In pondering ways to make learning kinetic for my active one, I decided to use the idea of a Christmas tree number hop, with a Christmas tree outlined on the floor. Our simple Christmas tree only needed ornaments with the numbers on them. I made our number recognition practice into a Christmas dance party! When the music stops, it is not “musical chairs” but rather a preschool gross motor activity, a Christmas number hop! Our Christmas Tree Number Hop is a great gross motor activity to get moving, even while still practicing number recognition in a fun activity.
Christmas Number Recognition Activity with Music
If I had wanted to, I may have outlined the ornaments in a masking tape triangle tree, but Strawberry wanted to move things around, so we kept the tree a more loose shape by placing the ornaments on the floor in a triangle pattern.
As it was, Strawberry loved dancing to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” While numbers are always tricky for a preschooler to recognize, she thrived on this new version of number recognition. I could prompt her, when needed, by hinting at the color of the correct numbered ornament.
More Number Hop Gross Motor Activities Ideas
After we tried the number recognition game a few times, I added in another surprise: underneath each ornament was an action card! These action cards included simple gross motor activity directions, like “spin” and “balance.” My daughter especially loved the one labeled jump, because she took it as an excuse to jump from the second stair to the floor!
I have not always enjoyed active games like this. It is exhausting for me to twirl along with my crazy girl. But jumping into our Christmas tree numbers hop (pun intended!) provided that rare glimpse into my daughter’s crazy zest for learning and for life!
Here are some ideas for enjoying a few different preschool gross motor skills activities.
- For the youngest children, use the ornament cards as a “cake walk.” After the music stops, everyone must step on an ornament. The teacher calls out a number, and that is the winner of a cupcake.
- For preschool children, call out a number to step on, as mentioned above, to practice number recognition.
- For older children, add or subtract and ask them to stand on the answer.
- For older children, use the ornament number cards for practicing sequencing. Take one away and ask them to figure out which is missing, or practice putting the numbers in order.
Gross motor activities give little ones a chance to move their entire bodies along with exercising their brains. Making it a Christmas gross motor activity made it a fun way to practice number recognition at this time of year.
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