Preschool Christmas Activity

December 9, 2019 8 Comments
Preschool christmas activity

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O Water beads, O water beads, how lovely are thy branches?! Ok, those aren’t the words but this fun and easy Christmas activity for preschoolers mashes up my daughter’s two favorite things, water beads and Christmas trees! You can transform your water beads into a beautiful Christmas tree your child will LOVE. They will also be able to decorate the Christmas tree, over and over again without breaking any ornaments and making a huge mess.

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Water Bead Play

My kids LOVE water beads. If I am being honest, I love them too. There is something so satisfying about squishing your hand around in the beads, and patting them all down. 

water beads

Putting together a water bead bin is so easy. Just a few teaspoons of water beads and several cups of water will go a longggg way. I always think a few teaspoons is never enough and add more, and then they plump up and the whole bucket is completely overflowing. 

We have always used these kind of water beads, which work out great for the different sensory bins we do. I also love that they come in many different colors, which is important for making our Christmas tree below.

The water beads will hold up for several days. You can always add a little more water if you find them starting to get dry or too goo-ey. BUT before you throw them away, make sure to use them to create this fun and easy water bead Christmas tree.

Preschool christmas activity for kids. A fun and easy way to create and decorate a christmas tree #preschoolchristmas #christmascraft #christmasactivities #kidactivities #christmas

Christmas Tree Activity

This fun activity is perfect for preschoolers who can identify their colors, and can follow simple instructions. I would not advise this for a young toddler who is still putting objects in their mouth. 

Follow the directions on the package to create the water-beads. Typically every teaspoon requires about 2.5 cups of water.  Before you get started making the Christmas tree, make sure you give your child ample time playing with the water beads. I love adding these different sensory bin enhancements.  Once your child has had their fun of scooping, squishing, and burying their hands, it’s time to make a tree!

Creating The Perfect Christmas Tree

Creating this preschool Christmas activity or craft (is this considered a craft?!) is so easy!

First, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. It’s not imperative that you use the parchment paper, but it will help your tape stick much better, especially if your pan is too oily. The cookie tray will also help contain the water beads if they go out of bounds.

Next, it’s time to “build the tree.” Grab two green pipe cleaners and tape them to the corners of the cookie sheet, and at the top of the triangle. Since the cookie sheet doubles as a magnet, I took our Magnatiles and used a yellow triangle as our star! If you have additional pipe cleaners you can easily transform those into a star instead.

Next, ask your child to find as many green water beads as they can and place them on the inside of the pipe cleaners to start filling in the tree.

This activity is VERY time consuming, which is great. If you want/need to speed things up you can easily help, or have the green beads pre-sorted. You can also have smaller bowls out to sort the “ornaments” or other colored beads.

This activity is great for giving their tiny hands a workout and is also great for improving fine motor skills. 

Once the tree is about ⅔ of the way filled, ask them to start adding in the colored beads or “ornaments.” Decorating the tree is the gift that keeps on giving, because your child will love changing the tree up! Moving the red ones to the top, blue to the bottom until they get the tree just the way they would like.

christmas activities at home

Lastly, fill the “star” with yellow water beads! Your tree is now complete and you can continue to decorate and re-decorate the tree as many times as your heart desires! It’s also fun to run your hands back and forth against the tree.

You could also use additional pipecleaners and mold into squares, creating presents to go next to the tree! Send me your pictures to when complete, I would love to feature them on my social media channels. Merry Christmas!


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There is no such thing as a normal life, there is just life. Christine just happens to be a mom and lives in Normal, IL and blogs about food, family, and fun.

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  • Meredith December 10, 2019 at 1:30 am

    So I have totally held out on this toy because I’m scared my daughter will eat them haha. But I may have to do it JUST for this activity. This is darling!

    • Meg December 10, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      This is such a cute idea! Can’t wait to try it with my little ones!

      • normallifemom December 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

        Thanks! We had a LOT of fun with it and it kept her busy for a very long time.

  • Kristen December 10, 2019 at 2:09 am

    This is so creative! I have actually never bought water beads before. But this makes me want to.

  • Mary Leigh December 10, 2019 at 3:46 am

    How fun and simple! We have GOT to get some water beads over here – I know they will come in so handy when it’s too cold to be outside!

    • normallifemom December 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      They are my GOTO favorite activity! Honestly, I even love playing with them. They are very calming and so many different things you can do with them.

  • Nikki December 13, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    This is a great activity that I never would have thought of! My daughter would love this and it would totally keep her entertained for awhile!

    • normallifemom December 14, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      It took a long time for her to complete, and then after she was finished she loved changing up the ornaments. A very fun and easy ctivity for sure!

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    Normal Life Mom

    I'm Christine, a mom who lives in Normal (a real place). Here to share all things food, family and fun! An emphasis on healthy family friendly foods and snacks (with allergies in mind), DIY learning activities and play ideas. Plus all things toddler/preschool and motherhood related

    Christine xoxox

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