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Candy Cane Math Ideas


Candy Cane Sort, Count, & Graph

Have families donate a package of candy canes.
Then sort them, count them and graph them with the children.


Candy Cane Patterning

 Encourage the children to create patterns by pasting
 red and white stripes onto a candy cane shape cutout.


For older children, you can use a white candy cane cutout and have child add red
 stripes to cutout leaving a space between each red stripe to create the white stripe.


Candy Cane Puzzlers

Use a red permanent marker to draw stripes on a sheet of white craft foam. 
Then cut out several long sticks, short sticks, and arcs from the craft foam. 
Place a number line nearby and challenge each child to use
 the foam pieces to form the numbers 0 -10.


Candy Cane Counting

I print out 10 candy canes, color, label each with numerals 1-10, laminate, and cut them out.
 I then glue them to 9" Chinet plates. I found mini Christmas erasers at The Dollar Tree.
I had to buy 4 sets.  They come in a ball with about 3 different shapes. You need a total of
55 shaped erasers.  The children count out the correct number candy canes for each plate.


Candy Cane Count

I have plastic clear glasses that are about 6 inches tall that I use for counters to
 be put in.  I wrote on the front of the glasses numerals 1-10. Into these the children
 count  plastic colorful candy canes that could be hung on the tree. They  fit
 just right and they are so cute. One candy cane into the number 1 glass
 and so on---  and then the glasses can be reused for lots more counting!


Candy Cane Numbers

(Photo by Michelle Whary

Make some candy cane number tags and stick them on little red cups. Encourage the children to
 hook the correct amount of candy canes on the side (not as easy as it looks- they will  also
 have to work out that the candy canes need to be evenly spread so the cup will not tip).


Stuff the Stockings

Cut out 15 stocking shapes from construction paper.  Label each one with a number 1 to 15. 
Have child identify the number on each stocking and then count out a corresponding number
 of mini candy canes to "fill" each one.  Vary the skill for this activity by labeling the stockings
 with number words instead of actual numbers.  Be careful... mini candy canes are chocking hazard.


Candy Cane Creations

Collect several empty, plastic candy cane shaped containers and a supply of holiday
 colored manipulatives, such as pom poms, Unifix cubes, or large jingle bells.
 Program each plastic candy cane with a different number or number word.
 Then have each child put the appropriate number of items into each one.  Or for patterning
practice, have each child use the manipulatives to create a different pattern in each candy cane. 


Candy Cane Addition

Hand draw a simple line candy cane on a green piece of paper. The candy canes need
 to vary in size according to the math skills of each of the students (Children with great
 number sense get larger candy canes, etc.) Then set out a tub of randomly cut small
 red and white squares (about 1/2" to 1"). The kids can make patterns with the squares
 and glue them on the candy cane. Encourage more complex patterns for the kids
who are capable (such as 1 red, 3 whites, etc.) After they're done gluing, they do an
addition sentence at the bottom. ___ red + ___ white = _____ Vary the size the of the
 squares so that all of the kids who make simple patterns (red, white, red, white)
 don't end up with the same number of red and white squares.


Candy Cane Patterning

Take a 15" length x 8"width or so piece of black construction paper and draw a hook on it like a candy cane.
 Use the full length of the paper. Then cut out zillions of 1 1/2" x1 1/2" squares of white and red paper.
Encourage the kids to start at the bottom of the candy cane first and lay on the papers overlapping
and turning slightly making a pattern until they complete the candy cane. Have them lay it on first
 so you can check the pattern then they can glue it on.. red/white or red/red/white or white/white/red.


Sparkly Candy Canes

Have a candy cane pattern and section it off.  Show the children how to put white glitter
 and then red glitter in each section making it into a candy cane and learning an AB pattern.


Patterning & Sorting

Cut up green garland and mix with small pkg. candy canes or different sizes
and shapes of candy canes in a bin: sort, make patterns, color recognition, etc.


Puffy Candy Canes

Decorate a candy cane cutout with red and white pom poms in AB pattern.
Place the sample at a table along with a class supply of candy cane cutouts,
red and white pom poms, and glue.  Have the child glue pom poms
 in AB Pattern using the sample as a guide.


Pre-K Fun Theme Pages are for educational reference only! 
No copyright infringement is intended.
I do not claim any of these as my own ideas.  
They are shared from friends and fellow group members.  
Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


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