Inside: Here are 8 fun Christmas activities with woodland animals your kids/grandkids will love! Art, music, crafts, baking, and games—all centered around our woodland animal friends
Fun Christmas Activities for Grandkids & Kids Featuring Woodland Animals
Christmas books for children are essential to the holiday! And there are literary 100s of Christmas books to choose from.
The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree has been a children’s favorite since 1980 and continues to be loved and beloved by kids and grandkids. Our sons loved it growing up and now it’s a favorite with our grandkids to read–especially around Christmas.
The book illustrates the simple Golden Rule of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This time, the rule applies to woodland animals.
Papa Bear is obsessed with finding the perfect Christmas tree—forgetting that the perfect Christmas tree just may be another woodland animal’s home.
It’s a great book to use as a springboard and create fun Christmas activities centered around woodland animals with your kids/grandkids.
Here are 8 fun Christmas activities to choose from. Start your Christmas adventure by reading The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree
#1 Toilet-paper Roll Christmas Trees Covered in Woodland Animals
Here is a fun Christmas activity: create toilet paper roll Christmas trees with woodland animals peeking through the branches—just like in the book. This activity teaches fine motor development, sequencing, and bilateral coordination.
- Styrofoam cone (6-7”)
- Toilet paper rolls
- White acrylic paint
- Green tempera paint
- A large bell for the top of the tree
- Woodland animal stickers
- Small Christmas balls (Dollar Store)
- Cut the toilet paper rolls into strips of varying lengths and widths
- Starting at the bottom of the Styrofoam cone, hot glue the toilet paper strips creating a tree shape (adult supervision)
- Paint the tree with white acrylic paint. Let dry
- Paint the tree again with green tempera paint. Let dry
- Glue a large Christmas bell at the top of the tree
- Glue small Christmas balls on branches
- Attach woodland animal stickers to the branches of the tree
#2 Make a Hedgehog: Fun Christmas Activity!
Even though there are no hedgehogs in the Berenstain Bear Christmas book–we added a hedgehog just for fun because they’re woodland animals, too.
I read the book, “The Snowy Nap” by Jan Brett about a hedgehog that doesn’t want to miss the fun activities of winter–even though he normally would be hibernating. The pictures are breathtaking (typical Jan Brett style) and the story is charming.
The grandkids used bubble wrap and Kwik Stix markers to create a cold blue background for their hedgehogs. Then they colored acorn tops to create the spikey back of the hedgehog.
- Hedgehog template
- Kwik Stix markers
- Bubble wrap
- Cardstock paper–white and different colors
- Acorn tops (each child needs 30 acorn tops)
- Using Kwik Stix markers, color the bumpy side of several pieces of bubble wrap
- Press the bubble wrap onto a piece of cardstock creating a print. Cover the entire page
- Color the tops of the acorns using Kwik Stix markers
- Download, print and cut out the hedgehog
- Glue the hedgehog on a colored piece of cardstock; cut it out leaving an edge around the hedgehog
- Glue the acorn tops to the back of the hedgehog
- Place the hedgehog on the bubble wrap printed page; glue it in place.
#3 Fun Christmas Activities: Yarn-wrapped Woodland Animals
This activity teaches bilateral coordination because the child is winding the yarn with one hand and holding the woodland animal with the other hand.
You can find clipart of woodland animals online. Create animals found in the book: bear, snowy owl, wolf, and reindeer (reindeer were not in the book—but reindeer are synonymous with Christmas)
- Shapes of animals: bear, snowy owl, wolf, reindeer
- Yarn in various colors
- Masking tape
- Googly eyes
- Download a pattern of each animal (I just used the face of the animal–but you can also use the entire animal)
- Trace the animals onto cardboard and cut out
- Draw faces and glue eyes on each animal
- Tape a piece of yarn to the back of each animal and wind yarn around the face of the animal to create a yarn-wrapped woodland animal
#4 Making Gingerbread Woodland Animal Cookies
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without making cookies with kids and grandkids!
