Do you hear jingle bells? Our preschoolers do! Add some fun Christmas learning activities to your preschool curriculum with these Santa math activities. In this post you’ll find some free printable Santa patterning cards as well as five additional ways to use that same Christmas printable.
*** This post includes a free printable, so be sure to grab it from the end of this post. ***
5+ Santa Math Activities for Preschoolers
And truth be told, this doesn’t bother me one bit. I know some readers may think we, as preschool teachers and parents, shouldn’t be promoting Christmas in our preschool classrooms, but I find Christmas a magical time of year. And most of that magic comes from the joy, awe, and excitement of my preschoolers.
Think about it. We know that the best teaching takes place when kids have a natural interest in the content. That applies to the Christmas holiday, too! That’s why I love doing a Christmas preschool theme each year. I have my preschoolers’ full attention before we even officially begin the theme, because…Christmas!
Now, don’t kid yourself. There are plenty of preschool learning activities that are Christmas themed and stuffed full of educational benefits. Why not give in and let our preschoolers consume all the magic that comes with Santa and his sleigh bells?
That’s exactly what these Santa math activities will do: bring a little extra magic (and interest) into your preschool teaching during the holiday months.
Free Santa Patterning Cards
- printable Santa pattern cards
- rainbow colored manipulatives (optional)
Print the math patterning cards on heavy card stock and laminate for added durability. You’ll need to print a couple of copies of the page of Santas so that you have plenty of Santa cards to finish each pattern.
Cut apart the pattern cards and place them in a pile on a tray. Place the Santa pieces in another pile. Now invite your preschooler to join you in some Santa themed pattern fun!
And be sure to read to the end of the post for even more Santa math activities!
How to Teach Patterning Skills to Preschoolers
This set of printable pattern cards comes with a couple of variations. You will get the following pattern types:
- AB patterns
- ABC patterns
And you get three pages of each pattern. All in a free printable, no less!
Here are a few tips for teaching patterning skills to your preschoolers:
- Begin with simple patterns (like AB patterns) before moving on to the more difficult ABC patterns.
- Model the activity before having your preschooler do the pattern cards on their own.
- Have your preschooler “read” the pattern before placing an answer.
- Younger preschoolers might not see or hear the pattern. Try reading it aloud to them, pointing to each Santa, and using a sing-songy voice.
- Some preschoolers get overwhelmed by the number of Santa “answer” choices. Limit those choices to two or three to make finding the right color Santa a little easier for your preschooler.
- Preschoolers learn to recognize patterns by first copying them, so you can also have your preschooler add colored manipulatives over each Santa before finding the answer.
Patterning Doesn’t Have to be Limited to Printables
Some preschoolers benefit from an even greater tactile approach to learning patterns. If you have a preschooler like that, just add some manipulatives for him or her to use in conjunction with the cards. Here are some more ideas:
- Use pom poms and tweezers to add a hand strengthening element.
- Use legos to copy the pattern, and then have your preschooler build the same pattern by stacking the legos into a tower.
- Use mini erasers in rainbow colors to add another fine motor element. Without tweezers, mini erasers help children develop their pincer grasp.
- If you don’t need to reuse the patterning cards, you can also have your preschoolers draw on the ending Santa.
More Santa Math Activities Using this Printable
As promised, I’m going to share a few other ways to use these printable patterning cards so you don’t have to scrounge around for a bunch more Santa activities for preschoolers. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Add these patterning cards to a sensory bin filled with rainbow colored pom poms and allow your preschoolers to explore the patterns naturally within the sensory bin.
- Print the Santa cards on colored printer paper and invite your preschoolers to cut apart the Santas and make their own patterns. Have them paste the patterns on a sheet of paper to take home.
- Or, add the finished product to your Christmas themed preschool math centers. Preschoolers love seeing their work on display in their classroom.
- Use these Santa patterning cards during circle time to practice patterning as a whole class. Show the cards to your preschoolers one at a time and invite them to read a few patterns with you. Then challenge them to continue the pattern.
- Speaking of continuing the pattern, see if your preschoolers can use rainbow colored manipulatives to continue the pattern off the card. Then count how many Santas are in the pattern line.
Grab your Free Santa Patterning Cards Here
Think your preschoolers will love all these Santa math activities? They will, I promise. Grab your free printable by clicking the image below.
Then keep reading for more free Christmas printables and Christmas preschool centers.
Looking for More Christmas Printables?
My preschoolers loved these. And bonus: they’re free!
Need Some Printable Preschool Centers?
These activity packs make your holiday planning a cinch…especially since we’re all so busy.
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.