kindergarten December calendar countdown

For years I tried  different Christmas countdowns - Santa's beard cotton balls, daily cutting off a slice of Santa's beard, paper chains  - but none of them seemed to work for me. 

A few years ago, I hybridized (is that a word) a couple of seasonal crafts - a decorated cone tree and a painted paper plate tree

Add in some numbers and stickers - and I had a December project that I not only could manage - but the kids and I both enjoyed.

First step is to paint paper plate green. I find that the best ones, are the super cheap, will barely hold potato chips paper plates. 

I cut the plates into 3 triangles and glued them together to make a tree shape. If I was not madly painting and prepping in the last days of November, the kids could do these steps. 

When I first did this project with the kids, I did it as a countdown - if we had 15 days of school in December, I put numbers 1-15 on the tree.

The last couple of years, I have changed it up a bit. I printed the dates in December we would be in school. This year, we were in class December 1-4, 7-11 and 14-18.  I  put the dates on the trees randomly and in different places on each tree so that the children had to find the number, not just see where their classmates had found it. Except for the last day in school - that always goes at the top. 

In addition to number recognition, the kids were interacting with a calendar and seeing how it worked. 

Each day the kids add one sticky shape

I have chosen to use shapes stickers for the kids to cover the numbers - they are bright, colourful, but not associated with any holiday. The last number is different - that one gets a star (if the children want).

The kidlets will take home a beautifully decorated tree on the last day of school before the holidays. (And they have used number recognition and  numerical order skills, and have interacted with a calendar.)

No cotton balls. No loops. Minimal prep.  The kidlets like it.

I am a happy teacher.



  1. Love those trees! We did the stand up ones and I hated them. They kept flattening as the kids put on stickers. So yesterday we made new ones. Haha. I'm sure the kids think I'm nuts!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    1. It's a teacher's prerogative to change her mind, isn't it?!!?


  2. We made advent trees with a template, but I like the paper plate pieces better!

    1. The paper plate seems to work. It's a good weight for decorating with bits and pieces.


  3. Fantastic idea. I like building on rather than taking apart each day! I'm late starting, don't know what happened...


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