When I was 12 -years old, I found a recipe for gingerbread cookies in the newspaper. I made these cookies so many times, they became my “signature cookie.” Over the years, the recipe got lost.
The recipe called for vinegar—which was the magic ingredient that made them soft. I searched the internet and found this recipe—it’s the closest thing to my gingerbread recipe from years ago. If you don’t have your own favorite gingerbread recipe, click here for the recipe
To keep with the Christmas woodland animal theme—order these fun woodland cookie cutters from Amazon and make gingerbread cookies. They include:
- Snowy owl
Let your kids/grandkids help:
- make the cookie batter
- roll the dough
- punch out the dough with the cookie cutters
- frost and decorate
Baking in the kitchen is a great place to learn so many things—reading a recipe, following directions, understanding fractions, measuring, mixing, and more!
And while you are making these cookies, talk about the woodland animals in the book and why they were mad at Papa Bear for wanting to cut down their tree homes.
#5 Reindeer Math Game
This fun Christmas activity teaches addition using reindeer. The concept is simple—the reindeer’s antlers have numbers on them and the reindeer’s chin has a number. The numbers on the antlers need to add up to the number on the reindeer’s chin.
- Cardstock paper in different colors
- Googly eyes
- Sticker numbers
- Make a simple pattern for a reindeer head
- Copy the reindeer head onto cardboard, cut out
- Cut out another copy of the reindeer head onto colored cardstock
- Glue both pieces together. This makes it sturdy
- Glue on a pom-pom for a nose and googly eyes
- Stick different numbers on the bottom of the reindeer
- Attach different numbers to each clothespin
- The idea is to attach the reindeer antlers that add up to the number at the bottom of the reindeer head.
#6 Fun Christmas Activities: Animals at the Nativity
Christmas is a Christian holiday historically celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
It’s been discovered that many people don’t associate Christ and His birth through scripture, sermons, or movies but rather through Nativity displays. In fact, these 3-D displays of the birth of Christ have brought the first Christmas to life as nothing else has.
The first Nativity began in 1223 with St. Francis Assisi who made a nativity scene outside his church in Italy. Nativities have grown since then and today you can see plays, dramas, and church services acting out the Nativity each year.
Every Christmas, I bring out all my different Nativities to display throughout the month. My kids helped me take out the Nativity as we discussed the significance of each piece in the display. Now I do it with my grandkids.
For this activity, we talked about each Nativity piece—focusing on the animals:
I asked them:
- What do you think the animals were thinking on that night?
- If you could be one of the animals present at Christ’s birth—which one would you choose and why?
- How do you think the animals felt seeing the baby Jesus before anyone else? How would you feel?
Afterward, we listened to Brian Stokes Mitchell sing: “The Friendly Beasts” on YouTube. It’s a fun song about the animals at the nativity—and he sings them with voice inflections of each animal.
#7 Fun Christmas Activities: Feeding Woodland Ducks during Winter
After reading The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree, we went to our favorite place to feed the ducks. It was a very cold day; no one was there—and the ducks were hungry. As soon as they saw the grandkids—about 100 ducks made a beeline toward them.
According to the experts, woodland animals can find food during the winter months, but if you want to feed your local ducks—don’t feed them bread. Birdseed is better. Check out this article for more ideas on what to feed ducks.
As it says in the book, Christmas is all about “the other guy” so think about helping others or even a few woodland animals this winter. For example:
- Have a bird feeder in your backyard for birds that do not migrate
- Visit a duck pond to feed the ducks birdseed
- Purchase a squirrel-proof feeder and leave unshelled peanuts, carrots, and apples for the squirrels in your neighborhood
#8 Heartwarming Christmas Books Featuring Woodland Animals
Add these books about Christmas and woodland animals to your collection:
- The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- The Gifts of the Animals: A Christmas Tale by Carole Gerber
- The Animal’s Christmas Eve by Gail Wiersum
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
- A Christmas for Bear by Bonny Becker
- The Mitten by Jan Brett
- Santa’s Tree by Janet Lawler
- Woodland Christmas by Marie Angel
Here are more blogs about Christmas activities for kids & grandkids:
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