Okay, this is *not* an elaborate craft. I repeat *not* an elaborate craft!
However, it *is* effective! After colouring and decorating her Christmas tree with the number of red baubles and green baubles in the sum, and counting them up to solve it, V-bot (3.5) promptly did it 7 more times and then asked me to draw her some more! Maths, reading, and writing all rolled into one fun 30 minute slot before dinner 🙂
I love this fun activity because it takes exactly 58 seconds to prepare (okay, maybe 90, if you try really hard on the shape of your Christmas trees, which I did, and they’re still rubbish), AND it ties in a preschool / kindergarten / nursery love of suddenly understanding quantity and trying their hand at addition, AS WELL as sneakily sliding in some literacy practice and fine motor work!
- A Drawing Pad, or a number of sheets of paper (we ended up using 9, and were only interrupted by dinner!)
- Some crayons or colouring pencils, or whatever the little one might like to colour their tree with
- Red, black and green sharpies
- Dot stickers, or any other sticker representation of baubles.
Draw a Christmas tree shape on the paper.
Next, add a sum underneath. Use the red sharpie to write the number of red baubles to put on the tree, and use the green sharpie to write the number of green baubles to put on the tree:
We use the sum format that she will become familiar with later on when she starts to do addition formally in school. She is familiar with the plus and equals signs already, but it would be fine to introduce them in this activity too.
Cut out the red and green stickers ready for peeling and use. Then invite to play!
Then we talked about the numbers underneath “This is a secret code that tells you how to decorate your Christmas tree! Shall we find out what it says?”
I snuck back to catch a couple more photos of her sneakily grabbing the forbidden sharpie!
V-bot (3.5) worked on:
- Numeracy: identifying numbers, understanding quantity, putting addition into practice
- Language: Identifying words (“red”, “green”), sounding out and understanding, putting into practice. Talking about trees, leaves, evergreens, spruces, baubles, decorations, Christmas!
- Science: a wee bit of conversation around tree leaves, and trees needing to take up water in order to stay alive.
- Fine motor skills: Those stickers were TINY!
- Concentration: the all-important skill. I love that this totally absorbed her.
Books we loved reading before and after this activity…