I’ve mentioned before that Lovey is working on beginning addition. Last week in our reindeer antler addition activity we shared how we used our reindeer theme to practice number bonds in a hands-on way. This week we used M&Ms to practice the same concept with a Christmas tree theme.
To prep the activity I cut Christmas tree parts as shown below. I chose to use construction paper, but card stock or craft foam would also work well. If you use any form of paper and will be using this activity in a classroom setting I recommend laminating the materials first.
You can also decide whether to create multiple Christmas trees or just one. I chose to make one and added different tree trunks to represent the different sums we were creating number bonds for.
Then we set the tree parts out with some M&Ms to use as Christmas ornaments.
Lovey started by choosing one tree trunk to place below the Christmas tree. Then she worked to create number bonds that represent that number.
Be sure to encourage kids to think of different ways to make the same number. For kids just beginning to practice showing the same number in multiple ways having multiple trees can be a helpful visual. Otherwise kids can also record the number bonds they make for each number so they have a way to keep track of the combinations they have already made.
This is a quick, tactile way for kids to model making different number bonds. And most kids are thrilled to eat some M&Ms when they are finished!
If you work in a school where foods are not allowed to be used or there are allergies, then you might consider using colored beads, foam circles, felt circles or another small object to represent the ornaments.
More Hands-on Christmas Tree Math
Help kids practice number recognition with our Free Printable Number Matching Activity.
Need to focus on different math skills? Check out the Full Christmas Tree Roll and Color Set.