This paper plate spiral Christmas tree craft is such fun to make, and it will look beautiful hanging somewhere where you can see them spin as the air moves.
They’re also really easy to make, and you can string the activity out over a few days, depending on how elaborate you want to get with the decorating side of things.
This Christmas craft offers great fine motor skills practice for children as they thread the beads to make garlands, and help attach the decorations to the tree. There’s also plenty of scope for extending this craft and making decorations however you want to.
Make these for any time of year, just switching out colours and decorations. I saw a beautiful fall leaves version on Red Ted Art the other day and had to save it for inspiration.
Christmas Tree Craft Supplies.
- Paper plate.
- Green paint.
- String for hanging.
- Coloured paper, foam shapes, or whatever you want to use to make the decorations.
- Thin wire and beads for garland-style decorations (optional).
- Hole punch.
How To Make A Spiral Christmas Tree.
- Paint one side of the paper plate green, allow to dry.
- Paint the other side green, allow to dry.
- Cut the paper plate into a spiral shape – you can draw this out if you like, but I find it easiest just to eyeball it.
(Struggling with scissor skills? There’s a link down here to help you out).
- Staple a loop of string to the top for hanging.
- At this stage you can hold it up and watch the spiral uncurl and start to spin.
- Make some decorations for the tree. These can be whatever you like, simple circular baubles, stars, anything.
- Punch holes in the decorations, and in the paper plate, where you want them to hang.
- Attach decorations to tree with loops of string.
- Hang it in pride of place, and enjoy watching it spin around.
Scissor Skills Tips.
Maybe you’ve just made your spiral Christmas tree craft, and you opted for cutting the spiral out for your preschooler, rather than leaving them to do it themselves.
Cutting a spiral out of a paper plate is hard.
It’s a challenge to keep the width of the spiral nice and even, but it looks so much better if you can manage to get it pretty much the same width throughout.
Scissor skills can be challenging for some children to learn.
Fine motor skills can take a lot more work than you might think. They’re things that you and I take for granted, but our preschoolers are still working on them
I’ve always made it a point to let my children have the chance to use scissors from an early age. Even so, some of them have definitely picked up the skill more quickly than others.
If scissor skills are something you’re struggling with, or if you just want an insight into how children learn to use scissors effectively, then I highly recommend this post on The OT Toolbox.
If your little one’s not yet proficient enough to use scissors to cut out the spiral, she can still practice her scissor skills on this Christmas tree craft.
Have her snip up pieces of coloured paper for tree decorations. It doesn’t matter what shape they end up, they’ll still look beautiful glued along the spiral at the end.
You can also get her to cut the string for hanging. Hold the string taut and ask her to cut between your two hands. This is easier than just cutting string straight from the ball.
Other Variations On The Christmas Tree Craft.
Now you’ve made one of these, you’ve got the basics for making a paper plate whirligig (is that a good name for it? I don’t know) for any season.
You saw the autumn version at the top of the post.
You could make them as party decorations, themed in the birthday boy or girl’s favourite colours.
They’re also good to make just as mobiles, with shapes that match whatever topic you’re currently doing.
A sea creatures spiral decoration would be good, or healthy foods.
So many possibilities.
It’s nearly Christmas though, so start with the Christmas tree craft, and go from there.
Want to save this for a bit nearer the festive season? That’s what Pinterest was made for.