This Christmas math game is a blast! Kids will crack up as they work toward filling Santa’s fluffy beard, all while playing with and practicing math skills.
Introducing the cutest Christmas math game
What do you picture when you think of “Christmas activities with kids?”
I have asked this with groups of adults and usually hear things like, “Crafts!” or “Art!” or “Homemade ornaments!”
Christmas is the perfect time for crafts and art and ornaments.
But it’s also “Clause-itively” fantastic for math.
Related: Have you ever seen a 10-foot coloring page? A GIANT Christmas coloring banner is the best addition to your holiday fun.
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- Free printable game board
- Cotton balls
- Glue – optional
- One die – if you don’t have one lying around, check any board games you might have for one
Objective: The first person to cover all of the numbers on Santa’s beard wins
Rules: Invite the first player to roll their die and to count the number of dots. Then, have them find that number on their game board and put a cotton ball on it.
There are two of each number on the game board.
As the game progresses, you might roll a number and already have them covered on your game board. If you have nothing to cover, move to the next person.
The first person to cover their board wins!
Whoever is the last person to finish covering Santa’s beard gets to go first in the next round.
Tip: if you want to get lots of use from your game boards, don’t use glue and instead just set cotton balls on the numbers so they’re easy to remove for the next game.
Try introducing subitizing
When you, as an adult, see six dots on a die, chances are you don’t have to count because you just know there are six dots.
You have seen six dots together many, many times, and you don’t need to count anymore to know there are six.
This is called subitizing.
As you play, see if your child can say how many dots are on the die without counting, starting with the smaller quantities.
You might be surprised at how quickly kids can pick this up!
Related: We love subitizing games! Try a similar subitizing game with dinosaurs.
There’s more than math in this Christmas math game
Sure, math is the star of the show, but this game has tons of other learning in it, too.
- Being a good sport: your child won’t win every round, and this is a wonderful opportunity to practice good sportsmanship and celebrate other friends
- Turn-taking: waiting for your turn is a wonderful skill for games and life
- Fine motor: rolling a die can be tricky at first, trying to keep it from flying off the table
- Sensory: cotton balls provide a unique sensory experience for kids to touch
Done with the Christmas math game? Try this.
On your last round, invite your child to glue their cotton balls to the beard as you play the game. This makes for a fun keepsake when you’re totally done.
Add some color to Santa with crayons, markers, dot markers, watercolors…you name it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Any that can safely use the materials. Kids should also have an understanding of counting and how to count to six (however, an adult can help if needed!).
Anything small like buttons, beads, marshmallows, dot stampers, etc.