3 Christmas Tree Learning Activites for 2-3 Year Olds

  

Tommy is a big fan of Christmas trees, but I didn’t want to bother with one this year knowing that we will be out of town for half the month of December and won’t even be home on Christmas Day. Instead, we hung Christmas lights around the house, are making frequent visits to the big lighted trees scattered around town, and have been doing a lot of Christmas tree crafts!

Here are some quick and easy Christmas tree projects that double as learning activities and cute decorations to hang up for the holidays:

1. Number Match Christmas Tree

For this number match activity, I cut a tree out of a green foam sheet and wrote numbers 1-20 scattered over it. Then, I numbered some foam stickers with numbers 1-20 and set them out for Tommy to match them to the numbers on the tree.

*To simplify this project, you could put the numbers on the tree in ascending or descending order rather than mixing them up like I did. And you could hand the stickers to your child one by one to match instead of laying them all out on the table.

**Also, you could do only numbers 1-10 to make it easier or up the challenge for older kids by making a larger tree with numbers 1-30, 1-50, or even 1-100!


2. Color Match Christmas Tree
 

For this color match activity, I drew a Christmas tree on a sheet of white paper and scattered dots in a few different colors all over the tree. (I used Do-a-Dot markers.) Then, I set out some pom poms in the same colors and let Tommy match them to the colored dots on the tree. When he found a match, I squeezed out a bit of Elmer’s glue and he glued the pom pom in place.

*For an even simpler variation on this activity, use colored stickers instead of pom poms.

3. ABC Match Christmas Tree

 For this ABC match activity, I cut a tree out of green construction paper and topped it with a star sticker. Then, I drew a few lines across the tree to be the strings for the Christmas lights and wrote lowercase letters a-z along the lines. Next, I cut small ovals out of colored paper to be the lights and wrote uppercase letters A-Z on them. I set them out on the table with a glue stick and let Tommy get to work matching the uppercase to the lowercase letters and sticking them in place.

*To simplify this project, match uppercase to uppercase letters or lowercase to lowercase. 

**To make it more challenging, mix up the letters on the lines so they are not in alphabetical order. 

***For older kids, you could even match short sight words instead of letters!

Now it’s your turn! 

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Hot Wheels Fireworks Painting

With the 4th of July just a few days away, I thought it would be fun to do a patriotic art project with Tommy.  The problem is, he has been so obsessed with playing with his toy cars lately that it is hard to get him to want to do anything else. The cars have been sitting next to his plate during meals, riding along with him in the car seat and stroller, going swimming in the bathtub… he even insisted on taking “green car” and “yellow car” to bed with him a couple nights ago and fell asleep clutching one in each hand.

So, I decided to let his cars come to the art table with us… and we ended up making fireworks painted with wheel tracks! We kept it patriotic and coordinated by using a red car for the red paint and a blue car for the blue paint. Fun, festive, and he didn’t throw any fits because he got to play with his cars throughout the entire project! Hooray!

Hot Wheels Fireworks Painting

For this project, you will need:

  • Large sheet of white paper
  • Blue and red water-based washable paint
  • Palette or plate (for paint)
  • Two Hot Wheels cars (or other small toy cars)

To make your Hot Wheels fireworks painting:

1. Grown-up: Lay the sheet of paper on a flat surface. Squeeze a bit of each color of paint onto your palette and wiggle the palette a bit so that the paint spreads out to form flat puddles rather than globs.

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2. Child:  Take one of the Hot Wheels cars and drive it right through the red paint puddle. Then, drive the car across the paper so that the paint transfers from the car wheels onto the paper. Drive the car through the paint again and then roll it onto the paper again, fanning the tire tracks out from a central point to make a fireworks shape.

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3. Child: Repeat step 2 with the other car in the blue paint and make as many fireworks as you wish.

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4. Grown-up & Child: Set the painting aside to dry, and be sure to rinse the paint thoroughly from the bottom of the cars so that you don’t end up with paint tracks on your carpet and furniture! (Just regular hand soap and water in the bathroom sink worked for us.)

OPTIONAL: Once the paint is dry, trace over some of the fireworks with glitter glue to add a little sparkle!

