There are plenty of Christmas math worksheets to use with your children this time of year. But, does putting a few Christmas pictures on an otherwise typical math worksheet make it fun? Maybe a little, but think how much more fun hands on Christmas math activities based on real life would be! Check out the five projects below for some ideas to use in your homeschool or classroom this month.
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Baking Christmas Cookies
Cooking and baking are a great way to practice many academic and life skills, including math. You can read more in Six Skills Children Learn When Cooking. Baking Christmas cookies and other holiday treats is a perfect activity for this! One great way to incorporate math in cooking is to have your children halve or a double a recipe. Find a recipe this holiday season that this would be appropriate for and there is your math lesson for the day! Then make the yummy treat!
Another way to sneak math learning into baking is by purposely putting out different measuring cups than what a recipe states. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 cups of an ingredient, have only the 1/2 cup and/or 1/3 cup available. If it calls for a half cup of an ingredient, then make the 1/4 cup available. Children will learn equivalent fractions much faster in a real life situation like this!
Open Your Own Christmas Shop
This fun Christmas math activity works especially well for larger groups is for children to make Christmas ornaments or other small items to sell in a pretend store. They can buy each other’s ornaments from each other and give them as real gifts to family and friends. Real or pretend money can be used.
Decide beforehand if children will be paid to make each item for the store and what happens to the money when items are bought. Does the money go to the store owner (you) to reimburse for supplies? Or, will the children make the money when their item is purchased? These questions could be fun to answer as a group.
Next, have children make the items over the course of several days. When enough items have been made, each child can price their items. This is a perfect time for a discussion on how products are priced.
Pricing them low means more will likely sell and pricing them higher means they will sell less. You might want to run through a few different scenarios on paper with your children to see how much money they might make. Selling 5 items at $1.00 a piece will bring in $5.00 while selling 2 items priced higher at $2.00 a piece would only bring in $4.00.
When the store is open, let children take turns shopping and being shop keepers. Having a variety of bills and coins on hand will give them practice at making change. At the end of shopping, help children analyze how their pricing plan worked. Did they sell as many as they wanted to? Did they sell out so fast they could have priced their items higher or could have made more?
This Christmas math activity is so fun, I bet your children will start setting up all kinds of stores on their own!
Want some help in setting up that shop or maybe you would rather play a board game and pretend to be shop owners? Check out this Christmas Market Project and Game:
Shopping on A Budget
Help your children figure out how much money they have to spend on Christmas presents. Then help them make a list of who they are shopping for, what they want to buy that person, and how much each item costs. Can they afford everything they want to buy or do they need to make adjustments?
If you would like a chart to help you do this, download our FREE Christmas Shopping Math Packet. There are sample lists your children can use to grasp the concept and practice their math skills before jumping into making their own list on a budget.
Graphing Christmas Cards
Graphing is a fun activity that you can incorporate into a variety of situations. One Christmas math activity for the month of December would be to graph the Christmas cards you receive.
Maybe you track which ones have a picture of Santa, a Christmas tree or baby Jesus. Or maybe you just keep track of ones from family vs. friends. Or you could track how many come on each day throughout the month.
Write some summary sentences at the end of the month about what kinds of cards people preferred or when people were most likely to send their cards.
If you would like some graphing templates to get you started, download our FREE packet at Teaching Graphing in Your Homeschool.
Christmas Present Perimeter, Area, and Volume Practice
A few years ago, I created these Christmas Present Math Task Cards to give my boys a fun way to learn about perimeter, area, and volume. We also worked in patterns and fractions! We now use them each year and they participate at a different level each time.
First, I give the boys the cards that target their math level. There are 12 perimeter cards, 12 area cards, 12 cards that incorporate fractions into area and perimeter, and 16 volume cards. Then, they make a present based upon the instructions on the card. We work on them over a few days, gluing our presents onto a picture of a Christmas tree as we go.
You can check them out here:
What other Christmas math activities have you used with your children? Please comment below and let us know!