I’ve been thinking of ways to introduce the idea of number bonds and addition for Mr D and at the end of last week hit upon this Christmas tree maths game.
To play our Christmas tree counting game you need:
- Felt for the tree – I have a pack of different colours like these.
- buttons/pompoms or something similar. I used these gemstones
- basket or tray to lay the tree in. I have a couple of these plastic baskets that I like to use
Onto the felt draw a Christmas tree shape and cut round it. It needs to fit in the basket. I added a ‘pot’ for the tree too and a star.
I then counted out ten of the gemstones and asked Mr D to drop them into the basket. He then counted those that landed on the tree, and those that landed just in the basket. You can add more gemstones as the game progresses, or even add in pompoms or buttons and see whether more of these land on the tree than the gemstones.
We talked about whether the tree had more ‘baubles’ on it, or were there more baubles in the basket. This was good for Miss E who is beginning to be able to recognise more and less. In the instances where it was 6 on and 4 off we laid those out in a line and counted them and we could see much more easily whether more or less landed on the tree.
With Mr D I was able to introduce the idea that if seven had landed on the tree then three must have landed in the basket as 7 + 3 = 10.
This kept both the children entertained and is very easy to adapt to various themes. Some other Christmas ideas are:
- Make a snowman and drop buttons onto him
- Make a Santa and drop presents (made from coloured felt or sequins)
- Make a winter scene and drop snowmen or robin sequins
I left our Christmas tree maths game out for the children and have seen them heading back to play with it a few times. I think it will be an idea that I’ll adapt to different topics over the coming months.