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Have fun with this project, and don’t forget to share your results with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.

FREE Printable Gift Wrappers for Olives, Pistachios, and Toblerone

With Father’s Day coming up, I decided that I wanted to give some yummy treats to my husband. He’s an amazing father to our little boy, and he always appreciates a good snack.

So I grabbed some tasty things that I know he likes to eat: pistachios, kalamata olives, and Toblerone Swiss chocolate. But it seemed too simple and boring to hand him the snacks in their original packaging and I didn’t want to just throw them in a gift bag or basket… so I decided to put my design skills to work and make some cute custom wrappers for them.

Free Printable Gift Wrappers- Olives, Pistachios, Toblerone

I chose a color palette that coordinated with the snacks that I chose and worked in some cheesy little sayings that will make him smile and let him know that he is loved and appreciated.

I designed these for Father’s Day, but I decided to keep any mention of the holiday off of the printables so that they can also be used for birthdays, thank you gifts, anniversaries, and other occasions. 

 

You can download the FREE PRINTABLES below:

Olive You

Nuts

Toblerone1

Toblerone2

Toblerone3

 

To assemble the wrappers:

  1. Download and print the .pdf files by clicking the links above.
  2. Cut out wrappers along the solid colored edges (or along the dotted lines for the white areas)
  3. Fold along the solid gray lines where it says “Fold Here.”
  4. Fit the wrapper into place so that it covers the original product packaging and secure with tape (or secure with a single staple at the top of the bag for the pistachios).

 

Would you like to see more free printables like this from Make Learn Go? Feel free to leave any suggestions and requests in the comments!

Flower & Bees Sponge-Stamped Oven Mitt & Pot Holder

With Mother’s Day approaching, I thought it would be fun for T and I to make something to send to my mom and to my husband’s mom. We wanted to give them something useful, but also something that Tommy could personalize. After a trip to Dollar Tree and AC Moore, we came home with supplies to decorate oven mitts and pot holders! We had lots of fun making this together and the result was an inexpensive, cute, and practical gift for T’s Grandmas (or as he calls them “Gralla” and “Sweet Marie.”)

* To Gralla and Sweet Marie: Sorry if you see this blog post before your Mother’s Day package arrives and it spoils the surprise!

Flower & Bees Sponge-Stamped Oven Mitt & Pot Holder

For this project, you will need:

  • Plain oven mitt & pot holder- no pattern (We found these at Dollar Tree for $1 per oven mitt and $1 for 2 pot holders- score!)
  • Clean kitchen sponge (we learned that the scrubbing side makes a better stamp)
  • Scissors
  • Fabric paint – yellow, black, & white for the bees, green for the flower stems (we chose permanent fabric paint that is dimensional but not puffy, and comes in a small tube with a pointed tip for detail.
  • Palette or plate (for paint)

OPTIONAL:

  • Rubber alphabet stamps
  • Baby wipes

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To decorate the oven mitt and pot holder:

1. Grown-up: From the sponge, cut out a small circle (about the size of a quarter) and a longer petal shape to make your stamp for the flower. Cut out another quarter-sized circle and a small wing shape to make your stamps for the bee.

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2. Child:  Squirt some paint onto a palette- choose a color of paint that you want to use for the center of your flower. Dip the circle sponge stamp into the paint so that there is a pretty thick layer of paint spread evenly across it. (We found that stamping with the rough scrubbing side of the sponge works best because it absorbs less of the paint.)

3. Child: Press the sponge stamp onto the oven mitt to make the center of your flower. (Be sure to think about whether the person you are making it for is left- or right-handed so that you can decorate the side of the mitt that will be along the back of the hand rather than the part that will be gripping the hot dishes and greasy oven racks.)

4. Child: Repeat steps 2 & 3 with the petal-shaped sponge stamp and a different paint color. Stamp the petals all around the center circle to make a flower.

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5. Child: Repeat steps 2 & 3 with yellow paint and a circle sponge stamp to make as many bees as you would like.

