I view preschool as a huge milestone in a child's life and therefore a milestone in every parent's life so there must be some very special treasures created during a child's preschool years. I'm one of those moms who saves EVERYTHING their kids make. Big bins stuffed with everything they made at school, labeled for each year for each child in the basement. It's a disease really! (That's where my kids' precious turkey hand art is!)
So when a curriculum or season presents itself as an opportunity to have the preschoolers make something that is beautiful AND functional I am very excited! Tree ornaments are just the activity!
We have made many different types of ornaments in the past, but one of my favorites are these beaded ornaments. We plan these as a fine motor activity - making ornaments that strengthen finger muscles and help kids' be better writers? What more could you ask for in a preschool activity!?! All you need are pipe cleaners and tri crystal beads. Ribbon and jingle bells (optional).
Pipe cleaners work great for little hands because the beads do not fall off the opposite end like they do with elastic bracelet cord. This shape of bead is ideal because they sort of lock together and you can't see the pipe cleaner at all.
You could make all types of different ornaments; this time we made wreaths and candy canes. Once you have filled the pipe cleaner with beads, you can shape them into the desired ornament (tree, wreath, candy cane, frame, etc.). We added some jingle bells to some of ours but they look cute without if you don't have bells.
You can add ribbon to hang the ornament or, depending on the shape, just hang the ornament as is. These ornaments look very fancy on the tree and every year will remind us sentimental moms of the little hands who made them!