Along the way your child will practice counting. They will then learn to subtract too, in a fun and visual way. Simply print off our free printable downloads to begin playing this one of our fun Christmas math activities.
Time: 5 minutes
Age: Little kids to Big kids
Difficulty: Easy peasy
Skill: Counting, adding, subtracting
Links to free downloads:
Step 1: Cut out Santa’s presents
Download and print out our worksheet filled with presents. You can find this here.
Cut out each one. You could laminate the gifts or back them on card to make them more sturdy and durable.
Step 2: Print out Santa’s Sleigh game board
Download and print out Santa’s gameboard here. This one is coloured and ready to go.
If you prefer to colour in your own we also have an outline of the gameboard here (no colour).
Again, you might like to laminate it or back it with card to make it longer lasting.
Now pop all 18 presents into Santa’s sleigh. You’re all ready to play.
How to play the game
First ask your child to count how many presents are in Santa’s sleigh. Santa is heading to the first house on the board.
Ask your child to roll the dice. This is the number of presents Santa will drop off at house number one. Count out the right number of gifts and deliver them to the first house.
How many gifts are left in the sleigh? Your child can count to check.
Explain the sum you have just done to them and point to the presents again so they can understand it visually. ‘Santa had 18 presents and he’s dropped off 2 presents so now he has 16 presents left in his sleigh. So 18 – 2 = 16.’
How many gifts will Santa deliver to the next house?
Santa is moving on to the second house on the board. Again, roll the dice to find out how many presents Santa will deliver.
Ask your child to count out the right number of gifts from the sleigh and put them in the second house along.
How many gifts are left in the sleigh now?
Explain the sum to them. ‘Santa had 16 presents and he dropped off 3, so he now has 13 presents in his sleigh. 16 – 3 = 13.’
For older children you could write down the sums and build up ever longer sums, like 18 – 2 – 3 = 13.
Keep on rolling the dice
Keep rolling the dice to deliver presents to each of the houses in a row.
Each time you can ask your child how many gifts there are in the sleigh and how many are left after the delivery.
Your house is the last one on the row. Do they think there will be enough left over for Santa to deliver gifts to your house? Keep playing to find out. If not then you can always play again!