The pick of the Christmas maths resources

30th November 2012 at 18:10
Primary teacher Thomas Pitts picks some of his favourite festive maths resources.

I don't know about you, but I find Christmas is one of the most difficult times of year to plan for. What with performances, parties and, inevitably, tiredness to cope with some lessons can start to lose a little focus.

Here are a few resources to alleviate some of the stress - ideas that encompass mathematical concepts, but keep the spirit of the season alive!

Key Stage 1

Christmas decoration costs

Give your pupils a range of Christmas decorations on a display table (eg a range of baubles, tinsel, etc), each decoration should have a price label. Children select items and calculate the total cost. I would limit children to three or four items and differing prices could be used depending on ability.

Christmas colouring

This odds and evens Christmas colouring picture activity from Not_Just_Sums is great for consolidating your children's knowledge of these number facts.

Shape and space

Delivering the presents from GreenHatBoy is a lovely idea to help develop shape and space thinking. Pupils have to work out the most efficient route between the houses. It could become a great practical activity on a tabletop.

Christmas coordinates

Nhktfc's two Christmas coordinate puzzle resources (Christmas coordinates and More Christmas coordinates are great for developing maths skills.

Key Stage 2

Christmas tree puzzle

Using each of the digits from 1 to 9, once only, place them in the stars on the sides of the Christmas tree so that each side adds up to the same total. (Download from answers are included).

Christmas tree Pyramid Puzzle

Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in the bottom layer of baubles on the Christmas tree, they can be in any order. The next layer is the result of adding the two numbers below. (Download from, a solution for the largest number is included).

Four star strategy game

Not specifically a Christmas game, but you've got to admit stars are fairly Christmassy! Each player has four counters and the aim of the game is to get the four counters in a straight line. (Download from

Christmas activities galore

TES user chuckieirish has pulled together four documents crammed full of Christmas activities. There are enough here to last for many a festive season! I particularly like the different approaches to problem solving.

Christmas shopping

Christmas shopping problems from HappyPhantom will help your upper Key Stage 2 pupils practise their calculator skills - although I would update the sheets for this year.

The 12 days of Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas is an ever-popular song and maths activity rolled into one and the TES has so many useful resources available I felt it deserved its own section!

Lori1 has compiled a collection of the words to the song together with images for each verse.

Along similar lines, 1castleschool has created a mini booklet for 10 days Of Christmas with alternative words and items for use in the Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1. Their aim is to develop a multi-sensory approach with the song and I adore how they've done this.

Kyliew52 has linked 12 days to Pascal's triangle, providing a slightly more advanced look at the song.

Finally, if your pupils are struggling to add up the number of gifts, kcrolla has created an Excel file to help them.

I hope you find these links as useful as I have!

Find out more about Thomas and the resources he's uploaded to TES


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