Christmas Tree and Wreath Decorating Activity – Free Printables

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to engage and entertain preschool students than with a fun and festive Christmas tree and wreath decorating activity? We will explore how this hands-on project can tap into their creativity while providing a valuable learning experience. Plus, we have a special treat for you – free printable templates that your little ones can decorate to their heart’s content!

origines of the Christmas tree and wreath traditions

The tradition of decorating Christmas trees and wreaths is deeply rooted in historical and cultural practices. Here is some engaging information about their tradition history:

Christmas Tree Tradition:

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  • Ancient Origins: The tradition of decorating trees during winter dates back to ancient times. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Vikings used to bring greenery into their homes during the winter solstice as a symbol of everlasting life.
  • German Influence: The modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have originated in Germany during the 16th century. Christians brought evergreen trees indoors and adorned them with candles as a symbol of Christ’s light and eternal life.
  • Martin Luther’s Influence: It is said that Martin Luther, a prominent figure in the Protestant Reformation, was the first to light candles on a Christmas tree. He was inspired by the beauty of glistening stars amidst an evergreen forest and wanted to recreate the scene at home.
  • Royal Influence: The British royal family’s adoption of Christmas tree customs in the 19th century significantly popularized the tradition. Queen Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, were particularly fond of Christmas trees, and their practice was widely embraced by the public.
  • Popularity in America: The Christmas tree tradition gained popularity in America through Hessian soldiers stationed in New York during the American Revolution. German communities continued the tradition, and it eventually spread throughout the country.

Christmas Wreath Tradition:

  • Ancient Symbolism: Wreaths have been used since ancient times as a symbol of victory, honor, and eternal life. In ancient Rome, wreaths made of laurel leaves were worn as crowns, signifying triumph and distinction.
  • Pagan Origins: Wreaths were commonly used in pre-Christian pagan cultures as part of winter solstice celebrations. They represented the cyclical nature of life and the coming of spring.
  • Christian Adaptation: As with many cultural traditions, Christianity adopted the ancient symbolism of wreaths. In Christianity, the circular shape of the wreath represents the eternal nature of God, with no beginning or end.
  • Advent Wreath: The Advent wreath, a wreath with four or five candles, originated in Germany in the 19th century. Each candle represents one week leading up to Christmas, with an additional candle for Christmas Day.
  • Modern Tradition: Today, wreaths are commonly used to decorate doors and mantels during the Christmas season. They are often made from evergreen branches, symbolizing life amid winter, and adorned with ornaments and ribbons.

Both the Christmas tree and Christmas wreath traditions have evolved over centuries, blending ancient symbolism with religious and cultural practices to create beloved symbols of the holiday season.

Free Christmas Tree and Wreath Printable

Setting the Scene:
First things first, create a joyful atmosphere by setting up a designated space for the activity. Play some cheerful holiday tunes, display twinkling fairy lights, and bring in ornaments, glitter, ribbons, and other decorative items to inspire and captivate their imagination.

Free Printable Templates:
To make things easier for you, we have created a free printable that you can download and print. These templates include both Christmas tree and wreath shapes, waiting to be brought to life by your preschoolers.

Download this free easy-to-prepare Christmas activity – your preschool and pre-k students will have a blast decorating the Christmas tree and wreath with these gorgeous hand-drawn ornaments and decorations.

This activity with ornaments and decorations will be especially attractive to our little friends – children between 2 – 3.5 years old. If you have the option to print A3, you might like to print a tree of a wreath of your choice on a larger piece of paper and cut it out. You may like to adjust the PDF print setting and print two pages per sheet.

To reuse – print on cardstock and laminate, and attach velcro to add an extra challenge for little fingers. Invite the child to decorate a tree or a wreath.

As a variation – cut all decorations in half for children to join the correct halves.

Innovative Decorations:

This way children can make a Christmas/Winter Holidays gift card by gluing decorations onto a tree or wreath. Cut out the finished product and glue it onto folded in half a construction sheet to make a card. Invite the child to decorate the card with glitter paints or drawings, and Christmas craft materials.

Now comes the fun part – decorating the Christmas trees and wreaths! Provide your little ones with an assortment of materials such as colorful pom-poms, sequins, tiny bells, ribbons, cotton balls, and even tissue paper for added texture. Let their creative juices flow as they decide where to place each decoration.

Learning Opportunities:
While this activity is meant to be enjoyable, it also offers excellent learning opportunities. Engage your preschoolers in conversation, encouraging them to identify different shapes and colors as they decorate. Ask questions like, “What color ornaments are you using?” or “How many red bows have you added?” This will stimulate their cognitive skills and encourage new vocabulary.

Display and Celebrate:
Once the trees and wreaths are completed, it’s time to celebrate their masterpieces! Hang their decorations around the house or create a dedicated display area. Take pictures of their creations and print them out to cherish the memories. Don’t forget to involve the whole family in appreciating their hard work!

The Christmas tree and wreath decorating activity is an engaging and educational project that preschoolers will love. By providing free printable, you can enjoy a stress-free setup, allowing your little ones to fully explore their creativity and imagination. So gather your art supplies and get ready to embark on a fun-filled holiday craft adventure! Download the free printables and let the decorating festivities begin!

Happy decorating and Merry Christmas!


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About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.