This Christmas-themed activity is great for toddlers to work on number and color recognition and it’s also excellent for fine motor skills. It can easily be adapted as more of a challenge if you have preschoolers, too!
I started by drawing the outline of a Christmas tree on a large piece of green poster board.
With Veronika at my side, we counted up from 1 to 6 as I wrote the numbers in the bottom of Christmas cupcake liners. She has learned to count by rote up to 11, but this was a great pause to show her the numeral attached to each number as we counted up. We then taped these down at the tips of the tree’s “branches”.
Next, I filled the cupcake liners with jingle bells! I started with the corresponding number of bells in each cupcake liner (one bell in the liner marked 1, two in the liner marked 2, and so forth), even knowing they wouldn’t stay like that for long. This is a part where you can challenge a preschooler to add the right number of bells to each liner!
For Veronika, it was more a game of fine motor skills and sensory play. I gave her a plastic spoon (green, naturally) to scoop the jingle bells from one liner to another. She also loved picking up extra liners that weren’t taped down and dumping the bells.
And of course each movement she made was accompanied by the delightful auditory jingle of a Christmas bell.
For a quick color variation, I colored the bottom of one liner with red marker and another green, and challenged her to put corresponding bells over the correct color.
She aced the test but lost interest in that quickly. This is another great extension for preschoolers, especially if you include less familiar colors like silver and gold. After that she wanted a turn with the markers, coloring on the poster board and inside some of the liners. So all told, this activity filled quite a lot of time on a Sunday morning!