Each week we’ll have a range of activities to explore the season through our senses.
This week we’re using our sense of sight and I have a gorgeous Christmas tree craft that invites children to use their eyes to make a festive art display – or a Christmas tree matching game. Use the links at the end of this article to see all the other ideas so you can set up a sensory play experience for your children too.
Christmas sensory play :: Christmas tree craft and matching game
For our sense of sight activity we decided to make some Christmas trees, using our art materials to see if we could give every tree a design that looked completely different.
This activity works well at home or school. In a group, each child can contribute their unique tree design to a collective display. And at home, there is the opportunity to challenge yourself to think of as many different looks as you can.
For our trees my daughter picked out:
glitter glue :: permanent markers :: washi tape :: watercolour paints :: oil pastels
For each tree we started out with a simple triangle drawn on a piece of card. Then we used a different art technique on each tree to give them all a different look. Anything goes here: invite your children to use their eyes to pick the colours, patterns, shapes and designs that they like.
My daughter picked: a Christmas tree with lots of busy squiggles…
a Christmas tree covered in sparkly glitter glue…
a stripy Christmas tree made with washi tape
a Christmas tree with oil pastel baubles, painted right over with watercolour paints…
and a Christmas tree with little finger print decorations.
To create a gorgeous Christmas tree display you can simple fold each tree in half, so that it stands up by itself. I love how they look collected together, showing all the contrasts in design.
Christmas tree matching game
But, you can also use your art to make a Christmas tree matching game. Just cut each tree in half and lay all the pieces out, in a jumbled arrangement. Then see if you can find all the matching pairs.
Matching games encourage children to look carefully and spot similarities and differences, skills they need for both math and reading and writing. Simple matching activities like this are great for toddlers and preschoolers.
You could add magnets on to the back so you can make a matching forest of trees on your fridge door, or use them as a quiet time busy bag.
This would make a lovely matching game Christmas gift a child could make for a younger sibling.
More Christmas sensory play activities
All through the Christmas period we’ll be bringing you the SeeHearTouchTasteSmell Christmas Sensory play series, featuring wonderful festive activities that encourage children to explore the season though their senses. This week’s activities are all based around using our sense of sight. Take a look at the other ideas in the series and you can offer your children a rich learning experience.
Christie at Childhood 101 has a printable Christmas charades game you can play.
Kate at Picklebums has some printable Christmas glasses which are fab for fun Christmas photos.
Ana at Babble Dabble Do has a set of intriguing Christmas optical illusions which challenge children to think about what they think they can see.
Meri at Meri Cherry has some fun DIY Santa binoculars so you can watch out for Father Christmas in the night sky.
Kristina at Toddler Approved has a build a photo Christmas tree which is perfect for toddlers.
Nurture art with the Art Spark resources!
My Art Spark resources will give you everything you need to start a joyful art practice with your children. There are two new ebooks and an online art course for your family or class. Use them and you’ll be bursting with enthusiasm and ideas that will help you make art happen. Click here to see more.