Math Talk and the Advent Calendar

It’s November, but thoughts turn to December. December will be upon us in a “flash”.  Part of preparation for the arrival of that busy month is deciding what about an Advent Calendar? Do we? What kind?

A few years ago, I used one a very simple Advent Calendar. First the children cut out a tree from green construction paper. None are exactly the same. That is the beauty of the children making and cutting out their own tree. (Assistance given as needed, of course.)


Each child writes the numbers from 1 – 25 on the tree.   A variety of stickers are available so children can put one sticker on each day when they do something nice for someone else. This really encourages children to think outside themselves and think of others. So the photo here shows simple written numbers with the basic star stickers beside each day. I find that preschoolers like doing something nice and choosing a sticker to put on their tree.


A simple Advent Calendar like this is  probably not the most “BLING” crafty, but it is definitely the child’s creation.

Last year I found these cute little trees already cut out. Both toddlers and preschoolers alike are enthusiastic at putting the pre-cut ornaments on the tree. This tree has no numbers so the ornaments get counted daily.



The Advent Calendar gives an opportunity to use math talk. Children are constructing ideas about math every day with every experience. We adults can be more aware and intentional in using the following:

  • Spatial relationships when a child is guided to cut from one place to another when cutting out their tree or putting on their sticker/ornament
  • Direction and position is used when talk happens about the physical relationship of the ornaments/stars being placed on the tree
  • Comparison words when you talk about the top of the tree being little and the bottom being big
  • Patterns may be found as the tree gets filled up with stars/ornaments
  • Math words: the empty tree/ the full tree
  • Numbers and operations are used as the child keeps track of which number day it is
  • One-to-one correspondence in Numbers and operations are used when you “Let’s count: 1,2,3…”
  • Numbers and operations when we say “That’s the second good deed you’ve done, today!” or “That’s the fourth red bow you’ve put on your tree.”
  • Measurement happens when we say “You have more stars today than yesterday.”
  • Data collection and analysis happens with “You always smile when you put a star on your tree.” or “You put a big ornament on the big bottom of the tree and a little star on the small part of the tree.”
This is an easy Advent Calendar to share with families, friends, and neighbors with children. Easy to make and keep up. (If you don’t celebrate Christmas, this can be used for a month count-down or with a theme about trees. The good deeds can be done all year around.)

So go head and come December, we have lots of math we can do with our learning fun! But, don’t come tooooo fast.


Be sure to subscribe to this blog – it’s free!

Click on the picture below to go to Amazon.



About admin

I'm Cathie. Welcome to my little early childhood corner! I have been involved with young children and their teachers for over 20 years: teaching, supervising, training, presenting, serving on state and community boards and councils. I love sharing quality early childhood ideas that are engaging! Thank you for joining me on this new adventure,
This entry was posted in cognitive, dramatic play, Holiday, kindergarten readiness, Math and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Math Talk and the Advent Calendar

  1. What a great way to work on writing numbers! This is such a fun advent calendar!

    I would love for you to link this up to the Holiday Hop of Goodies on my site.

  2. Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing. Great idea, and activity for the holidays. A fun and easy way of learning numbers. Best, Mary@