If your kids are like mine, Christmas is a very motivating theme for activities. I try to only provide activities that are exciting for my kids, because engaging activities have a better track record for actually helping them. That being said, pretty much any activity with a Christmas theme is on that will entice my kids! My kids also LOVE sensory bins, so this Free Printable Christmas Number Activity in a sensory bin was a no brainer!
Materials Needed for the Christmas Number Matching Sensory Bin:
Optional: Clear Velcro Dots
VELCRO Brand – Thin Clear Fasteners | Perfect for Home or Office | 5/8in Coins | Pack of 75NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Play Sand – 2 LBS of Sand with Castle Molds and Tray (Green) – A Kinetic Sensory ActivityHoliday Erasers (60 Pcs) – Basic School Supplies & Erasers & Pencil ToppersABC Magnets – 109 Magnetic Alphabet Letters & Numbers With Take Along Bucket By EduKid Toys
Christmas Number Sensory Bin Matching Game
Fill your plastic bin with the sensory bin filler of your choice. We like to use kinetic sand for this activity because you can press the number magnets into the sand, but there is plenty of other fillers that can resemble Christmas. We like to stick the Christmas figurines into the filler as well.
Print out the number game. There are two parts to the printable. The first part of the printable is the squares that you will cut out, laminate and put into the sensory bin. The second is the ‘recording sheet’. This is where the match is made and stays until the game is over.
I like to laminate each section of the game. This will preserve the life of the game to be played over and over. I prefer to cut the game pieces out and then laminate and cut again.
I also like to laminate the recording sheet too.
One thing that is optional but I like to do is take velcro dots to the back of the matching pieces as well as each space/object on the recording sheet. This will help kids place the match where it belongs without the pieces going crazy.
Bonus: Velcro is awesome for building fine-motor strength!
Using the matching activity:
The next thing I do is toss in all (or some, depending on the child) of the matching pieces into the sensory bin. Mix it up really well. Make sure some are on the bottom, in the middle and then again on top. Have the child grab one card and match it to the recording sheet. Once all of the matching pieces are found and matched, the game is ‘over’. Chances are, though, that children will want to play in this sensory bin more.
- Not only can you have the child match the pieces to the recording sheet, but you could have them write on a separate piece of paper. This will help with number formation and handwriting.
- Use number magnets to press the numbers into the kinetic sand. This a great hand strengthening activity.
- You can ask the child to find the numbers in numerical order. This will add a challenge, so I would suggest making sure that the child is confident with numbers as to not create excess frustration.
- If you are using this for a whole class, you can ask the children to speak the number that is pulled and write it on a sheet in front of them.