Candy Cane Math

What is a Christmas themed math game my preschooler can play?

Now that Thanksgiving is over it’s time to decorate for Christmas! Wahoo! I love candy canes, so when I saw this candy cane banner on Pinterest, I knew it would make a fun activity. But, of course, I have to make everything educational, so I put a little bit of a math twist on this fun idea.

Candy Cane Math -- Moms Have Questions Too

We started with a blank candy cane template. I just printed these on regular paper, but if you want to make your candy canes extra fun, you can print them on colored paper. Just make sure the color isn’t too dark because you will be coloring them. We played two different games with these candy canes: Patterns and Roll and Color.

Patterns:

This one was really easy. We looked at a real candy cane and talked about how there is a pattern on the candy cane. We chose two colors to use on our candy cane and decorated the candy cane with do-a-dot markers. You could also use crayons, markers, paint, or glitter.

Candy Cane Math -- Moms Have Questions Too

Candy Cane Math -- Moms Have Questions Too

We made about 3 candy canes with simple ABAB patterns. After that I wanted to make things a little bit more challenging so we did an AABAAB pattern. Little Bear was getting sick of the do-a-dot markers at that point so we switched to crayons and did a few more patterns. When we were all finished, we hung the candy canes up along the top of our wall.

Check out this beaded candy cane craft for another great Christmas-y pattern activity.

Roll and Color:

We did this game on a different day than the first game. Little Bear really enjoyed both of these activities, but I would definitely suggest doing them on different days because they take a lot of brain power for a 4 year old. ;) I’ve included a little video of the Roll and Color activity at the end so be sure to take a look!

First, we got out our dot markers and I told Little Bear to put the four markers in any order that he wanted. Once he chose an order, I got out some dice. This always gets Little Bear really excited. I got the brilliant idea to put dice in a container from Pinterest. I’m sorry I don’t know the original source of this pin. If you know, please tell me because I would love to give you credit.

Dice in a Container -- Moms Have Questions Too

To play the game, roll the dice. Take the first color (from the order previously chosen) and make that many dots on the candy cane.

Candy Cane Math -- Moms Have Questions Too

Roll the dice again and make that many dots with the second color.

Candy Cane Math -- Moms Have Questions Too

Repeat those steps until the candy cane is all the way filled. This was really fun for Little Bear because it was always exciting to see how many colors would actually be on the candy cane. If he rolled really high numbers, it was possible to only have one. If he rolled really low numbers, though, he could have all four colors and have some of the colors repeated. We used two dice, but you could use just one or even more.

If you don’t have dot markers, you could also use stickers, crayons, markers, paint, glitter, or stamps. Be creative. :)

These two candy cane math games were really fun to play, but our favorite part is our holiday décor. It’s beautiful, right? Who needs crown molding when you can have an awesome homemade candy cane banner. :)

 

10 Responses to Candy Cane Math

  1. This is great! My son is totally fascinated by candy canes right now, and the math skills you presented are perfect for his level. I’m definitely going to have to try this out with him!

  2. Fun ideas! Thanks so much for stopping by to link up at Share It Saturday! I hope you will come back again this week.