Christmas “Roll a Block” Tree – Christmas Roll a Block Tree Template
Materials needed: Small square green/yellow foam blocks (or cut the squares from the Christmas Roll a Block Tree Template.pdf linked above), one foam block labeled with just the numbers 1 and 2 on all sides (if you do not have foam blocks, you can label several index cards with the numbers 1 and 2 and put face down in a “draw” pile.)
The children take turns rolling the foam die (or picking a card) and place that number of blocks in position to form the Christmas Tree. The tree building continues until all blocks are in place and the last yellow “star” block is added. This activity works well for partners or as an individual building exercise. Younger children can follow the template pattern.
Invite the children glue separate cut out squares onto the template as they draw a card or roll the die. Older children can create larger trees using similar patterns. Label the die (or index cards) with larger numbers if more blocks/template squares are used.
Gingerbread Number Order – Gingerbread Number Order
Materials needed: Gingerbread Number Order.pdf, scissors.
Print off the Gingerbread Number Order.pdf (linked above) and cut apart each of the gingerbread men. Laminate for durability if desired. Invite your students to place all the gingerbread men in order from 1-10.
Extension idea for younger children: Print off two copies of the Gingerbread Number Order.pdf and play a memory game where the children have to try to find the matching numbers on the gingerbread man’s bodies.
Extension idea #2: Students can use the numbered gingerbread men to go along with the song/fingerplay: 10 Little Ginger Kids (see below).
10 Little Ginger Kids (Tune: Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little ginger kids,
Four little, five little, six little ginger kids,
Seven little, eight little, nine little ginger kids,
Ten little gingerbread kids.
Christmas Colored Gel Sensory Bags
Materials: Colored Hair Gel or Clear gel/food coloring, gallon size plastic bags, assorted shapes and objects for the children to make “imprints”, and duct tape for sealing the bags if using with many children.
Place the gel &/or food coloring inside a gallon sized plastic bag. Mix the food coloring (if using) by gently squeezing the bag to distribute the color. Seal the bags with duct tape for durability if using with larger numbers of children.
Set out a tray with assorted shapes and Christmas items (or other themed objects). Demonstrate for the children how to press firmly into the gel bags to make an imprint. Remind the children not to scrape metal objects (like cookie cutters) over the bag, but to press into the gel. Set out plastic rolling pins for the children to “clear” the imprints to make new ones. Some children just like to “squish and squash” the bags to watch the gel bubbles move about. We make individual bags for the children’s tables during the holidays and use them for “Christmas Calming Moments” when needed. When our children use small finger muscles to squeeze the bags and visually explore the bubbles moving around, it can help relieve some anxiety that comes with “Christmas anticipation.”
For more MATH, science, and sensory ideas, download the Christmas and Gingerbread Themes via this blog!