A Christmas math activity that’s hands-on, easy to prep, and not a printable? Yes, please. The “Christmas Tree Number Match” is the perfect way to play, decorate, and have some math fun this holiday season.
What kind of Christmas math activity is this?
The “Christmas Tree Number Match” (say that 5 times fast) is a simple activity for kids working on number recognition and basic counting.
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.
Chef’s kiss. This Christmas Tree Number Match was absolute perfection.
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For this dot sticker Christmas mash-up, I was inspired by my friend Fynn from Happy Tot Shelf’s Christmas Tree Activities to try a linear, matching approach to this number activity.
It worked – and I’m so happy with how this activity turned out.
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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)
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 as though it was strung with lights. On the “strand,” I put the number 1-24 in numerical order.
I did 1-24 because 24 is the number of dot stickers on a single sheet.
My son had to hunt and find the correct numbers. It was interesting: he went in order of the dot stickers and was hopping all around his number tree.
Because he was bouncing around so much, to find a number on the tree – he must have counted blocks of numbers 10 times. It was such great counting practice for him.
Christmas tree number match for the win! A perfect little Christmas math activity.
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The skills practiced in the Christmas math activity
I decided to set this up as a matching, chronological number activity for my 4 year old.
It was the perfect Christmas math activity for him.
There’s two math skills he’s practicing here:
- Number recognition – seeing a number and knowing the name
- Ordering numbers 1-24 (because that’s how many stickers are on a sheet)
Two caveats to consider
This isn’t a high level activity.
This is straight matching. Matching a “shape” (each number symbol is a shape of sorts). All the child really needs to know is how to match a symbol to a symbol.
Knowing the number name is a bonus and understanding the numbers are being put back in order is another.
That’s something you might want to work on with this activity. When the child is done with the activity, consider going back to touch, count, and say each number in order.
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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 Tree Number Match 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 math activity can stay up a few days – let your child continue practicing these skills and playing around with their tree.
Frequently Asked Questions
Counting is a memorized skill, similar to remembering songs and poems. Children will learn this by hearing it. Count often. Count out loud. This is a skill kids can very much pick up on their own.
No. Counting is a memorized piece of number sense. Number sense is a child’s deep understanding of a number: knowing that 4 represents four objects, has value, has a position in sequence, is greater than 3 but less than 5, etc. Counting is a cool party trick. Number sense is what will support children in their acquisition of more challenging future math skills.
I get dot stickers on Amazon. Sometimes the Dollar store sells them.
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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