Christmas Tree Sort

This is a fun and easy early science activity with a Christmas spin. No, it’s not considered science because it’s about “trees.” This is an early science activity because it involves sorting. Sorting by color, size, shape, etc. is a type of classification and it takes a lot of observation skills and the ability to differentiate between whatever characteristic it is that you are sorting by. It is something that as adults we probably do all the time without realizing it.

To get it going… in grade school did you ever make a paper heart? Where you folded your paper in half and made half of a heart, cut out the folded half, opened it up and it was a whole heart? This is the same concept, only instead of a heart draw half of a Christmas tree. Make between 5 and 10 Christmas trees from small to large.

If you are doing this with a younger toddler it might involve a lot of you demonstrating and describing characteristics of the trees. “Here’s the biggest tree! Let’s put it here, now what comes next?” Utilize a lot of description and turn taking! As children get older demonstrate and describe, but then let them have a little bit more time to experiment and figure things out on their own.

Here’s what happened when I did it with my 3-year old…

First I showed him how they could be arranged


Then I scrambled them up and asked him if he wanted to try putting my trees in order from biggest to smallest


This is what he did… not exactly, right? Which, if you know me you know I’m all about the process, not the outcome necessarily. So, I’m glad he got to try. At this point though, why not work together a little?


So, then I improvised and started by asking which tree was the biggest.

From then on I asked which of two trees was the next smallest. It was much easier for him to decide between two trees rather than from all of them. So, be involved and don’t be afraid to change things up with the activity to make it more interesting or fun for your child!


Happy Playing!


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