Rainbow Christmas Tree

  • Construction paper in a variety of colors
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Ruler 

What You Do:

  1. Have your child place the construction paper, one sheet of each color, in a horizontal, or landscape position.
  2. Then, set one sheet of white paper to the side in a vertical position.
  3. Ask him to cut strips of paper from the bottom to the top of each sheet of paper. The strips should be about 1" wide.
  4. Have him cut one small square for the base of the tree, about 2.5" x 2.5", and glue it to the bottom of the white paper.
  5. Encourage him to draw and cut out a star for the top of his tree. Set it aside for now.
  6. Ask him to lay out the strips of colored paper on the white paper, overlapping them to create the basic shape of the Christmas tree. Don't worry if the paper extends over the edges of the tree, it'll be cut down later.
  7. Encourage him to play with changing up the colors and various ways of slanting the rectangles, overlapping them to create his tree. When the rectangles of paper are in their final positions, have him use the ruler to lightly draw a straight line (not a diagonal) where the paper should be cut.
  8. Have him carefully lift up each edge of paper and cut it along his drawn line, then glue it in place.
  9. Continue cutting and gluing until all rectangles are adhered in position from top to bottom, small to large.
  10. Complete the Christmas tree by having him glue the star at the very top of the tree.
My kindergartners had a blast making these Christmas trees this year!  To adapt it, I pre-cut all the strips of paper and they arranged them in order from shortest to longest.  It was a fantastic way to end our measurement unit.  You can check out my Merry Measurement Unit here.  

This engaging and educational Christmas craftivity comes from Education.com.  

First Day Fun with Playdough!

Good Morning!

We all know the first day of school can be hectic for most teachers. 

At many of the schools I've worked at, we've had a “Meet the Teacher/Bring Your Supplies Day” before school officially begins.  However, there were a couple years when we didn't have those days and students brought all their supplies and met their teacher on the first day of school!  When the first day comes, with all the supplies to put away, it does get very hectic!  Instead of expecting children to settle down with a worksheet, I placed a Ziploc bag filled with play dough and some work mats on each desk.  This is a highly engaging activity that requires no teacher guidance - allowing time to collect and assemble supplies. In addition, it also provides the children with a fun activity to calm their back to school jitters!

When I used this activity in my classroom, I had each child practice making numbers and their name with the play dough. Then I had them make something to represent their favorite summer activity.  This became one of our first “getting to know you” activities.  Each child shared about what they made.

Click here or on either picture above to download the recipe and some fun work mats!  Use these work mats or create your own for your students.  Be sure to laminate them or cover with wax paper.  :) 

Some additional ideas for how to work the play dough into an educational/getting to know you activity:
-use the dough to represent a favorite hobby or food
-use the dough to mold elements from a favorite book or story, etc.
-use the dough to create letters or build their name

What ideas do you have for incorporating play dough fun with the first day of school?