A Christmas addition activity that’s hands-on, easy to prep, and not a printable? Yes, please. The “Christmas Tree Addition Match” is the perfect way to play, decorate, and have some math fun this holiday season with your big kids.
What kind of Christmas math activity is this?
The “Christmas Tree Addition Match” is a simple activity for kids working on addition skills and math facts.
The activity combines two of my absolute favorite things: Dot stickers and Christmas activities. I’m basically Maria von Trapp here -so that’s white copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, and dot sticker based Christmas activities.
I’m also a staunch advocate for big kids having activities so this is really the icing on the cake.
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This dot sticker addition match up was inspired by my friend Fynn from Happy Tot Shelf’s Christmas Tree Activities.
The skills practiced in the Christmas addition activity
This is a great math activity for grade school kids who have the following skills:
- Full understanding of the process of addition
- Understanding and application of number sentences
- Ability to do addition facts to 24
This specific activity is geared at first grade students working on the Common Core State Standard:
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10.
Common Core State StandardsGrade 1: Operations & Algebraic Thinking
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- Construction paper (I used this larger size)
- Sharpie marker
- Dot stickers
- Painter’s tape (you can’t see it, but that’s what’s holding my tree to the wall)
Not a big supply list for this activity – and I’m deeply into it!
I took my 12×18-inch construction paper and drew a Christmas tree on it.
I used a ruler to make mine so straight (since I’d be putting photos on the Internet). Normally, I wouldn’t go to that particular of a level (wink).
I made strands on the tree – for our numbered lights to hang. On the “strand,” I put the number 1-24 in numerical order, because my sticker sheet has 24 dots.
On each sticker, I put a number sentence (example 8+4) and he had to put that dot sticker onto the number 12 on the Christmas tree. My son had to hunt and find the correct number sentence for each sum on his Christmas tree. I put one number sentence per number (sum).
It was so interesting because he went in color order rather than sum order or random.
**I know the Common Core Standard is for addition to 20 but we went up a notch so that I could use each sticker on the sheet.
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One caveat to consider
This activity isn’t helping my son learn what addition is or how to use addition. He knows that. He learned about what addition is in other activities (like this introducing addition activity and dot sticker addition).
Christmas Tree Addition Match is about rapid recall of math facts and math sums – it is NOT about learning how to add.
Activities like this are a great way to practice skills and solidify them, but only after teaching has happened.
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Tip – How to make dot stickers easy to remove
In order for this Christmas math activity to be independent, the child needs to be able to remove the dot stickers without adult assistance.
Make sure to remove the middle white section of the dot sticker sheet before handing it to the child. This will work with all stickers.
Taking the middle section out makes all the difference with stickers.
Don’t put the Christmas Addition Activity away
Keep this Christmas math activity up and keep handing out mixed up sticker sheets.
This doesn’t need to be a one-and-done activity.
This Christmas addition activity can stay up a few days – let your child continue practicing these skills and playing around with their tree.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Kids learn to join numbers together as they begin to learn about value. There is not hard and fast start time to this. Conceptually, toddlers can begin to see that one grape joined with one grape means two grapes. Using the term “join” instead of the abstract “plus” term, is the key to helping kids conceptualize addition.
Kids will memorize their math facts (that’s the rapid recall of 1+2, 3+7) on a broad spectrum from kindergarten to 3rd grade. Addition is a precursor to subtraction, multiplication, and division so understanding the concept and being able to quickly remember facts is so key.
I get dot stickers on Amazon. Sometimes the Dollar store sells them.