Christmas Activities 2010
This is a 56 page downloadable eBook which features more than 40 printable resources: board games, puzzles, loop-cards and problem solving activities. Throughout, there is a clear focus on meaningful learning and discussion, and you get all of the usual high quality Mathstick touches... all within a Christmas theme!
The resources and activities are suited to 7-10 year olds, but can be adapted to suit all ages.
The downloadable eBook contains:
Board games offer perfect opportunities for children to be involved in meaningful mathematical discussion.
Hogie's Game is a board game with fun Christmas-related maths questions and templates so you (or the children) can further adapt the questions to suit their needs.
The Great Elf Race is a 'Ludo-style' race-game. The challenge is to move all three of your elf-counters to the Finish line by rolling dice. Additional rules can easily be incorporated so that players have to move the total of (or the difference between) two dice for each move.
Star-Count is a novel game designed to help children practice the skill of counting, in particularly the skill of keeping a 'running total' in their heads.
Players take it in turns moving around the board mentally adding the numbers and stating the new total each time. Play passes to the other player whenever an error is made, but the count continues.
Three versions of the game are included:
- One for basic counting;
- one which includes decimals;
- and a blank board for customisation.
Ice Rink is another game focussing on the skill of counting and adition..
Players take it in turns to 'skate' around the rink adding decimal numbers, each time their total equals 10 they collect a token. If a particular move would take them over 10, they must miss that turn. The first player to obtain 5 tokens is the winner.
As with all of the other games, this can easily be adapted to meet differing needs, and some suggestions are included in the eBook.
The following activities all offer excellent opportunities for children to use and apply their mathematical skills, to be involved in 'reasoning' and to develop their thinking skills.
Triangle Tree and The Forest are 'find the best route' type activities focussing on addition and problem solving.
Seven Christmas Crackers - seven short puzzles. These could be used as challenge: who can handle them all? Or, use them as 'starter activities' over several days... Or, cut them into separate 'cards' and let luck decide which ones children work on... Or, use them as clue-stations as part of a mathematical treasure hunt...!
The Christmas Hexagon Puzzle is a 'cut out and replace' logic puzzle; great to get young children working together. The pack includes a blank template so children can develop their own to challenge their friends.
Christmas Sudoku - the ever-popular puzzle gets a Christmas face-lift. Maths is hiding everywhere, and there is plenty of logical thinking, reasoning and decision-making necessary to solve these puzzles.
The Sudoku variants featured here are gentle enough to give the children success, but also challenging enough to make them think.
The eBook contains:
- Four 4 by 4 puzzles
- Four 6 by 6 puzzles
- Two 9 by 9 puzzles
- Answers for all of the puzzles
There are also blank templates so the children can create their own puzzles to challenge their friends.
Christmas Codes - To be honest, this was always my favourite Christmas activity: code breaking.
Jim and Val are two youngsters who try to irritate each other as much as possible! As Christmas approaches they choose different methods to send each other messages - whether they are using simple letter replacement codes or, trickier, multi-choice digit codes, the end result is the same. Can your children crack the codes to read the messages? Can they send their own messages using the codes? Can they create their own coding methods?
This activity is always entertaining, and can be extended as far as you wish. The eBook contains three different code examples leading children from the simple use of 'cypher key' to more complex codes which demand skilful use of reasoning and logic.
Christmas Doors - challenges children to label parcels with consecutive numbers, they have to find the numbers which will match the number on the door. This is a great paired-activity, or (potentially) an activity to take home. As with most of the resources/activities here, the learning is made clear through the discussion... can the children explain any strategy they used to help them solve the problems? ... The pack includes two sheets with a range of numbers, and a third, blank, sheet so you (or the children) can extend the work further.
Christmas Cracker X-numbers - Mathematical crosswords; children must solve the clues to complete the X-number grids. There are five different puzzles focussing on:
- halving and doubling
- decimals (this, we think, is a first for this type of puzzle)
- addition and subtraction
- a backwards puzzle - missing clues!
There is also a blank 'cracker' template so you (or your children) can create your own cross words.
Finally there are two resources based on the calendar.
Calendar Thoughts - three open-ended problems introducing children to the new year.
DodeCalendar 2011 is a calendar template for a dodecahedron; ideal for part of a project on shape, but also useful as a 'take-home' item.
I used this several years ago, but could not find a quality template anywhere; consequently, this has been completely re-drawn just for this eBook.
Many of the resources and activities feature colour, but will work equally well as black and white photocopies.
The material is ideal for in-class use, but can also be used as homework activities to support general class teaching.
As you would expect, the eBooklet is a high quality 56 page, A4 pdf file. As well as all of the activities and templates listed above, the eBook also describes the activities and offers (in typical mathsticks style) many additional ideas, tips and guidance.
Please note: this is a 'paid-for download' for £4.00. [Why?]
All payments are made via PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use the service - all major credit cards are accepted. We have opted to use PayPal because of their strong security systems, and their ability to fully guarantee all your financial details against misuse.
Please note: unlike other resources on this site, our paid-for downloads are not licensed under any Creative Commons Licence - therefore, once purchased, you are able to use the resources for yourself and within your classroom, but should not share the material without written permission.
Also note: this is last year's Christmas activities book - you are welcome to buy it - but it is now freely available to mathsticks+ members. The new Christmas 2011 eBook will be here for download later in November. Watch this space.
If you have any questions please contact us, or add your comments below - we'd love to hear from you.