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If you are looking for Christmas activities for kids, check out these Christmas tree sensory bags we recently created! Sensory bags, also sometimes referred to as squish bags, provide kids with a fun sensory experience with virtually no mess. Sensory bags may also be more easily tolerated by kids with sensory processing issues who dislike sticky or messy hands. My kids were hooked on this activity as soon as I told them we were making Christmas trees. And they really enjoyed the sensory play experience of putting the materials in their bags and squishing them around.
Read on to learn how we created and used our Christmas tree sensory bags!
To make these bags I gathered some supplies for each kid, including:
- quart size ziplock bag (it would have been better if the bags had no writing on them, but this is what I had on hand)
- permanent marker to draw a Christmas tree outline on the bag
- duct tape
- clear hair gel (from the dollar store)
- green liquid watercolor
- “ornaments,” including beads, buttons, sequins, and googly eyes
The kids loved squeezing the gel into the bags. I just had to make sure they didn’t squeeze too much. We found the right amount to be less than 1/4 of the bottle of gel.
Then the kids put green coloring into their bags.
Then they added the “ornaments.”
Once the materials were in, I closed the bags and sealed the top with duct tape just to discourage any mischievous kids from attempting to open up the bag. (Of course, I always supervise my kids closely when they are playing with sensory bags.)
Then the fun began!
The kids squished the materials together, mixing the green coloring with the clear gel.
They moved the “ornaments” around the bag. (This is good for fine motor practice.)
They enjoyed the squishy sensation of the bags.
The kids found lots of ways to play with their Christmas tree sensory bags. They put them on their heads and called them “hats.” They pretended to “steal” each other’s bags and laughed and laughed when they would get “caught.” They held them in front of their faces to look through them.
(If you are wondering about XGirl’s clothing choice,
she is wearing her bumble bee Halloween costume in this picture.
And no, it wasn’t Halloween. :-))
The one thing the kids did NOT want to do was to turn them in to Christmas trees they could decorate. And that was, of course, supposed to be the whole point of the activity. So Grandmum and I had to, ahem, “borrow” the bags for a few minutes to make Christmas trees. I put a red button at the top of QBoy’s tree and Grandmum put a googly eye at the top of XGirl’s tree.
But as soon as we handed the bags back to the kids, they shook them up to undo all our hard work. 🙂
In hindsight, I would have provided the kids with fewer “ornaments” to put in the bags. I had set out a lot of items, thinking the kids would choose their favorites. But of course, they didn’t pick and choose but instead simply added everything to their bags. This made it challenging to “decorate” the trees. Of course, the kids didn’t seem to care and still thought the Christmas tree sensory bags were a ton of fun.
More Christmas resources
More Christmas posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Grow a Christmas tree sponge
- Christmas Montessori activities
- Q-tip painted Christmas tree
- Paper plate reindeer craft
- Christmas sensory bin
- Cinnamon Christmas ornaments
- Candy cane experiment
- Christmas game: What’s in the bag?
- Christmas Printables Pack
- Christmas Bingo
- Christmas do-a-dot printables
- Christmas gingerbread man templates