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Christmas Math Puzzles and Activities for Homeschoolers

Emma Cummings

collage image of childred drest for chirstmans endjoying christmas math buzzles and activities intheir homeschool. Get printable at AriseHomeEducation.com

Christmas Math Puzzles and Activities for Homeschoolers

As the year is drawing to its conclusion, houses are beginning to light up with a myriad of fairy lights, and excitement amongst children grows exponentially by the day. We home-schoolers tend to wind down our school days and go into Christmas mode! It is a common practise to devote December to Christmas crafts and other fun activities and to slow down on the more challenging academic activities. However, you may want to keep some maths within your days. To help you out, we have some fun Christmas math puzzles to help you keep those maths skills sharp, yet enjoy the holiday season as well.

Christmas Math Puzzles

Math games and puzzles are a fun way to encourage your children of all grade levels to engage with maths. So as the Christmas tree goes up we have some ideas to help with maths without the tedious lesson plans.

As the year draws to a close, children are often in need of rest. Struggling students in particular may be anxious for a break from school. The end of the semester is also a good time for consolidation. Take a pause to see what is working, and where there is a struggle. Create some space to review what you have learnt this last couple of months. So creating space for some fun maths which enhances what you have been doing, yet is not overwhelming, is a good way to ease into the Christmas break.

Christmas Math Activities & Printables from Arise Home Education

The Christmas Activity Sheets Printable 12 Days of Family Fun with Maths, has fun, quick maths problems that can be used throughout the festive period. They are designed with the home-educating family in mind: there are activities for multiple grade levels, so there should be something relevant for your family, and their math skills.  Included are number puzzles, a holiday logic puzzle, a sudoku grid puzzle, and a maths craft activity. We hope your children of all ages will find a fun challenge for them. At the end, you will discover just how many gifts the true love gave in the famous Christmas carol, and how much he spent: prepare to be amazed! An answer key is provided.

Host a homeschoolers end-of-semester get-together.

If you are having a homeschoolers end-of-semester get-together, it is the perfect time to use our Christmas Scavenger Hunt Printable: Maths Activity. This math activity pack can be used with small groups or for individuals. Our co-op community really enjoy using this in our homeschool group Christmas party. Otherwise, it will work as well at home with your kids. This is a low-prep Christmas activity, which has your kids doing maths in a fun way! Perhaps hide the clues (included in the printable) around the garden, wrap up warm, and get outside. At the end, treat everyone to a warming hot chocolate.

As your child moves into the more rigorous mathematics of upper high school, the fun of Christmas maths can be lost. However, we have a printable pack of Christmas activities for high school students. It’s in the form of a Christmas high school math quiz. This is an opportunity to review key ideas and includes geometry, logarithms, algebra, and functions. Creating times when your teen has review exercises with mixed disciplines helps with mastery. How often have you spent weeks on a new concept, to then move on, and your student forgets the concept almost entirely? Revisiting, using fun maths activities, is a great way to mitigate this problem. An answer key is provided.

Holiday Math Activities from Around The UK

  • The website nrich by Cambridge University has an annual maths advent calendar. Each day they have a new mini maths problem. These are usually quite quick, and add variety to your maths.
  • Christmas crafts: explore symmetry by making snowflakes, or look at the art of Sierpinski, and make a Siepinski Christmas tree. Not only do they include maths but also build those fine motor skills in young children.
  • The Maths Week Scotland website has a wealth of excellent resources for free. From Christmas tree tessellations, binary number Christmas decorations, Christmas sudoku puzzles, Christmas logic puzzles and more. These are fantastic for helping with logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Maths Week Ireland has a Christmas Maths Puzzles for primary-age students.

Hands-on Christmas Math

Do some Christmas baking. Baking is full of mathematical skills. With young children this includes basic counting, the concepts of less and more. Older children gain the skills of weighing and measuring. This can be an opportunity to practise estimating values. Recipes are real life opportunities to learn about ratios. Looking at a cookie recipe and understanding the ratio of the different ingredients can then allow a child to invent their own cookie recipe.

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Holiday Inspiration Beyond Christmas Math Puzzles

The holiday season is a time to make things a bit special. Perhaps try a maths project. Maths projects allow you to deep dive into an area to a higher level. Perhaps look at the history of a math problem; or look at the life of the mathematician who discovered the problem. Students often decry maths as being irrelevant to their life. A project can be an opportunity to link the abstract concepts of mathematics to real-life scenarios.

The Mathematics of Art or Music

Look at the mathematics of art or music. There are many artists who have used mathematics to inspire their creations (like Sierpinski or Kandinsky). The art of the Middle East is rich in geometric designs. Fibonacci also opens the door to art and nature study. The mathematics of music is rich and complex, the beauty of music is due to the underlying mathematics. A good place to start would be the mathematics of Bach.

Regarding the history of mathematics, Isaac Newton’s discovery of Calculus (or Leibniz depending on how you look at it) revolutionized maths. He is believed to have been born on Christmas Day. Perhaps do a project or unit study on Newton, his life and work, and how his maths changed the world.

Create a poster, where you look more deeply into the area you are studying. For example, if your child is looking at fractions: make different fractions, show how equivalent fractions are related. Or if you are doing patterns make a Fibonacci pattern, look for examples of Fibonacci on your nature walks. 

Create a Christmas-themed survey. Your child could think of some questions that they can ask friends, family, or perhaps post to your social media account. The results can be graphed, tally charts made, and a conclusion drawn. They could look at the different ways people spend Christmas, or different traditions people do, or the food they eat at Christmas. This can be adapted for younger children to help with number sense and number skills. It is a good activity for struggling learners as well. Creative kids can make a beautiful poster to show their results.

Don’t Like Christmas Math Puzzles? Do maths games instead!

There are so many amazing maths games. You do not need to spend a fortune for them. Many can be done with the resources you have in your home. Check out these great ideas from the Maths Week website. Some families actually will have regular maths games days with their kids. Perhaps have a Christmas maths party with some friends and do some games together, and have a great time engaging with maths together.

Have a Very Happy Christmas

So put on your family’s favourite Christmas songs, and be inspired to find joy in exploring maths this Christmas. We hope you have a wonderful December full of peace, rest, and wonderful memories. As folks who love maths we also hope you and your kids can find some joy in maths this Christmas.

May you know the Peace of the Lord Jesus in this Advent season.

More Maths Resources from Arise Home Education

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