(This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support.)
Maths games for kids are a great way to help them learn while still having lots of fun. These homemade Christmas garlands give a super opportunity to talk about sequences and have fun exploring patterns. It also offers lots of fine motor skill building opportunities for little ones too. Of course if it isn’t Christmas you can still enjoy this activity as a stand alone at any time of the year and even use the garlands as fun jewellery for the dressing up box instead.
You Will Need:
- Cut the straws into sections to make your beads. This is a great activity for the children for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. It’s also great fun as the straw pieces can ping off! I wonder whether your children will choose to cut big or little pieces? (Perhaps they might like to order them according to size.) It’s good to let them choose for themselves; there is no right or wrong! For me, craft activities are all about the fun, self-expression and skill building in the process not just the final product.
- Wrap a little sticky tape around the end of your wool to make it rigid so that it will thread through the straw beads easily.
- Let the children thread on their straw beads and tie the first and last to stop them falling off the wool. Make your homemade Christmas ornaments as long or short as you like.
(Of course these homemade Christmas ornaments don’t just have to be for the tree. you could hang them anywhere and even use them to make fun jewellery too.)
What are We Learning?
Recognizing And Following Patterns
A pattern is something that repeats itself like red, yellow, green, red, yellow, green etc. The simplest patterns are a repetition of two things but they can be more and more complex. Recognizing patterns and being able to repeat, extend and create them are all early maths skills that can be so much fun to explore.
This homemade Christmas garland threading activity gives a great opportunity to offer children patterns to spot and copy. Start with a simple pattern of two, such as red, green, red, green and when your little ones are able to recognize and continue it you can make them more complex. Perhaps your children would like to make up patterns of their own for you to copy?
And of course there are lots of other ways that we can have fun exploring patterns in our day-to-day life too:
- Go on a pattern hunt. Look for patterns in the world around you. You might spot patterns on the floor tiles, the wall paper, the fabric of a dress. Patterns are all around us.
- You could eat your health snacks in bite sized patterns such as grape, apple, banana, grape, apple, banana.
- You could touch and name different body parts.
- You could make patterns according to shape; square, circle, square, circle or according to colour and go on a hunt for objects around the house.
Talking About Sequences
These homemade Christmas garlands offer a great way to explore sequences too. We often sequence our lives, for example: first we’re going to have our breakfast, then we’re going to clean our teeth, after that we’re going to get dressed and last of all we’re going to go to play-group. We often use the language of sequencing in our day-to-day chatter; we do it all the time in storytelling and when recounting our day to big brother when he gets back from school for example. This Christmas garland activity offers lots of opportunity to use, give meaning to and reinforce lots of sequencing language such as first, second, third etc, then, next, after, following, finally.
I hope you have lots of maths fun with these homemade Christmas garlands and keep an eye out for all those wonderful patterns and sequences that are part of our day-to-day lives.
Come and say ‘Hello’ to My Little 3 and Me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and click Subscribe to receive our posts straight to your email.
2013 © My Little 3 and Me