If you really love Christmas, then you’ll love these STEM activities using just red and white beads and green play dough. If you love Christmas, then you’ll love this play doh Christmas tree! It’s so festive and fun even for the youngest Christmas lovers! We did this experiment as part of our Christmas STEM activities for preschool.
Today, Bo (our preschooler) was challenged to create something Christmas-themed from beads and playdough as an engineering activity for kids.
Her results were fantastic with the playdough Christmas tree challenge and the entire process was a whole lot of fun!
It’s one of our favorite Christmas tree STEM activities!
Play Doh Christmas Tree STEM Challenge for Preschool
Let your children conduct their own STEM experiments with these simple supplies.
My preschooler played around with how the dough and the beads stuck together in different ways for quite a while before finally settling on the Christmas tree design.
This becomes a STEM experiment when you ask, “what can you do with these materials?”
I asked Bo if she could make a tower, a face, and an alternating pattern. She chose to make the Christmas tree on her own.
I guess she was in a holiday mood!
Hands-On STEM Resources about Trees
Here are some hands-on STEM resources about trees that can be used alongside this Christmas tree STEM activity.
What Preschoolers Learn Doing Playdough STEM Challenges
Play dough is a wonderful material for preschoolers as it helps them learn and explore shapes, textures, the basics of building and engineering, and so much more!
In preschool, kids should work with their hands as much as possible as that is how they make connections and discoveries about the world.
Play dough can also help a preschooler strengthen their hands, which can make writing easier.
Keep reading to find out what you need to set up this particular play doh Christmas tree building challenge and how to set up the activity with preschoolers in the classroom or at home.
Supplies to Make a Play Doh Christmas Tree
Here are some things you can use to create your own play doh Christmas tree for preschoolers or other age early learners.
I recommend using a plastic mat for this activity to protect your surfaces.
For some reason, our play dough was a bit sticky, so we were happy to have the mat so the sticky dough didn’t get all over the table.
All-in-all play dough is a wonderful learning tool in the preschool years and can have so many applications for preschool STEM activities after you decorate your own playdough Christmas tree.
More Christmas Tree Crafts for Kids
Your young students will also enjoy these other Christmas craft ideas in addition to the play doh Christmas tree.
- Festive STEM! Yarn-Wrapped Christmas Tree Lesson Plan
- DIY Kids Christmas Hat Engineering Challenge
- The Easiest Santa Craft You Can Make This Year
- Christmas Cookie Play Dough Activity
Books about Christmas Trees
These science books about evergreen trees will be a good addition to any Christmas tree STEM project!
How to Make Your Own Playdough Christmas Tree
Follow these directions to show preschoolers how to make a Christmas tree out of playdough and beads. You could even put the supplies into a bag together and use it as a playdough Christmas tree gift idea.
Let the children have everything they need for the project, but don’t give them more than a handful of beads.
If you give them too many, they might get distracted from what you’re trying to do with them (at least my kids do).
Just give them enough to complete the STEM experiment and keep the rest out of sight.
First, Bo explored the materials. She stuck the beads into the play dough, smoothed the play dough out, rolled it around, and smooshed it out again.
After playtime, it was time to get to serious business. Bo made a tower, a face, a matching set, and a pattern.
Then, she turned her attention to crafting her Christmas tree. I thought she did a great job!
The beads ended up looking like ornaments on her play dough tree.
Monkey was busy with her school when we did our STEM experiments, but she also would have loved this activity as a 10 year-old.
There is no age limit to scientific discovery!
Teacher Christmas Tree Shirts
Here are some adorable Christmas tree shirts for teachers!