Festive Number Village

Tags: Christmas, mathematical, small world play, imaginative

Section: Winter

Make a festive village to encourage imaginative small world play with a little maths learning!

Ava is really into her small world play and as she is also very excited about Christmas at the moment, I decided to combine her two big loves! I painted and decorated some boxes to make them look a little more ‘house’ like and then numbered each one. I made doubles of each cardboard number, sticking the first set onto the door of each house and wrapping the second set in wrapping paper to represent a present. Ava enjoyed finding the correct numbered present for Father Christmas to deliver each house. I also wrapped up some square shaped parcels. This time Father Christmas had to deliver the right quantity of parcels to each door (e.g. four parcels to house number 4). The main thing she loved was talking about what each person had got inside their parcel and loading up Santa’s sleigh!

What we used:

  • variety of small boxes (cereal boxes, tea boxes)
  • paint
  • cardboard
  • wrapping paper (to wrap around the cardboard to make the ‘presents’ for delivering)
  • wooden numbers to draw around
  • small world figures – Happyland Christmas figures and various fairies!

What could be learnt from this activity?

Playing with small world scenes and characters promotes creativity, as children use their imagination to tell stories and make decisions about what they want to happen next. Playing with the Christmas scene could help them begin to learn about Christmas traditions and they may re-enact memories of their own experience of Christmas.

The numbers on the houses help children to begin to recognise and match numerals. They may also begin to identify numbers which are relevant to them (Ava spotted ‘my number three and Olivia’s number one’). This activity also gives children the opportunity for children to start to connect quantity with numbers and understand what the numbers mean in a real life context.

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