Christmas Painting Activity – Busy Toddler

A child reaches up and paints one of several green triangles on a brown piece of paper.

Welcome to “Paint a Tree Farm” – a unique Christmas painting activity for kids. This activity focuses on geometry and art, as kids work with triangles and color hues/shades. With just a few minutes of prep, this easy Christmas art activity comes to life.

How this Christmas painting activity began 

I came up with the idea to “Paint a Tree Farm” after my kids fell in love with the book Pick a Pine Tree. Have you read this book yet? It’s a 10/10. 

And thank goodness for this book because oh baby, can you see how cool this project turned out? I am 100% smitten with this Christmas painting activity – it is exactly how I hoped it would be.  

RELATED: Looking for more easy Christmas activities for your kids? I have so many great ideas!

A brown paper is full of intersecting triangles and hangs on a wall by green tape. The note above it reads "Kate's Tree Farm"

Supplies for Christmas art

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I know this list may look daunting but when you break it down, it’s paper, paint, and brushes. These are pretty basic art supplies and things most people have on hand. 

RELATED: Building your book collection? Check out my list of Christmas books for kids!

A child reaches up and paints one of several green triangles on a brown piece of paper.

The step-by-step

I rolled out my paper to a size I liked. Option: You can make this GIANT like I did or on a piece of construction paper – that’s what my prototype was on! Generally speaking, younger children will do better with this on a smaller canvas. 

Using a ruler, I started drawing overlapping triangles, varying them height and width.  

This is just something you’ll have to figure out on your own – how many and where to put them. It’s like choosing a good melon. You just know. 

Don’t forget to add little stumps – this takes it from triangles to trees. 

RELATED: I have the best list of Christmas games for kids to play. If you’re hosting a holiday party, this is the list!

Tip – How to make the many shades of green

We couldn’t have blah, one tone trees on our Christmas Tree Farm – and the fun of intersecting triangles is you end up with all sorts of extra triangles hidden inside trees.

To mix up 12 different greens, we squirted different combinations of green, white, yellow, and black.

This mini-lessons on shades was amazing for my five year old. She really got into it. Plus, with only greens to work with, she was able to color mix to her heart’s content.

Tip – Choosing the right brushes

Use different brush sizes. Typically with activities, I set out one size of brush and call it good.

With this activity, you need variety of large and small brushes.

My daughter varied between the sizes depending on which section she was painting. This helped her be more accurate.

It was also a great lesson in choosing the right tool for the job. The size of triangle dictated the size of brush – that was a cool lesson for her to learn here.

A child stands and leans over to paint one of many overlapping Christmas trees.

Final Christmas painting activity steps:

Don’t forget to paint the stumps!

With a little cup from the kitchen, I gave my daughter a hint of brown to paint her stumps.

This was the cherry on the top and made her trees come to life.

It was an art project for the ages – and I’m truly not taking it down anytime soon.

A brown paper canvas with many overlapping triangles hangs on a wall. Kate's Tree Farm is written over the top of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to do this Christmas painting activity on the wall?

No – that’s just how I set it up. I’m a blogger and I need photos of my activities. This is easier when the art is up on the wall. When you do this, absolutely do it on the floor, table, sidewalk, or anywhere else you feel comfortable.

How do you stop this activity from being super messy?

Have a wash cloth with the child. Since my kids were 18 months old, I’ve set a wet wash cloth next to them. This lets the child have a way to wipe their hands or to quickly wipe drips spills (or for you to come by with a fast assist). It’s absolutely one of the best ways to mitigate the mess from painting projects.

What age is “Paint a Tree Farm” best with?

This activity is going to be best with preschool age to big kids. When considering the stage the child is in, they need to be fairly capable at painting small details.

Susie Allison, M. Ed

Owner, Creator

Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 1.9 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.

Paint A Tree Farm: Christmas Painting Activity

A Christmas art activity for children ages preschool to big kids. Kids paint overlapping triangles that resemble a tree farm.


  • Kraft paper
  • Washable paint green, white, black
  • Large and small paint brushes
  • Muffin tin
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Ruler
  • Permanent black marker


  • No kraft paper? Use cardboard or white butcher paper.
  • Use green, black, and white paints mixed together to make a variety of green shades and hues.
  • Activity does not have to be painted on a wall. Use the floor or table.

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