## Santa Themed Math Game

One of the things I love most about blogging is how one post will inspire another and not just on the same blog but from one blogger to another . I wasn’t going to post this yet but when Kristina from Toddler Approved posted this Corn Roll  game that we inspired with our Candy Corn Counting I knew I needed to share this game. Also we have been playing it a lot, and not just because the tv is broken, because it’s fun!

1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, markers, marshmallows or even cotton balls, a die and someone to play against.
2. Start by drawing Santa , I couldn’t find a good printable with a beard big enough for the numbers. Which was good since my printer is out of ink anyway. So I drew the santas.
4. I put the sheets on clip board to keep them from blowing around, but you could laminated them or pop them on a cookie sheet with some magnets too.
5. The objective is simple you want to fill up Santa’s beard first but covering all the numbers with marshmallows. The way you do that is to roll that number on the die.
6. Roll.
7. Add the marshmallow… oh and look who is getting a little fine motor practice too. I’m so sneaky.
8. We ended up playing a few times and by request one was a boys against girls. My daughter even rolled the die for the girls’ team!

I love games like this because they use a few novelties like Santa and marshmallows but are still packed with learning not only math but about sportsmanship and good game play.

Christmas Morning by Cheryl Ryan Harshman  wasn’t what I expected , it was more. It’s written in the spirit of ” The House That Jack Built” and the text builds and builds starting with snow falling on a house as children sleep and ending with Christmas morning. What I wasn’t expecting is that the author tells the story of The Nutcracker , albeit a very simplistic version, in the rhyming text as well.  The illustrations of the Rat King is a little frightening but nothing that will prevent you from reading it.

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky is a fun and surprisingly practical story about Santa and how he developed the skills needed for his one of a kind job.  It starts with Santa as a young man and as he keeps bouncing from job to job he acquires skills like going in and out of chimneys as a chimney sweep with ease and without getting dirty,  develops a relationship with reindeer as a zoo worker and gets chubby eating all the food at a all night diner gig!  There are more but i don’t want to spoil the story. My son loved it, especially once the elves showed up, which was when the toys did too! I know when i was a kid I wanted to know how Santa got his job, and there are movies dedicated to this so this book  jumped on the bandwagon and did a great job , it’s very cute!

McDuff’s New Friend by Rosemary Wells was a classroom classic in my last year teaching. I think I read it every day for 3 weeks straight and then a few weeks after Christmas too! In it McDuff the little Westie dog saves the day finding Santa stuck in the snow! I love Susan Jeffer’s retro illustrations and the little details like the dad feeding the baby, the doggy sweaters the McDuff wears in the snow, and how Santa gave them all gifts they needed in the story .

## Paper Plate Santa Craft For Kids

Santa is a good guy, even if your child is terrified of the Santa at the mall they may enjoy this Santa craft for kids . My son won’t get within 10 feet of the big guy but loved making this one! The cotton balls add some sensory discovery as well.

1. Gather your materials. You will need a a small paper plate, 2 pieces of construction paper- one red and one white ( I used natural colored and it looks a little funny), some cotton balls, googly eyes, glue, scissors and a red pom pom.
2. Start by drawing a large U shape on the plain construction paper. This actually took me two tries. I used the paper plate as a guide for how wide it should be. Cut out.
3. Add glue all over the beard. Make sure there is a blank spot where no cotton balls will be, for the mouth.
4. Add the cotton balls. Talk to toddlers and young preschoolers about it being soft. If they went to see Santa ask if they touched his beard and how it felt.
5. While they add the cotton balls cut out a small red mouth out of the red paper.
6. Glue on the mouth. Set the beard to dry.
7. Grab the paper plate and glue on the eyes and a pom pom nose.
8. Cut out a hat from the red paper, add glue on the bottom edge and top of the point.
9. Add cotton balls to the hat. Let dry.
When the glue is dry glue the beard and hat on the plate.

Song!

Santa is his name o !
( To the tune of Bingo )

There is a man all dressed in red,
and Santa is his name o!
S A N T A
S A N T A
S A N T A
And Santa is his name o!

Continue with :

*He has a loud and jolly laugh
and Santa is his name o!
*He lives with elves at The North Pole
and Santa is his name o!
*His Reindeer pull his magic sleigh
and Santa is his name o!
*He brings you toys if you are kind
and Santa is his name o!