Don’t get me wrong, in my classroom if at all possible, we go all out for Christmas. But I’m here to guarantee you that those years when I decide to do a gingerbread theme instead of Santa and reindeer, my kinder do not miss out. I still have themed literacy stations and math stations that keep them engaged and excited about the holidays.
Here’s a peek at some gingerbread man math favorites.
Everything is more fun with buttons. It’s a well-known fact. This is not exception. Dig out all those random buttons from your button jar. (You know you have one, we all do.) You’re students will love to sort and count buttons on their own, but add them to a making tens, self-correcting activity and you’ll see buttons work their magic. Students select a card, make the number on the ten frame and then complete the equation. When they have the equation written, they simply open the card to see if they got it correct.
It’s differentiated so that if all your students aren’t quite ready for ‘making 10,’ they can work on number order to 10 or number order to 20. Everyone’s happy because everyone gets to work the same activity at their level and use BUTTONS!!!!
These mats are available in color or black and white. I laminate the color copies and students can get some fine motor work making the number with play-doh. This gives them lots of practice which we all know they need desperately. After they’ve had a chance to practice making ten, I l print them off in black and white and we make a ten frame number books. Students color the number and use stickers to make the number as a ten frame, then complete the equation.
Non-standard measurement fun meets gingerbread sweetness. This activity has several options including estimation and actual measurement using the custom gumdrop ruler or snap cubes.
More button fun with ordinal numbers this time. Students use self-correcting cards and place buttons on the correct ordinal numbers. Even if some of my little ones can’t quite read the card, I tell them to look at the underlined numbers and put a button on the character in that position. After their buttons are in place, they open the card to see if they got it correct.
I Spy Ginger Math Fun
Anytime you add a magnifying glass to a math station, you have an instant hit.
This I spy is differentiated so that some students search for equations and match them up to an answer.
But for students who aren’t quite ready for that level, they still can enjoy this activity by searching for numbers and counting on.
This activity has actually been updated since this picture so that the spinner says Greater and Less rather than ‘bigger and smaller.’ Students place a playing card on their box on the mat, they take turns spinner the spinner, if your number is the greater or less than number, you win both cards. It’s played just like the traditional ‘war’ game except with the addition of a spinner to make things a bit more fun.
This game is all about speed and fluency. My students love it and beg to play regardless of whatever skill we are practicing, ELA or Math. In this particular game, there are three levels of difficulty. This assures you that all your students will get the benefit of playing a favorite activity, but they will all be challenged at their own level of difficulty. Cards are placed face down. One card is turned over and students search quickly to find the corresponding number on the playing mat. When they find it, they say ‘YATTA,” and they win the card. The student with the most cards at the end wins.
All my stations include a student instruction card. These little cards make stations so much more independent. They remind students of how activities are played with simple visual cues. I also add the corresponding CCSS numbers so that teachers and quickly and easily reference the numbers when playing.
This super simple ‘hide and go seek’ game never gets old for kinders. It’s like a favorite movie. They always want to play. Here one students will the gingerbread man while the other students at this station hide their eyes. Then one by one they will turn around and guess the gingerbread man’s location by pointing and identifying numbers. They can’t just point. They MUST identify the number in order for the ‘hider’ to remove the card to show if the man is hidden their or not. The student that guesses the correct location gets to hide ginger next.
And there you have just a few of our favorite gingerbread activities. If you click on any of the pictures above, you can find out more about each activity. If you’re looking for even more gingerbread themed activities for your class, you can check out my Pinterest board below