We’re getting creative and discovering new Christmas math activities for preschoolers over here! Who knew counting with Christmas cookie cutters would be such a simple AND fun way to work on those math skills (even measurement skills) as the holidays near?
This activity is no-prep and easy to set up when you are short on time.
Your little ones will love this fun and festive counting game! It’s a great math activity for preschoolers to add to your list of Christmas activities for preschool.
Christmas Math Activities for Preschoolers – Fill and Count Cookie Cutters
With the holidays being a hectic and chaotic time of year, this is one math activity kids will love that will make life a little bit easier! In fact, I have a goal to make all of my activities simple and fun – that way your lesson plans never feel like work!
I love using things that I already have on hand to make a fun new game for my kiddos.
The best part?
You can use literally any seasonal materials that you have to replicate this activity. Pom-poms from a Christmas sensory bin? Counting manipulatives? Mini candy canes? Yup! Grab the cookie cutters and let’s get to counting!
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Teach Measurement and Estimation to Preschoolers
This concept is tricky and takes time and repetition before young children master comparing and understanding differences in sizes. You can start by comparing everyday items like toys, shoes, stuffed animals, or even types of foods! Use vocabulary like big and small, larger and smaller, etc. as you talk about them.
Estimating is a fancy term for a thoughtful guess. Since preschoolers love to figure things out, estimating is a skill that comes naturally. It’s important to praise them for a ‘good guess!’ They’ll naturally begin to learn that the goal is to be accurate and not just declare any number at all.
Begin by encouraging the child to start small. Invite your preschoolers to make good guesses based on what they already know and remind them not to count first, but after.
You can ask them things like, “How many people are sitting at the table?” and invite them to state their estimate and then count to see if they were correct. This mathematical game is a great opportunity to use math throughout the day and during transition times.
We’ve got you covered with lots of counting activities for the holiday season! From Christmas tree counting cards to estimating with jingle bells, we know that high-quality activities are essential for developing number sense in preschool. So check out these kid-approved math games!
Easy Math Lesson Plans for Preschoolers
Math is sequential, and so are these preschool math lesson plans. These preschool math units will teach your preschooler concepts of measurement, as well as comparing and sorting, and graphing skills, too. It’s easy to add fund Christmas activities to these daily lesson plans for preschool.
How to Christmas Themed Math Activity
With simple materials, this Christmas math activity is ideal for teaching estimation, comparing, and problem-solving skills in the math world!
- Christmas cookie cutters (preferably the same shape in different sizes)
- Foam ball vase fillers or pom-pom balls (or other available seasonal materials)
- Dice (we love our jumbo foam dice!)
There really is not much to set up! Grab the cookie cutters (we used nesting star cookie cutters) and set out a bowl of foam ball vase fillers, pom-poms, or whatever manipulative you have on hand. Lay it out so that your preschooler has access to all the materials. Grab a die and you are ready to get started!
We used sparkly foam balls, which are vase fillers, because they reminded my preschoolers of Christmas lights.
Playing the Cookie Cutter Counting Game
Invite your preschooler to roll the die and fill a cookie cutter with the corresponding amount. If you have jumbo tweezers or sensory tools, feel free to incorporate those for extra fine motor development.
This preschool Christmas counting activity also doubles as a one-to-one correspondence activity! Learning about one to one correspondence is an important math concept and a critical skill on the math continuum.
You’ll notice as the cookie cutters begin to get full, preschoolers have to figure out if their rolled number will still fit inside the cookie cutter. This turns your Christmas math game into an estimation and comparison activity. Encourage your preschoolers to make guesses about how many balls or pom-poms will fit in each sized cookie cutter.
There are so many ways to play this Christmas game for kids! Perhaps your preschooler wants to order the cookie cutters from smallest to largest and then count the fillers. Do the number of objects in each cookie cutter correspond?
You can also encourage them to think about the size of the vase filler balls. Does that make a difference in how many can fit in the cookie cutter?
These are basic concepts that prepare preschoolers for learning standard units of measurement and standard measurements in kindergarten. Learning how to measure begins with concepts of small and large, less and more, like those featured in my Daily Lessons in Preschool Measurement Lesson Plans.
These lesson plans teach kids to measure the length and height in printable objects, too. The daily lesson plans include over 100 measurement activities for preschoolers.
This super simple Christmas math activity also works on your preschooler’s fine motor skills.
This Christmas counting activity for preschoolers helps build number sense and problem-solving around numbers. It’s also a great math activity for developing math vocabulary around comparisons.
Encouraging children to share what they see, such as, “This star cookie cutter is larger than this one so it will fit more pom-poms” helps to build their mathematical language and gets them ready for comparing larger numbers down the road.
We didn’t try it like this, but I think this could be a great Christmas party game in a “Minute to Win It” style! How many objects can the kids accurately add in a minute? Or make it a race to see who can fill their cookie cutters the fastest. We’re always looking for new Christmas games for preschoolers, and voila – I already had one!
Don’t Forget the Christmas Picture Books!
Even though we’re talking about a Christmas preschool math, any time is a good time to pull out a themed picture book!! Here are some of our Christmas (and Christmas cookie!) favorites. And don’t forget you can use these for your kindergarten Christmas math activities, too!
Add these fun Christmas math activities to your Christmas preschool lesson plans. They are free Christmas printables.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.