It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But it’s also that time of year when young minds are consumed with anything and everything but schoolwork. Whether you are a classroom teacher or a homeschool parent, you likely sympathize with my struggle to enjoy the holidays and make sure we’re doing lots of fun activities, while also sneaking in lots of good learning. Thankfully, December is the perfect time to take a break from the norm and to weave math into other subjects like art and reading. This easy Christmas Tree Symmetry craft is a fun way to practice symmetry and review important math vocabulary, while creating a fun decoration for our home, which my kids were super proud of!
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Materials Needed for Christmas Tree Symmetry Craft:
- Green paper (scrapbook paper works well because it’s large, but card stock or construction paper would work well too)
- Decorations like stickers, pom poms, sequins, etc.
To Make the Tree:
First, fold the paper in half and make a nice crease. This will be the line of symmetry.
Then, draw one side of the tree on the paper, as seen below. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you want your tree to stand when you’re finished, make sure the bottom is relatively straight.
You could even make it a triangle (and perhaps decorate the tree with other shapes if you’re making this with younger ones and want to work on shapes and colors!)
Once you have half of the tree drawn, cut it out so that you are cutting through both halves of the paper at the same time. This way you will end up with a symmetrical tree to decorate.
To Decorate Your Symmetrical Christmas Tree:
Before decorating, take some time to explain and discuss symmetry. Talk about the middle of the tree as the line of symmetry, and take turns folding the tree so that you can see how the sides “line up” like a reflection.
Then decorate the tree by placing stickers, ornaments, snowflakes, etc. symmetrically around the line of symmetry.
To help kids make sure they are symmetrical, remind them that each decoration should be equidistant (the same distance, but opposite sides) from the line of symmetry.
For younger kids, approximating is fine, but for older kids, you may want to give them a ruler and allow them to measure each side of the tree for more precision.
If you have decorations other than balls or snowflakes (such as candy canes), make sure to show them the reflection aspect of symmetry, and that the two will not only be equidistant from the center, but also opposite each other.
If you have younger ones, add some decorations to one side of the tree first, and let them “complete it.”
When everyone is finished decorating, take some time to count the decorations. Will the number be even or odd? Is this the same every time? How do you know?
(HINT: For every decoration added to the tree, you are adding one opposite the line of symmetry).
Then, set your trees up in your home or classroom for a simple and festive holiday decoration!
Most of all, let your kids have fun and be creative as they come up with different ways to decorate their Christmas Tree Symmetry craft!
Want another fun Christmas Tree Symmetry project? I LOVE this simple idea from Buggy and Buddy! It’s really easy to make, but the final product looks so cool!
Want another fun and easy way to explore symmetry with your kids? Try this Melted Crayon Art Project! It only takes a few minutes and puts all those broken crayons to good use!
Or read the book Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy together!
Want a wide variety of symmetry learning ideas that are ready to use right now? Grab my complete set of Exploring Symmetry Lessons! This symmetry unit begins with open exploration of symmetry in nature, and progresses to symmetry vocabulary and even symmetrical area challenges for older kids. Learn more by clicking the button below:
Or if you need another easy way to weave a little math into your day this holiday season, try this Problem of the Day Christmas Countdown! This is the perfect way to review everything you’ve learned so far!
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