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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Until you’ve experienced it first hand, there’s nothing quite like the joy of Christmas in the kindergarten classroom. Of course there’s the excitement and anticipation over which presents will be waiting for them under the tree, but there’s an overall feeling of joy about all that comes with Christmas; the music, the food, the trees and of course Santa. The jolly old elf should be a central part of your academics in December if you have any intention of retaining your students’ interest in the run up to the big day. This fun Christmas themed math center is a great way to help your students develop number sense while having some Santa themed fun at the same time.
Number Sense in Kindergarten
As a kindergarten teacher, your overall goal is to help your students master those essential skills that will provide a foundation for the rest of their school years. These include recognizing and writing all the letters of the alphabet, and developing an understanding of the number system. You also need to get them used to seeing different representations of each number, so these free number sense activities for kindergarten are a great way for your students to learn to recognize numbers, dice, tallies and the written form of each number from 1 to 10. They’ll build a number Santa in a jigsaw fashion, and you’ll have a Christmas themed math center that they’ll keep coming back to all month long.
Preparing Your Number Sense Puzzles
For this activity you will need:
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You will need to print out the pages and laminate them. Cut them into their individual pieces and then ask your students to put Santa back together again.
Extending Build A Number Santa Activities
The idea behind these kindergarten Christmas activities is simple. Students will pick out the matching Santa body parts based on the number that they show and put them together. They will master this build a number Santa challenge fairly quickly, so try some of these kindergarten Christmas activities using the same packet:
Timed challenge – the key to mastery of any kindergarten skill is repetition, and the key to making repetition fun is to add a layer of challenge. Give your students an entire set of all 40 body parts and then time them to see how quickly they can put all 10 Santas back together. Keep an individual record for each student so that the only person that they’re competing against is themselves, but chart how long it takes them to build a number Santa so they can see their progress.
Fix the errors – another fun way to keep this activity fresh is to put up a set of 10 completed Santas that have a lot of body parts attached to the wrong number. Make sure you let students know which number is correct, and then have them work together with a partner to put all the body parts back with the right Santa.
Scavenger hunt – as the excitement builds in your classroom, you’ll need to find ways to get movement into your Christmas themed math center. Turn this build a number Santa game into a scavenger hunt by hiding all the body parts around the room and have students race to collect all the pieces for a specific Santa.
Books About Christmas That We Love:
Fun Math Tools for Your Classroom:
More Christmas Themed Centers
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Christmas Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on letters, phonics, numbers and more!
1) Build A Santa Numbers 1-10 – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus
2) Christmas Bake Sale Counting Clipcards – Counting up to 20 with fine motor practice
3) Colorful Christmas Stocking Sorting – 6 color mats with 10 different toys to sort
4) Reindeer and Sleigh Number Match to 10 – Match the respective reindeer and sleigh numbered 1-10 for number recognition practice or use it for counting up to 10 by lining up the correct amount of reindeers
5) Santa Sums to 10 – Print out 2 copies of the special dice, roll and record each one, then use the mat to add them up
6) Santa Pre-writing Tracing Strips – 9 different strips included
7) Santa Rhyming Bingo – Find rhyming words for -at, -am, -ug, -ig and -ap word families on the bingo card. 4 different cards included.
8) Santa’s List Pick and Tick Letters – Prepare the letter cards and place them in a bag or sensory bin then practice letter recognition as the child ticks them off Santa’s list. Upper and lowercase letters included.
9) Christmas Gift Sight Word Tagging – Match up the sight word-labeled gifts and tags. 40 Pre-primer words included.
10) Elf Alphabet Fine Motor Letter Mats – Form the letter using playdough or other materials you choose then practice writing out the uppercase letters.
Other Free Christmas Printables You’ll Love:
1) Christmas Printable Worksheet Pack – 50 pages of worksheets for mastering the alphabet, early math skills and more!
2) Christmas I Spy – This Christmas-themed I Spy is perfect for keeping little ones busy during the holidays.
3) Santa Land Spot the Difference – This game of visual discrimination will keep your kids busy for a while! Find the 10 differences between these 2 pictures of Santa Land.
4) Build A Number Santa – Preschool and kindergarten kids will match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus in this fun printable Christmas activity.
5) Gingerbread Number Puzzle Strips – Set of 3 differentiated gingerbread-themed number puzzles including one with dice representation.
Browse My Most Popular Math Printables:
1) Parking Cars Tracing Lines – More than 10 different tracing line patterns to choose from, all of which help with pencil control.
2) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – 3 different scarecrow-themed image sets that they will arrange from smallest to biggest.
3) Bumblebee Addition Game – Solve the sum and help the bee land on the correct flower!
4) Farm Shapes Mats – Use playdough, pompoms, stickers etc to learn 2D shapes.
5) Popsicle Stick Number Formation – Kids will love forming the numbers 1 to 10 when ice cream and popsicles are involved!
8) Counting Colorful Bugs – This printable book will help kids count to 10 while also learning about color words.
9) Humpty Dumpty Numbers – In this printable game, your students will practice number recognition using 1 dice or simple addition when using 2 dice.
10) Build A Number Santa – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus