A Christmas counting activity that’s quick, easy, and more hands-on than a traditional worksheet. This holiday math set-up is perfect for preschoolers working on counting while enjoying the Christmas season.
Why a Christmas counting activity?
I’m sure you’re just like me: you hear Christmas and you immediately think “What activity can I come up with using dot stickers?” Right? Isn’t that just what you were thinking?!
Maybe it’s just me… oh well, I’ve said it before and I’m not ashamed to admit it: I have a dot sticker obsession and this Christmas counting activity falls right in line with the many other sticker activities in my life.
Dot stickers are so perfect for Christmas activities – look at this alphabet dot sticker activity from Mom Inspired Life or this easy color matching activity from Fantastic Fun and Learning.
RELATED: Are you loving Christmas activities for preschoolers like I am? I have a whole list of them!
Do kids like dot sticker activities?
Why do I love dot sticker activities?
Simple – they’re simple. See what I did there? Dot sticker activities are usually easy activities to put together and this Christmas counting activity is the perfect example.
You need practically nothing to set it up and yet kids will focus on this activity for about 10 minutes of work time. I’ll take 10 minutes of “unload the dishwasher” in peace time any day.
RELATED: Looking for more quick and easy activities to help you “unload the dishwasher?” Check out this list!
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- Butcher paper
- Markers – for fun, I used Mr. Sketch markers here…remember those?!
- Dot stickers
- Painter’s tape
These are supplies I always have on hand. I don’t have much (or as much as someone might think for a person who runs a kids activity web site), but white paper, dot stickers, markers, and painter’s tape… those are my forever go-tos.
The set-up directions
I grabbed my long roll of butcher paper and quickly drew 10 trees on it. I had to cut my tree farm in two pieces because my wall isn’t long enough – there’s no master secret to why I split them other than for space.
On each tree, I wrote a number. I chose to go in numerical order. You can choose to do this however you want, and in whatever number amounts you want.
I handed my son (4 years old) his dot stickers and away he went adding the same number of dot sticker “ornaments” to each tree’s number value.
The learning happening in this Christmas counting activity
Yes, this activity is awesome because it’s fun.
Yes, it’s awesome because it holds little attention spans.
But the real reason it’s so awesome is because it packs in a ton of learning. It’s a fine motor skills activity. It’s also a “following directions” activity. Oh and it’s a big time math activity.
But it’s more than just counting.
How this activity goes beyond “just counting”
This Christmas counting activity is way more than just counting. This is an activity rooted in understanding number quantity aka “how much” is a number. A child can count to 10 long before they can show you the number 10.
That’s what my son is doing here: he’s showing the value of each number.
It is one skill to be able to count to a number from memory.
It’s a whole other skill to be able to show, understand and know the value of a number. Knowing the value of a number is the skill you need in order to do addition and subtraction.
My four year old isn’t ready for that yet – he’s still busy learning value. Activities like this are key for developing his math skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely not! These kind of activities are options, for fun, and not in any way required. I use activities as a fun, mostly free way to add holiday magic into our every day, but they are not make or break.
Check the packaging, always, but in general painter’s tape was created as a wall safe tape to use during home painting projects. But always triple check the labels.
I get my stickers from Amazon, but the Dollar Store often sells them too.
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 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.
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