6. Child: Repeat steps 2 & 3 with white paint and a the wing-shaped sponge stamp to add wings to the bees

7. Grown-up: Use the green fabric paint to add a stem and leaf to the flower. (If your child is older, they can probably do this part on their own, but with a younger toddler, steps 7 & 8 should be handled by a grown-up.)

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8. Grown-up: Use the black fabric paint to add stripes, a head, and a stinger to the bees.

9. Grown-up: Use white paint to add the name of the person you are giving the oven mitt to. You can simply write it with the fabric paint squeezed right out of the tube, or see below for the rubber stamp method we used.

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OPTIONAL: To use rubber stamps for the name, carefully apply the fabric paint directly to the rubber letter stamp. Trace the letter with the paint so that it has a nice even layer on it but there is no residue on the sides of the stamp that will transfer when you stamp it. Stamp the letter onto your mitt and then clean the remaining residue from the stamp with a baby wipe. Repeat with all of the letters in the name.

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10. Grown-up & Child: Repeat any of the steps above however you wish to decorate the pot holder. We decorated ours with bees and then painted on little red hearts scattered around. If you get want to do more than one pot holder, it would be fun to do another with a big flower in the center. Have fun and be creative!

FINISHED

Do you love to give (or receive) homemade gifts? I know that I sure do!

For some other fun gift ideas that you can make with your tot, try:

Don’t forget to share pictures of your finished projects with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.

Foam Flowers for Spring

Our latest spring craft was a quick little project that was made up of a few materials from Dollar Tree.  We found some pipe cleaners, colorful foam sheets shaped like flowers, and re-used the pop poms from our Easter Egg Color Sorting activity to make some festive Spring flowers to decorate the playroom!

Foam Flowers for Spring

For this project, you will need:

  • Crafters foam flowers (you can either buy them already in the flower shape like I did, or cut flowers from regular rectangular or square colorful crafters foam sheets)
  • Pipe cleaners (green ones will look best- these will be your flower stems)
  • Pom poms
  • Liquid glue
  • Tape
  • Paint (or glitter glue, stickers, or whatever else you’re feeling) to decorate

To make your flowers:

1. Grown-up: If you need to cut the flowers out of your crafters foam, do that first. Then, prepare your pipe cleaner flower stems. Fold a pipe cleaner in half, then bend one side of the “v” shape to make a leaf (as pictured below). Pinch the pipe cleaner together at the stem and then wrap the end of the leaf around the stem to hold the leaf shape. Make one stem for each flower you plan to make.

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2. Grown-up & Child: Squeeze a dot of glue in the middle of each flower. Let your little artist choose a color of pom pom to go in the center of each flower and place it on the glue dot.

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3. Grown-up & Child: Turn the flowers over and help your little one secure the stems in place with tape.

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4. Child: Turn the flowers over and decorate! T used pastel colored tempera paint to add some swirly strokes and texture to his flowers.

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T was so excited when he finished and was carrying his little “bouquet” all around the house. Then we hung them up on the wall with the other Easter crafts that he has made. (He got this little picture of Jesus at church on Sunday and it’s his favorite part of the Easter wall. 🙂 )

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Go ahead and make your own flowers, and comment below to let us know how it goes!

Or better yet, upload a picture to Instagram and tag @makelearngo, send a message to Make Learn Go on Facebook, or e-mail your photo to makelearngo@gmail.com for a chance for your child’s artwork to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

And don’t forget to check out our other fun Easter crafts and learning activities that you can do with your little one:

And if you’re still trying to figure out what the Easter Bunny is going to bring this year, here’s our helpful list of Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers & Babies.

Play Dough Easter Eggs & Butterflies

Play Dough Easter Eggs & ButterfliesPlay dough is something we play with a lot. We love it because there are endless possibilities to the things you can create and different ways you can play with it. My little Tommy really likes to roll out his play dough and use cookie cutters to make different shapes. So when I saw some fun Easter-themed cookie cutters out at our local Kroger, I made sure to grab a couple! I picked out an egg shaped cookie cutter and let T choose one. He chose a butterfly.

When we got home, we picked out some some bright colors from our play dough stash and got to work rolling and cutting out our fun Easter shapes.

