The Frugal OT Series: Festive Fine Motor Trees

December’s Dollar Tree Activity of the Month: Festive Fine Motor Trees

This super cute holiday tree packs a lot of bang for your buck. So many fine motor skills are addressed in this time-efficient craft. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home with your little one. Children will be pleasantly challenged by the fine motor demands that will result in a sweet holiday craft ready to gift to a loved one. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

Skills Addressed:

  • hand strengthening
  • hand separation
  • bilateral coordination
  • eye-hand coordination
  • visual tracking
  • spatial relations
  • grasping skills (pincer and 3-jaw chuck or tripod)

Dollar Tree Supplies Needed:

Staples Needed:

  • paper plates
  • craft sticks
  • curling ribbon
  • paint
  • pom-poms
  • paper hole punch
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
Festive Fine Motor Tree
Supply List
Festive Fine Motor Tree Staples Needed

How To Make the Holiday Trees:

Festive Fine Motor Tree
  • Paint the paper plate green (tip: do beforehand to allow to dry)
  • draw lines on the backside of the plate to separate it into thirds
  • cut the plate along the lines to make three triangles
  • punch holes into each triangle
  • cut the ribbon and lace it through the holes
  • tape the ribbon to the backside of the triangle to secure
  • glue each section together to form a tree
  • glue pom-poms onto the tree to decorate, add a yellow pom-pom to represent the star
  • tape two craft sticks to the back of the tree to make the trunk

Grade Down (Make it Easier)

Adult draws the lines to separate the plate into thirds, then have the child cut

Adult punches the holes if the child’s strength isn’t adequate to manage the hole puncher

Adult cuts the ribbon and tapes it to the plate to get the child started with lacing

Grade Up (Make it Harder):

Work on building visual perceptual and visual-motor integration skills by having the child make their tree to match a model. Place several pom-poms on the model to challenge visual scanning and tracking skills.

Build In-hand manipulation skills

Translation is the ability to move objects from the palm of one’s hand to the fingertips and from the fingertips to the palm. By ages 6 to 7, children are typically able to manipulate and secure multiple small objects within their hands. Practice this skill with the pom-poms. Using one hand, have the child pick up one pom-pom at a time and move it from fingertips to palm. Try collecting 5 and then place them onto the tree.  

As always, have fun!


The Fun Strokes blog is designed for educational and informational use only for teachers, therapists, and parents. It is not intended as medical advice or therapeutic treatment that would be provided in an individualized treatment plan. If you suspect a child has delays, please consult an occupational therapist.

Published by Linda Craig Dennis

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Author and Creator of Fun Strokes Pre-writing Program

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: