you’d like! Use hot glue to layer colors. This is a good spot to let your child get involved. Have them design a custom ornament, then set it aside for you to hot glue.
  4. If you’ve got a smooth surfaced wall, grab some Command strips to hang the tree. I had to use thumbtacks since nothing else would stick to our textured walls!

Psst… if you’re looking for a more in-depth felt toddler Christmas tree tutorial, check out this one from Chelsea at Two Twenty One.

Try these other felt-inspired ideas:

Easy Toddler Learning Games for your Toddler Christmas Tree

One of our favorite things to do is to sneak early learning activities into everyday play. For little kids, I believe that learning should feel like play. This year as we set up our felt Christmas tree, a few simple Christmas toddler or preschool activities popped in my mind. My children love learning through hands-on play, and I love watching them engage and discover new ideas!

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Once you’ve got your toddler Christmas tree hung, try a few of these simple toddler learning games! Your little ones will have so much fun learning with their felt tree this winter!

Christmas Toddler Learning Game #1: Color Sorting

I started with this activity since it’s something my child is more familiar with. He know his colors pretty well, so I wanted to build confidence with this easy win first.

  • Place one of each color ornament on the tree.
  • With the rest of the ornaments in a pile on the floor, have your child pick out one at a time and sort it into the correct category.
  • Use vocab words like “similar, different, group, sort, and category” as your child sorts.
  • For an element of challenge and to encourage what we teachers call “error analysis,” place an ornament in the wrong color group on purpose. As your child to find your mistake!

Christmas Toddler Learning Game #2: Creating Patterns

Next, we practiced making patterns with the ornaments. Practicing pattern recognition is super important for toddlers and preschoolers! Making a pattern requires pretty complex critical thinking skills. Patterns are the foundation of math skills like multiplication, division and even algebra! Start practicing patterns now to help your child develop this essential foundation!

  • Start with making your own pattern with the ornaments. (blue- yellow- blue, etc.)
  • Have your child copy your pattern underneath with the same colors. Ask, “What comes next?”
  •  Practice this a few times until your child grasps the concept of a repeated pattern.
  • Try different pattern combinations. (ABAB, AABB, AAAB, and AABA)
  • To extend this activity, have your child make his own pattern, and let him explain the elements. (This pattern is pink, green, pink, pink. If I wanted to make a matching pattern with different colors, I could do blue, blue, yellow, blue.) Yes I know that’s pretty deep thinking for preschoolers, but try it out!

Are you loving these hands-on learning ideas? Want to take the tears out of planning toddler and preschool activities for your child? You’ll love my Early Learning Bible Curriculum packs! I’ve got engaging, worksheet-free toddler and preschool curriculum all planned out for you. Plus, each pack is tied together with a meaningful and inspiring Bible-based theme. This Christmas, you’ll love discovering the true meaning of Christmas with the Christmas Story early learning pack!

Christmas Toddler Learning Game #3: Graphing

The third activity we’re using our toddler Christmas tree for is creating a bar graph. Graphing is just amazing for helping toddlers and preschoolers understand number sense. Graphs are naturally visual representations of data, and we all know that most little kids thrive on visual learning!

  • Start with one of each color lined up on the horizontal axis.
  • Show your child how to add the correct color in a bar going upward.
  • Once he has all the ornaments lined up correctly, ask a few questions to help him understand what the graph is telling you.
  • Which color has the greatest (or biggest) number of ornaments? How can you tell? (You can tell because it’s the tallest!)
  • Which color has the least (or smallest) number of ornaments? How can you tell? (You can tell because it’s the shortest!)
  • Is there more blue than green? Why or why not?, etc.
  • Use the vocabulary words “greater than, less than, more, greatest, least, and same” as you talk about the graph.

Want more graphing fun? Don’t miss this hot wheels cars graphing activity. Set up in less than two minutes. Play and learn all day long!

I know our DIY felt toddler Christmas tree is going to be a holiday tradition around our house. If you make one for your family, be sure to try out a few of these Christmas toddler learning games, or share your own ideas in the comments!