If your child is struggling with Maths at school, it may not be just the number work that is holding them back. Did you know that a large chunk of the Mathematics Curriculum involves an understanding of shape, space and measure? If your child lacks the skills to visualise things in 3D (or even in 2D!) then they will not cope in Maths lessons. If your child is not a visual person then these 5 Christmas craft activities are for you! (and if they are visual, then these will play to their strengths and boost their confidence)
Make a gift box
Which part of the Maths Curriculum does this cover? Your child should be able to recognise and interpret ‘nets’. A net is a pattern that you can cut and fold to make a model of a solid shape.
Why not help them to make a gift box – Here is my fab free Christmas gift box, available for download and printing now. You really need to print it on card, but if that’s not possible, print on paper and stick it onto some card from a cereal box.
Alternatively, check out this cute gingerbread house net, or colour your own gingerbread house design here. If you child wants to make gifts for family members then try this calendar dodecahedron – this would suit children with good motor-skills as it’s quite fiddly.
There are loads more great gift boxes and polyhedral nets on the internet – if your child needs more of a challenge just look online for something more intricate.
Do some Christmas Cooking
Which part of the Maths Curriculum does this cover? Your child should be able to read information off scales and understand how to scale up a recipe.
Why not get them to measure out the ingredients for some Christmas cooking? I suggest doing some gingerbread shapes to hang on the tree or even a gingerbread house if you are feeling brave. There are some great recipes here.
Make Paper Snowflakes
Which part of the Maths Curriculum does this cover? Your child should be able to recognise line symmetry and rotational symmetry.
Use a square of paper to make the classic paper snowflakes. The more folds and the more cuts you do, the nicer the snowflake turns out. Get your child to try and predict what each snowflake will look like. Watch this video for the basics or find more complicated snowflake ideas on YouTube.
Make Paper Garlands
Which part of the Maths Curriculum does this cover? Your child should be able to reflect a shape in a mirror line.
Why not make a paper garland like the one in this video? For really great in-depth learning try to think of something that is not symmetrical so that they see how it is reflected. Eg, candy cane, Santa’s hat, stocking or maybe copy a more complex online picture. Remember to make sure that the shape goes from one edge of the paper to the other, so that the shapes stay joined up when opened out.
Make Lego Christmas Decorations
Which part of the Maths Curriculum does this cover? Your child should be able to visualise 3D shapes from different angles and count ‘blocks’ to work out the volume of the shape.
There is no better way to give your child an understanding of this than playing with Lego! I’m sure even older children will be happy to get the Lego out if it’s for crafting actual Christmas decorations to go on the tree. Check out this search for some great inspiration.
All of these activities WILL make a big difference to your child’s understanding of 2D and 3D shapes – you might actually find out where some of their strengths and weaknesses in Maths really lie. Don’t forget to use loads of praise when they show some Mathematical thinking! If they do well and enjoy it, tell them afterwards that they have been doing Maths!
I would LOVE to see what you make this Christmas and to hear about how you sneaked some Maths into your child’s life without them even noticing! So please send your photos to [email protected] Also, don’t forget to share this page and ‘like’ Maths Club by Post on Facebook so that you don’t miss out on any of my ways to sneak a little extra Maths into your child’s life (preferably without them noticing!)
Happy Christmas Crafting! x
P.S. If you think your child needs a little extra Maths drip-feeding into their lives to support their confidence and skill level, please do apply for a FREE trial pack from Maths Club by Post. I will post your child a fun, colourful pack to suit their age and ability. I have crammed the packs with puzzles and games so that they don’t even feel like they are doing any work!