Ivan is really getting into craft activities (which is great!) so I've been searching for fun and accessible Christmas crafts that we can do together.
This one is actually a variation on the Simple Jack-o-Lantern craft we do at Halloween, but with a Christmas theme instead, and it's still very accessible for children with visual impairments.
Ivan loves the feel of foam sheets. They are soft and squishy, but not rubbery. They are also durable, which is a good thing when working with a child still developing their fine motor skills. Foam sheets are pretty forgiving!
So I thought it might be fun to create Tactile Christmas Trees out of foam sheets and felt ornaments. This is what we did....
What You'll Need:
Making Your Tactile Christmas Tree
- I did a little bit of prep by cutting a large foam sheet into a triangle and punching a hole in the top. I also cut a couple of ornament shapes out of foam in a contrasting color. I got all of our other supplies together and we were ready to begin.
- We started by attaching the velcro dot stickers to our tree. We put them all over the tree because this is where our ornaments will go. Ivan actually really liked the feel of the foam tree with velcro dot stickers. He spent a long time just feeling and finding all the stickers on the tree.
- Next, we gave Ivan some felt shapes to attach to the velcro dots. Felt sticks to velcro by itself, so you don't need to prep the felt shapes at all. Ivan could just pick the shapes he liked and stick them to the tree.
- I also had some ornament shapes cut out of foam so that Ivan could play with the different textures. We did have to add velcro dots to the foam ornaments so that they would stick. Ivan liked feeling the difference between the felt ornaments and the foam ornaments. I'm sure you could use all sorts of other materials too!
- Once our tree was decorated, Ivan enjoyed taking the ornaments off and putting them back on again. It's a fun craft because you can keep changing your design!
- Finally, we thread a pipe cleaner through the hole at the top of the tree so now we can hang our tactile Christmas tree! We used a regular pipe cleaner, but they make ones with glitter too!
Check out this video below to see what our Christmas tree looks like and how much fun it is to touch: