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DIY Playroom Learning Tree for Reading and Math

My son is a hands-on and very visual learner, so I try to incorporate tangible learning activities wherever I can, including in the playroom. One of his favorite hands-on activities is the Playroom Learning Tree where he is able to work on reading skills, math skills, problem solving, and motor skills.

Find out how to make this simple Playroom Learning Tree and see how your kids can use it to learn spelling, counting, colors, and more! Playroom | Learning | Literacy | Reading | Math | Arithmetic | Tree | Fine Motor Skills | Educational Activities | DIY | Learning Center | Classroom | Homeschool | Kids Activities
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You may notice that this tree was painted on the wall. I realize that not everyone can paint a tree on the wall, whether you are not allowed to paint in the house you live in or you just aren’t fond of painting, I will share alternatives for you. The same goes for the hanging pieces.

Now that our playroom makeover is complete (for now) and I am so excited to begin sharing tutorials with you. I decided the Playroom Learning Tree would be the perfect place to start as it is rather simple to pull together.

Learning Tree Square

For my tutorial, I use wooden pieces and paint, but you can always find alternatives.

For the tree, perhaps you would want to cut a piece of out wood or even cardboard. Maybe you want to glue construction paper onto poster board. Whatever makes it easiest for you; the activity will work either way.

For the hanging pieces, I used wooden pieces and painted onto them, but you can always cut out felt and glue on or paint on designs, use wooden pieces and add cut out magazine clippings or printed free clip art using a decoupage technique, or even find pre-made ornaments and just write on the backs.

This Playroom Learning Tree is very flexible on what can be added, how it can be used for learning, and what materials it is made from.

Playroom Learning Tree

What You Need


1. Before I even touched the tree, I made sure I had all of the hanging pieces in order. I purchased 24 of them (that’s just how the packs were–you can always do more or less.).

2. Now, I did this part backwards, but I recommend doing the drilling before creating the pictures. I had my husband bring out his drill and drill small holes near the top of each of the wooden circles, leaving enough room that the wood would not break but far enough up that it would not interfere with pictures. You will probably want to sand this down as you may end up with some pieces chipping off slightly and we want to prevent splinters.

3. Paint the pieces one side at a time. I chose to paint the designs first then I went back around them with the green color I would be using for the tree on the wall. You can do yours in either order; just be sure to let each layer of paint dry completely before adding more. If you choose to skip painting on the designs, paint the green background color, let dry, then use decoupage glue to attach cut-out pictures of the designs (or glue on felt pieces.). Again, let everything dry completely before moving on.

Learning Tree Pieces

My designs included:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Critters

I made 5 of each design. For the apples I did multiple colors. For the pears, I made one different than the other (with a bite eaten out of it). The lemons were all the same. The oranges ranged from small to big. I included four critters you would find in trees: a squirrel, a moth, a caterpillar, and a bird.

Learning Tree Hanging Pieces Close

4. For the backs, I actually left them unpainted and simply wrote on the backs, except for the ones with critters. In hind sight, I wish I had painted the backs as well and painted on the letters and numbers and I very well may go back and complete that at a later date. In the meantime, I just used a permanent marker to add letters and numbers to the backs–I spelled out “p-e-a-r-s” and “A-P-P-L-E” and “L-E-M-O-N” and I numbered 1-5.

I put the letters and numbers on the backs, but you can even put them on the fronts and leave the backs blank as I did for the critters. This way you can also use it as a memory game.

Learning Tree Hanging Pieces Back

5. Once both sides of the hanging pieces are dried completely, tie strips of string together then loop them through the hole so they hang. I made sure the yarn wouldn’t fall off by gluing the bottom near the base and carefully melting the ends of the string where I had tied it.

6. Now for the tree. I first painted the trunk and branches with brown acrylic paint then I painted on the treetop with basic green. If the paint is not covering enough, you may need to do a couple other layers of paint (be sure to let each layer dry completely first or it will be an endless battle of trying to get the paint to cover.).

7. Once the paint has completely dried, attach the clear mini hooks. Place these strategically. I made it so the tree was evenly covered with the 6 hooks.

Learning Tree Close

Your child will be able to spell words, number 1-5, order biggest to smallest, identify fruits and colors, examine differences and sharpen problem solving skills, learn who lives in the tree, and work on their fine motor skills as they hang the pieces on the Playroom Learning Tree.

Learning Tree Close 2
Learning Tree Close 3

Store the extra pieces in a basket underneath the tree.

Learning Tree Basket

Read also: Build a Fort in 5 Simple Steps | Secret Apple Tree Fort and Learning With Mini Mailboxes | Reading and Math

Do you have any other fun ways of how this tree could be used for learning? Share with me in the comments! Iโ€™d love to hear!

Know someone who would love this? Hit the โ€œshareโ€ buttons below! Be sure to follow Arts & Crackers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or the others at the top right!


  1. Wow, you are crafty and what a great idea this is.

  2. This is really cool and I think it turned out amazing! I bet kids can learn a lot from this tree and have fun doing so.

  3. This is a really great idea. It’s cute and useful.

  4. What a really neat idea. It’s cute and helpful with teaching.

  5. This is so creative. I bet the kids absolutely love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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