If your kids are like mine, Christmas math activities for preschool are motivating and exciting. Learning numbers 0 to 10 in preschool requires lots of repetition. But, children reap benefits of repeated number sense activities when they are engaging, hands-on, and fun! My kids also LOVE sensory bins, so this Free Printable Christmas Number Activity for Sensory Bins was a no brainer! I knew they would love it, and your kids will also love working in preschool on numbers 1-10 with this fun number recognition matching game.

– Life Over C's Christmas theme number matching mat with a Christmas sensory bin

Recommended Grade Level:


  • Printer/Ink
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Paper Cutter
  • Sensory Bin
  • Sensory Bin Filler

Counting Activities for Preschool



Learning in preschool is numbers 1 to 10 and beyond. Kids need lots of practice oral counting, singing, counting objects, recognizing numbers, and naming groups as quantities.

This fun Christmas math center covers it all! Kids will be engaged as they sift through the sensory bin to find a card. Once they find the card, they will work on counting skills to count the candy canes.

Finally, they will place the card on the number mat by identifying the number. And repeat! It’s a wonderful way to practice numbers this holiday season.

In addition to counting practice and number identification work, use this as an opportunity to build number sense in young learners with questions:

  • What is the total number of candy canes?
  • Can you count them backwards?
  • Which number matches the quantity?
  • Is that number curvy or straight or both?
– Life Over C's Free printable Christmas Number Activity for sensory bins.

What Can Preschoolers Learn While Matching Numbers in a Sensory Bin?



This simple preschool numbers 1-10 activity packs a lot of punch as far as math skills go:

  • One-to-one correspondence
  • Number recognition
  • Counting fluency
  • Fine motor skills
  • Sensory stimulation
– Life Over C's

Why Is It Important For Kids To Work On Number Sense Activities?

Preschool counting games for preschool and number recognition games provide a solid foundation for future math skills. They strengthen brain connections used to solve problems or complete number puzzles.

Number Identification

Number identification is sometimes the first step toward understanding what numbers are. Kids need lots of practice to be able to look at a number and name it appropriately.

One-to-One Correspondence

Counting groups of objects and assigning each object one more gives meaning to the numbers that kids identify. Then they begin understanding quantity.

Counting Fluency

Being able to count smoothly and effortlessly goes a long way toward ease with future math concepts and skills. It takes lots of counting practice to reach that level of ease.

Make Connections

Preschool counting games help kids make connections between different numbers. It helps them see 10 is greater than 2, or 5 is an odd number.

How to Make the Christmas Number Activity for Sensory Bin

To Prep:

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 are plenty of other fillers that resemble Christmas. We like to stick the Christmas trees and 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.

One optional thing 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.

– Life Over C's

To Play:

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.

Expand the Activity:

Number Writing

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.

Number Sequencing

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.

Build Muscles

Use number magnets to press the numbers into the kinetic sand. This a great hand strengthening activity.

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– Life Over C's Christmas theme number matching mat with a Christmas sensory bin
– Life Over C's Christmas theme number matching mat with a Christmas sensory bin
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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