Looking for a fun fine motor activity that doubles as a holiday activity? This Christmas Tree Craft is a creative way to work on fine motor skills like hand strength, fine motor dexterity, along with eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and more. This is a Christmas activity for kids that you will want to pull out year after year as a holiday decoration that kids can use as a Christmas themed busy bag. Add this Christmas tree activity to your therapy toolbox because you can use it again and again all season long!
Christmas Tree Craft
Clothespins are a fantastic tool for helping kiddos develop the fine motor skills necessary for daily tool manipulation and other fine motor tasks. Squeezing open and placing clothespins can help strengthen the small finger muscles of the thumb, index, and middle fingers, develop the arches of the hand, while also improving eye-hand coordination. All of which are essential for successful prewriting, handwriting, scissor use, and fastener manipulation.
Christmas Fine Motor Activity
Use this crafty Christmas tree to work on essential fine motor skills with kiddos in a fun and festive way this holiday season.
When choosing clothespins for kiddos to use, be sure to use clothespins with the best resistance level for the child so as to provide the just right challenge and not be too difficult for the child to squeeze or be too easy. Here is more information on using clothespins to work on fine motor skills.
Also, when having a child squeeze open the clothespins, be sure to have them use their skill fingers which are the thumb, index, and middle fingers as these are the fingers that are utilized the most for skilled manipulation such as writing with a pencil, cutting with scissors, and using other school tools. Read more about separation of the sides of the hand.
But before you can begin using the tree, you have to create it!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Christmas Tree Craft:
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• 1 paint stir stick
• 12 clothespins
• green paint
• brown paint
• shape stickers (or whatever you decide to use to adhere to the clothespins, which could be pom-poms, buttons, gems, etc.)
• If you do not use shape stickers, you will need tacky glue or a hot glue gun to adhere decorative objects to each clothespin
If you prefer not to paint, you can simply use green and brown markers to color the paint stir stick and clothespins or you could apply green and brown tape.
Christmas Tree Craft Directions
Below are the steps to make the activity as I have. By the way, kiddos love doing this part too and there are so many skills that can be addressed while creating this crafty clothespin Christmas tree!
1. Paint the paint stir stick with green paint on the front and back side for approximately ¾ the length and let dry.
2. Paint your paint stick with brown paint on the front and back side for approximately ¼ the length and let dry.
3. Paint each of your clothespins with green paint on the front and back side and let dry.
4. Apply shape stickers to clothespins (and yes, the gems I used came with sticker backs).
5. Apply star shape stickers to the top of the paint stick on both the front and back sides.
6. Have fun using this crafty creation to work on fine motor skills by having children squeeze open and place the clothespin branches to create the tree placing 6 branches on each side.
Now enjoy creating and utilizing this fun, festive Christmas tree with kiddos this holiday season! Merry Christmas!
Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!