Christmas ornament math

I love Christmas time in the classroom!  There are so many opportunities for authentic learning to take place using unique, yet inexpensive materials.  These Christmas ball ornaments definitely fit the bill!  Today I am sharing how we used these beautiful ornaments to explore math concepts, but there are so many more ways that they can be used in the classroom…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschol

For this activity, we worked in small groups.  Each child had their own small felt board that we often like to use during circle time activities to display the items we are working with…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschool

Small baggies were filled with ornaments.  Though these ornaments are shiny and pretty, they are only made of plastic so there is no worry that they will break.  Each bag contained only two colors and the children were given the opportunity to pick their own baggie…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschool

We like to estimate a lot in our class.  So, to begin our lesson, we asked the children to estimate how many ornaments were in our baggies.  The children shouted out their estimates.  Then we opened our bags and spread the ornaments out on our board so that we could count them…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschool

After counting the ornaments, we discussed whether there were more or less or the same as the children’s initial estimates…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschool

Next, we worked on making simple patterns with our ornaments.  Our younger children worked on creating AB patterns.  We encouraged our pre-k children, and others that were ready, to create more elaborate patterns.  When all of the children had a simple pattern made, we went around the circle taking turns sharing our pattern out loud…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschool

At the end of our math lesson, we piled all of the ornaments back into a box and set them out for the children to play with for the rest of the day…

Christmas ornament math by Teach Preschool

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By |2013-12-06T06:00:38+00:00December 6th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. nancy brunner December 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah…..great idea! When you are working with a small group I assume your other teachers are helping the other children. What would you suggest to do this activity if you were the only teacher?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Nancy – we did this in small groups. One teacher has the children doing something else while I sit with the other half of the children for our math. If I were the only teacher in the classroom, I would most likely work with all the children at once (which I do this often) and have the children work together as partners to create patterns and count and such.

      • nancy brunner December 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm

        Thanks! Like always your ideas are great!

      • nancy brunner December 7, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        That idea builds great community!

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