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We used some brightly colored pony beads (left over from our Easter Egg Color Sorting activity) to decorate the eggs and butterflies.

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He also liked using these little Crayola Model Magic Press N’ Pop Texture Tools to stamp shapes into the play dough.

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It was such a simple activity, but  and it kept the little guy entertained for a long time! He had lots of fun choosing which beads to use to decorate, and it was another opportunity to work on learning colors. Picking up and placing the little beads was a great activity to sharpen his fine motor skills, and trying to pick the beads out of the dough afterwards stepped it up to a bigger fine motor challenge.

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Next time we try this, I want to add pipe cleaners to make antennae for the butterflies. I also saw a cute cookie cutter shaped like a bunny’s head that could be fun, too- maybe with googly eyes, pipe cleaners or toothpicks for whiskers, and a bead or button for a nose).

Try it out, and let us know how you decorate your Easter play dough creations!

Take a minute to check out my simple solution for How to Fix Dried Play Dough.With a few minutes and one magic ingredient from your kitchen, play dough that was accidentally left out overnight will be as good as new!

Don’t forget to check out some of our other fun Easter crafts and learning activities that you can do with your little one:

And if you’re still trying to figure out what the Easter Bunny is going to bring this year, here’s our helpful list of Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers & Babies.

Cotton Ball Bunny & Lamb

For those of you who didn’t know, I am a mama by day and a freelance illustrator by night (and nap time!). The other night as I was finishing up a project to send over to a client, I came across this little lamb sketch that I did a few years ago. With springtime and Easter on my mind, I instantly thought up an adorable craft that my little Tommy could make using this drawing as a base. Of course, no Easter craft involving fluffy white baby animals would be complete without a bunny, so I whipped up a little bunny drawing to go along with it!

Cotton Ball Bunny & Lamb

For this project, you will need:

  • Little Lamb & Little Bunny (<—click the links to download .pdf files)
  • Printer (with black ink or toner… no color printer necessary)
  • White 8.5 x 11″ printer paper (or card stock)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Liquid Glue
  • Stickers & markers (or whatever you want to use to decorate your picture)

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To make it:

  1. Grown-up: Print the Little Lamb and Little Bunny .pdf files. (I printed on white card stock to make this a little more sturdy to withstand the glue and weight of the cotton balls.)
  2. Grown-up & Child: Squiggle some glue onto the body of the little lamb and let your little one help place cotton ball “wool” all over to make the lamb cute and fluffy.
  3. Child: Decorate your picture with colorful stickers, color the background, and add words or designs to make it your own.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 with the Little Bunny printout.

These printouts are free for personal use, but please remember that I am the artist and I retain the copyrights to the artwork. These art files (along with any other art or photography that I post on makelearngo.com) cannot be copied, reproduced, or sold without my permission. If you have any questions about this, please e-mail me at makelearngo@gmail.com. Thank you!

When you make this with your little artist, don’t forget to take a picture! Tag @makelearngo on Instagram, send a message to Make Learn Go on Facebook, or e-mail your photo to makelearngo@gmail.com for a chance for your child’s artwork to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

And don’t forget to check out some of our fun Easter crafts and learning activities that you can do with your little one:

And if you’re still trying to figure out what the Easter Bunny is going to bring this year, here’s our helpful list of Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers & Babies.

Dot Art Rainbow

I featured this project on Instagram (@makelearngo) and Facebook (Make Learn Go) last week, but never got around to posting about it here on the blog. We did this project while learning about rainbows before St. Patrick’s Day, but this is a great project to do any time of the year! It’s a fun way for your child to work on color recognition and color matching as well as hand-eye coordination.

(For another fun St. Paddy’s Day craft your child will love, check out our Tissue Box Leprechaun Trap!)

Dot Art Rainbow1

For this project, you will need:

  • Plain white sheet of paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple)
  • Dot markers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple) – we love Do-A-Dot Art! Markersrainbowart2

To make the dot art rainbow:

  1. Grown-up: Draw a thin arc in each color of the rainbow to make the template for your child to stamp over.
  2. Child: Choose the correct color of dot marker to match the first arc of the rainbow.
  3. Child: Stamp over the arc with the coordinating color of dot marker, trying to keep the dots following along the line as closely as possible. Continue until the entire arc is covered in dots.
  4. Child: Continue steps 3 & 4 with each arc until your rainbow is complete!

