You know how preschoolers have no concept of time?? Like the instant the Christmas decorations hit the stores, “Christmas is tomorrow” as their little preschool reasoning skills can’t quite keep up with the calendar. We’ve been working through that with my youngest daughter for the last few weeks. And when my husband hung up the Christmas lights today (because it will probably be the last warm day until Christmas…) her emotions were in full swing.
So even though Christmas is still a few weeks away, we had a blast playing with these 3 free printable Christmas math games for preschoolers. With three different ways to practice counting to 5 these math games are perfect for your December math centers and small groups.
I’ll be totally upfront with you, because I don’t want any confusion. My youngest daughter is 8 and she is officially in 2nd grade. But she has Rett Syndrome and with that has come some severe cognitive delays. So she is working on the level of a preschooler academically and has been for several years. Which is why you will find so many preschool activities on Life Over C’s.
Introductory Counting with Preschoolers
When it comes to introductory counting with preschoolers, there are actually many different pieces that all need to fit together to give kids a good sense of numeracy.
It’s not enough that they can rote count, they need to be able to understand what the numbers they are saying actually mean.
And with so many counting activities to be found in the wonderful land of Pinterest…
It can be hard to determine which counting activities are just right for your preschoolers.
Numeracy Skills for Preschoolers
Here are just a few pieces of the counting puzzle…
- Rote counting to 3
- Rote counting to 5
- Rote counting to 8
- Rote counting to 10
- One to one correspondence up to 3
- One to one correspondence up to 5
- Recognize numerals to 3
- Write number words when given an example
Sounds kind of like an IEP. Sounds a LOT like my daughter’s IEP.
Some preschoolers sail past the simpler counting and numeracy skills so fast that you don’t even notice the pieces.
Other kids, like my daughter can take years before you see any progress and even then it can be a bumpy ride.
For example, last year we thought she had mastered rote counting to 20, so we upped her IEP to rote counting to 50. Except now, she can’t get past 7. #facepalm.
Because of kids like Shiloh, I feel it is essential to offer activities such as these 3 free printable Christmas math games for counting to 5. Sometimes an activity that requires counting to 10 is just.too.much.
These simple Christmas counting games are a fun way for preschoolers to work on their counting skills without it feeling like work.
How to Use the Christmas Math Games
These Christmas math games for preschoolers can be used as individual games or partner games.
I love using activities that can be used more than one way!
Easily Differentiate Preschool Christmas Math Games
In fact, we used this game by simply placing the number cards in a pile and drawing, then covering the number that was drawn before we switched to using our differentiated instruction cube to make a number die.
If you are not familiar with differentiated instruction cubes, they are pocket cubes that you can use to create your own custom dice. In this free printable math game set, I have included 3 sets of dice inserts for the pocket dice. I highly recommend grabbing a set of differentiated instruction cubes because they are so versatile.
But if you don’t have the cubes and you want to use the game right away, you can easily do what we did and use the cube inserts as playing cards instead.
**I do recommend printing two copies of the cube inserts if you decide to do that.
Using Preschool Math Games in Math Centers
For an individual game, during math centers, the child rolls the die and covers each number as it is rolled.
They can chose to cover the numbers multiple times if they roll them more than twice or they can just roll again. There are no set rules which makes it a stress-free way for preschoolers to work on their numbers.
Using Preschool Christmas Math Games as Partner Activities
To turn it into a partner game, simply give each child one color of math manipulative and have them take turns rolling the dice and covering the numbers.
If a number is already covered, the child ‘loses their turn’. The child with the most manipulatives on the game board when all the numbers are filled, wins. Super easy.
I like super easy.
What Christmas Math Games are Included?
In this set of three Christmas Math games for preschool, you will find 3 ways to work on counting to 5.
- Number identification
Simply select the game that your preschoolers are ready to work on.
If your preschoolers need to work on one to one correspondence, you might want to choose the ten-frame or array games so that your kids can place their finger on each object on the number die.
As they progress, they can work toward counting the numbers without touching the die.
If your preschoolers are working on number identification, you can choose the gingerbread number game.
Whichever way you choose to play, I’m sure your preschoolers will enjoy these hands-on math games for Christmas. A perfect addition to your Christmas theme activities!