Whether you have an artificial or real Christmas tree at home or in the classroom, learning about evergreens is fun science for kids! The simple Christmas Tree Life Cycle craft below will help preschoolers learn how conifers grow from a seed to an adult Christmas tree!
Christmas trees are conifers. A conifer tree is a needle-leaved tree that produces cones. Conifers are often called evergreens because as the needled leaves fall off, they are always being replaced by new green needles.
- The PINECONES shelter the seeds and protect them. Christmas tree farmers remove the seeds from the cones and plant them.
- As the seeds grow, a SEEDLING is produced that grows into a YOUNG TREE.
- Christmas tree farmers tend to the young trees for 3-5 years before they are replanted into the fields. Most ADULT TREES require an average of 10 years to develop into the 6-8 foot trees used for Christmas (that is a lot longer than other crops the children are familiar with)!
- When the Christmas tree farmers sell a tree, they will plant 1-3 more to make sure the fields are always full of Christmas trees.
Remind the children that as the conifer’s seeds are dispersed by humans or animals, the LIFE CYCLE then repeats itself.
Materials needed for the paper plate craft: 1 paper plate per student/craft, 1 printable for labels/pictures/- LIFE CYCLE OF A CHRISTMAS TREE, scissors, crayons or markers, and glue sticks.
Invite the children divide their paper plate into four sections by drawing a line down the middle of the paper plate (vertically) and across the paper plate (horizontally). The lines do not have to be perfect, but should divide the paper plate into four sections. Our kids used Wikki Stix to make the sections on the paper plates.
The children can cut out the 4 boxes from the life cycle printable (linked above). Starting in the upper left-hand corner, have the children glue the pinecone/seeds picture in that section. The upper right-hand corner should contain the seedling picture. The lower right-hand corner contains the young tree. The mature (adult) tree is then glued in the lower left-hand section of the paper plate to complete the life cycle craft.
The paper plate craft is a simple science craft to do during December! As an extension activity, we collected pinecones to see if the children could find any seeds on the scales. We counted our seeds, looked at them through magnifying glasses, made a seed collage, and did a sink/float experiment with the seeds and cones. We’d love to hear what YOUR children do with this activity! Please leave us a comment or send us a picture: [email protected]!
Books to accompany the Christmas Tree Life Cycle:
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Merry Christmas, Geraldine by Holly Keller
Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard H. Schneider
For more Christmas Science Activities, our Christmas Theme is now available via this blog!
Emma @ P is for Preschooler says
Should I be embarrassed to admit that I find this fascinating myself? lol! Can’t wait to share this activity with my daughter!
Emma – not at all; I’m fascinated by it, too! I love to go to our local Christmas tree farm. It’s a bit of nostalgia:) Thanks for visiting and your comment!
Auntie Angela says
Hi 🙂 I found you on the Learn Through Play Hop. Great post – what a great way to bring some “academics” into Christmas time. 🙂
Angela – it’s a fun way to do a little science in the midst of all the celebrations! Thanks so much for visiting and your comment!
L. E. Mastilock says
This is wonderful! With the thousands of Christmas crafts going around, I love that this is really teaching something. Thank you for joining the Learn Through Play hop.
Thanks for visiting and the wonderful blog hop featuring learning through play! Kuddos for a great job! I’ll be over this weekend to pin and share more ideas!