So easy, fun, and educational! Go get to work with your little artist, and share a picture with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.

How to Fix Dried Play Dough

My little guy loves play dough! We have been using this awesome homemade play dough recipe (#1 on the list from We Love Being Moms). It’s so easy to make and has a great texture like the store-bought kind that is not too crumbly or sticky.

But T now knows how to open up the play dough by himself, and of course he doesn’t always remember to put it away when he’s done… this morning I found a bunch of play dough that he had rolled out to use with cookie cutters and left sitting out overnight. It had dried out a lot and was really crumbly with hardened bits all over the top. But, with just one magic ingredient plus water, and 3 simple steps, our dried-out play dough was as good as new!

Fix Dried Play Dough

The magic ingredient? Cream of tartar!

There were two different colors of play dough that were left out- I did one with the cream of tartar and one with only water. The one that I tried to revive with water only was so gooey and slimy afterwards that I had to toss it, but the one with the cream of tartar mixed in was perfect! You really would never know that it had ever dried out!

How to fix dried play dough:

1. Roll the dried play dough into a ball and knead it in your hands for a minute to break up the dried layer on top and soften it up a bit.

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2. In a bowl, mix together 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar with 1 tablespoon water.

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3. Add the ball of play dough to the bowl and roll it around, kneading the dough with your fingers so that you soak up all of the liquid into the dough.

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4. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead with your hands for a minute until it starts to feel softer and less wet.

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5. Pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Then just squish in your hands a couple times and it will feel soft and ready to play with again!

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No need to ever toss dried play dough again! Hooray!

Tissue Box Leprechaun Trap

At 20 months old, T is still a little young to fully comprehend the magic and excitement of leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus… but I LOVE celebrating holidays, so I am trying to introduce him to some fun little traditions. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make a little leprechaun trap together. We used only materials that we had around the house to make this cute little contraption, and T had a lot of fun making it with me!

Tissue Box Leprechaun TrapTo make this project, you will need:

  • An empty tissue box
  • Green acrylic or craft paint
  • A handful of cotton balls
  • Non-toxic liquid glue
  • Clear tape
  • Foam strips & 2 paper clips or pipe cleaners (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple)
  • Stickers to decorate
  • A few blocks (or get creative using other toys or items to make a ladder or stairs leading up to the top of the trap)

Make this with your own little artist in 5 easy steps:

1. Grown-up: Paint the tissue box green. This part will go much faster (and be a lot less messy) if do it for them. Plus, the paint I used wasn’t non-toxic so I didn’t want T getting it on his fingers.

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2. Grown-up & Child: Construct your rainbow. (I wanted to do this part with pipe cleaners, but we didn’t have any, so I cut strips from foam sheets I had in our art bin.) Let your child help lay out the colors of the rainbow in the right order. Stack the foam strips on top of each other and poke a paper clip through each end to hold it together. Then tape one of the paper clips to the underside of either side of the tissue box opening. Fan it out to get a nice curve to your rainbow. (If you’re using pipe cleaners, just put the colors in order, twist the ends to hold it together, bend the ends and tape to the underside of the box opening.)

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3. Grown-up & Child: Squiggle some glue onto the top of the tissue box and let  your little one help place cotton ball “clouds” all over to cover the top of the box.

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4. Child: Let your little artist decorate the sides of the box with stickers. (We found some fun St. Patrick’s Day themed stickers for $1 at Big Lots.)

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5. Child: Stack the blocks to make a staircase leading to the top of the leprechaun trap. Now it’s ready for your leprechaun to visit on St. Patrick’s Day!

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This was such a fun and easy project to make! Maybe if we are lucky a little leprechaun will visit our trap on March 17th and leave a few gold (chocolate) coins behind!

Now it’s your turn! Go make your own leprechaun trap, then come back here and tell us about it.

For another fun St. Paddy’s Day project to do with your little artist, check out our Dot Art Rainbow!