Is your Christmas “to do” list in the double digits and growing day by day like mine? I thought so. Here are five, last minute, easy, and inexpensive Christmas math activities for your lesson plans. I hope these ideas will bring you a little comfort and joy!
Count the Christmas Presents
Grab a stack of holiday lunch plates and a bag of tiny present shaped ornaments from the dollar store and you’ll have a Christmas math activity before you can say HO HO HO! I glued a set of old calendar number cards on the lunch plates but you could write numbers with a permanent marker, too. Your preschoolers will look forward to counting these cute miniature gift boxes and practicing their numbers!
Guess the Number Christmas Math Game
If you have a small gift box and a set of number cards, then you have everything you need for this next Christmas math activity! Simply put a number card (or a post it note you’ve written a number on) inside the box and put the lid on. Then, have students take turns guessing what number they think is in the box. Give clues and prompts to help them determine the correct number.
For example, you can say “Oh, 13 is too low. The number in the box is more than 13.” Then when another classmate says 15, you can reply “That’s a great guess but the number in the box is less than 15.” Not only is this an engaging math game where you can differentiate depending on the numbers your class is working on but it also builds math vocabulary. Plus, it lets your students practice their listening skills!
Christmas Number Game
The Christmas More or Less number game can be played with one, two, or a few students. This is a wonderful small group activity for preschool learners and can be played over and over.
I used basic Christmas stockings from the dollar store but you could cut a stocking shape out of construction paper or felt. You’ll also need a bag of mini craft bells (another dollar store find!) or other small manipulatives to count.
Have a student grab a handful of the little bells and lay them on a stocking. Then, have them grab a second handful and lay those bells on the other stocking. Next, have the student count BOTH sets of bells and compare. Which stocking has more? Which one has less?
Kids love this Christmas more or less game! They typically try to grab the biggest handful of bells they can which is perfectly fine because that gets them counting bigger numbers!
Gingerbread Christmas Math Activities
In the mood for some holiday baking and Christmas counting? Print the Gingerbread Spin-Count-Build number mats and fill a bowl with counting cubes. Then watch your preschoolers as they count and stack the cubes while mastering their math goals!
Maybe you’re hungry for a sweet counting treat! Just put out a pan of gingerbread number cookies and students can Count and Bake! Gingerbread Math Games are fun, super easy to prep, and perfect for small groups at the teacher table! For more gingerbread ideas and lesson plans, click HERE!
Christmas Counting Books
And finally, you can always read a good Christmas book and pack in lots of numbers and counting! Here are a few old favorites as well as a couple of new discoveries! Click on the title to take a closer look on Amazon:
Christmas Count & Find by Greg Paprocki
Counting Christmas by Karen Katz
Counting to Christmas by Nancy Tafuri
Peas on Earth by Jonny Marx
Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly & James Dean
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Christmas 123 by Eric Carle
These books are filled with Christmas cheer and lots of numbers!
I sure hope these Christmas math activities will help you during this busy but most wonderful time of the year!