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Christmas Tree Decorating Ten Frame Activity for Preschoolers

My middle son LOVES all the Laura Numeroff books. His favorite two are “If you give a Mouse a cookie” and “If you give a Pig a Pancake”. Earlier this month we picked up Numeroff’s “Merry Christmas Mouse!”, a cute book about our special mouse friend decorating a Christmas tree. After reading the book with my son, the story inspired me to create a quick little activity to help my son practice counting to 10, a skill we have worked on for the past year. So here it is a simple Christmas Tree Decoration Ten Frame Activity to work on counting to 10.

Christmas Tree Count to 10 Activity for Preschoolers inspired by Merry Christmas Mouse and using a 10 frame

Count to 10 with Mouse this Christmas!

I found a felt Christmas tree kit at a local craft store, and brought it home so my son could decorate a Christmas tree along with mouse! I also made some simple ornaments and other decorations for my son to glue on the tree out of our craft supplies.

ornaments for a DIY Christmas tree to use to count to 10 and decorate along with Merry Christmas Mouse

What you need to Make and Find for your Preschool Counting to 10 Decorate the Christmas Tree Activity

For our tree, our ornaments included:

1 star (made from gold felt)
2 fairy wings (made from light blue felt)
3 snowflakes (cut out of pink felt)
4 small yellow pom pom balls
5 snowmen (cut out from a white foam sticker sheet)
6 pieces of silver pipe cleaners
7 red teardrops (cut out from a red foam sticker sheet)
8 gold circles (made from gold felt)
9 mittens (cut out from a white foam sticker sheet)
10 pieces of golden tinsel (cut out from a gold foam sticker sheet)

My son is also learning to use 10 frames at preschool, so I made one for him to use when counting.

How to make a simple 10 Frame for Preschoolers to Use

  1. I folded an 8″ by 14″ sheet of paper to create 10 squares.
  2. I then unfolded the paper and darkened up the lines using a black marker.
Simple homemade 10 frame for use in learning to count to 10 and number bonds to 10 activities

Using a 10 Frame to Practice Counting to 10

We were now ready to read the book, and decorate alongside mouse.

We started by placing the one star on the tree.

Then we moved onto adding two fairy wings to our tree. My son placed each wing into a frame on the ten frame, and counted each as he placed them down. After making sure he only had two fairy wings, he glued them onto his tree.

counting to 2 with fairy wing decorations for the Christmas Tree

Next, he needed to add three snowflakes. He counted out three snowflakes as he placed them on the ten frame.

Using a 10 frame to count out decorations for the Christmas tree alongside Merry Christmas Mouse

My son continued to decorate his tree, adding 4 yellow balls and 5 snowmen to his tree. Each time he used the ten frame to count the ornaments before glueing them onto the Christmas tree.

When we got to six silver pipe cleaners, he started to place the sixth pipe cleaner in the box under the fifth pipe cleaner. I showed him the next row needed to start at the lower left corner. Imagine how proud I was when he continued on to count seven teardrop ornaments, and he remembered to drop to the lower left corner for the second row!

Supporting a preschooler learn to use a 10 frame with the positioning of 6 and 7 shown in the lower left on a DIY 10 Frame

He continued decorating his Christmas tree, counting eight golden circles, nine mittens, and ten pieces of tinsel. Each time, he counted using the ten frame, then glued the decoration onto his tree. When he was all done, we had a beautiful masterpiece to add to our Christmas decorations!

Finished Decorated Christmas Tree

I love this activity for so many reasons!

First, it helps affirm the use of a ten frame to count to 10. Each time my son moved onto the next decoration, he used the ten frame first, then added the decoration to the tree.

Second, decorating the tree is a great fine motor activity. Each piece required my son to either pull off a sticker back or hold a small piece of felt and add glue. A lot of great pincer grasp practice!

But what I love the most about this simple activity was the time my son and I spent together doing it, and the confidence he had after finishing. His smile lit up the room!

Christy is a part-time preschool teacher and full-time mom to her 3 rambunctious boys. After 10 years as an engineer, she decided to put her career on hold, and stay home with her boys. Christy now shares ways to inspire the next generation of engineers through play on her blog From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom.

Check out some Christmas STEM activity ideas at “30+ Christmas Activities for kids who Love STEM” and “10 STEM Toys to Inspire Little Engineers“.

You can also follow Christy on Instagram.

More Activities for Preschoolers to Help Count

Count to 10 with Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss with this simple DIY number line to work on Counting to 10 and number bonds to 10 as well.

Use our Forest Animal Clip Cards to practice counting to 10 and number recognition with your preschoolers inspired by the book Over in the Forest.

Count to 10 and climb Jack’s Beanstalk with this hands-on counting activity for preschoolers inspired by the classic fairy tale.

More Merry Christmas Mouse Activities for Kids

Christmas Tree Count to 10 Activity for Preschoolers inspired by Merry Christmas Mouse and using a 10 frame
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.

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