Looking for some addition activities for preschoolers? These Christmas addition mats are aimed at teaching basic math skills to preschoolers and kindergarteners, in a fun holiday theme. They can also be counting mats for Christmas, too!
Be sure to check out all my best Christmas activities for preschoolers and don’t forget to download your Christmas mats that the end of this post.
Christmas Addition Activities For Preschoolers
It might surprise you, but many preschoolers are very capable of completing simple addition tasks by Christmas time. If they have mastered one-to-one correspondence in counting, then they are ready to start solving simple addition problems.
With these Christmas math mats, preschool and kinder students can actually practice both counting and simple addition! They pick a number (or addition) card and then add the corresponding number of poinsettia flowers on the wreath.
What makes this printable a great kindergarten math activity is that the poinsettia cards feature 1-3 blooms on each card, so it teaches more advanced students how to make different combinations in the addition sentences. It makes quick work of learning math facts, too.
FAQ About Teaching Addition to Preschoolers
Most children begin formal addition lessons in kindergarten, but many preschoolers are capable of learning basic addition concepts, too. Preschoolers can learn how to add by joining small groups of numbers together. Children expand their use of counting to gradually start incorporating addition skills.
A child might be playing with two cars. He adds one more car to make three. He then counts all the cars to see the the total number of cars has increased. He’s created his own addition game! These kinds of scenarios happen very naturally through play.
There are many number sense skills to prepare children for addition. For example, children need to be able to rote count, count on, and must have mastered one-to-one correspondence. They also need a solid understanding of same, more, and less.
When introducing addition skills to preschoolers, begin by teaching about the concept of more. Demonstrate how when we add two groups of items together we always end up with more. There are lots of fun addition activities for preschoolers to help with this, and don’t miss my addition and subtraction lesson plans.
Addition is the process of putting together two or more parts to find a whole. Children learn this as they count groups of objects and try to add them up, or “add it all up.” We often use phrases like, “how many all together” to find the whole.
In this case, the whole is the total number represented, and the parts are the quantities being added together.
Christmas Counting and Addition Activities for Preschoolers
When Christmas rolls around, I can’t help but go all out with my Christmas lesson plans. We do Christmas all December long, and sometimes even a little after, too!
And let me tell you, if you’re looking for preschooler math activities for Christmas, you need this activity. Erh, um…activities!
- preschool addition mats (download from the end of this post)
- 2.5 inch circle punch (optional)
The Set Up
Just print this fun Christmas math activity in color on heavy cardstock. Cut out the addition sentences and the number cards, and separate them into piles. You can use a 2.5 inch circle punch to cut out the poinsettia cards, too.
Laminate the wreath mat for added durability. Then invite your preschool or kindergarten students to join you in some fun Christmas counting and addition activities for kids.
How to Use These Wreath Addition and Counting Mats
There are a couple of ways to use these mats to teach addition to your preschooler or kindergartener. This way, you can add these to your math centers at Christmas time and know that you have a single printable that can serve students at multiple skill levels.
For the Youngest Learners
Use these mats as traditional counting mats by using the smaller numbers in the set. Have your student select a number card, and then use the poinsettia cards to create that number.
Your youngest learners are naturally going to select two single poinsettia cards to create the number two, where each card represents a “one” in “one-to-one” correspondence.
But you can challenge your youngest learners by asking your students to figure out another way to use the flower cards to make the same number. See the photo below.
Instead of choosing two individual cards with one poinsettia each, they chose one card with two poinsettias on it. This is a simple example, seeing the the number two only has a few combinations, but students will be challenged even more by attempting larger numbers, like in the activity below.
While this form of counting will take some practice, it’s a fantastic skill for even your preschoolers to try. This is what addition in preschool looks like in the beginning! And preschoolers are 100% capable of this kind of addition.
For Your Younger Learners
Use these mats as traditional counting mats. Have your student select a number card, and then use the poinsettia cards to create that number.
You can print multiple copies of the poinsettia cards so that students have plenty of counting options, or you can challenge your students by only offering a single sheet of cards. This means students will have to apply some addition skills to complete some of the higher numbers.
In the photo above, you can see that the number eight can be made up of 1+1+1+1+2+2. Now, this is not what a student is thinking when they create that combination. Rather, they might just count the flowers until the reach eight.
For Older Learners
This activity is perfect for preschoolers and kindergarten students who have a firm grasp on one-to-one correspondence and counting on.
Set aside the number cards and offer the addition sentence cards. Have your student select one for the mat, and then invite them to copy the sentence by using the poinsettia cards to represent the numbers in the addition sentence.
Here is another example.
These mats only feature addition sentences with sums up to six. When children are first learning addition they need to work with quantities with which they are very comfortable and knowledgeable. This is help eliminate possible mistakes that can occur while learning a new math skill.
Christmas Picture Books
Reading picture books in my classroom always gets us in the holiday spirit and ready for more Christmas activities, like these wreath addition mats! Grab your favorites for your home or classroom.
More Preschool Christmas Activities
Get Your Christmas Addition Mats Here
Think these free printable addition mats are something you want to add to your Christmas theme math centers this holiday season? Just fill out the form below and they will be sent to your inbox!
Then, keep reading for even more free Christmas math activities!
More Christmas Math Activities for Preschoolers
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.