Candy cane math in pre-k

Candy cane math in pre-k

As I have mentioned before, I just love candy canes so we are always exploring candy canes through different content areas in my classroom for about a whole month!!

These are just little plastic candy cane ornaments you can get at the Dollar Store in bags. I gave each of my pre-k students a set of five candy canes (you can use real ones or make some for this activity) during our circle time. They used one of my DIY felt boards as a counting board for this activity…

Each of the children spread out their candy canes and counted them. Then I gave different kinds of instructions like, “If you take away one candy cane then how many will you have left?” The children would remove and count the remaining number of candy canes…

And once we got to zero then we began adding our candy canes.  I would say something like, “If you add one candy cane, how many do you have now?”

After we did a little adding and subtracting, then we used our candy canes to make designs on our boards. We discovered we can make a few letters…

And shapes…

And other fun designs…

Super simple math with a candy cane!


  • Joan Posted December 12, 2011 7:35 am

    Wonderful idea! I am going shopping for some plastic ones today for my class tomorrow! The plastic candy cane heart that you created will be perfect as a frame for a Valentine’s Day picture, too! Just thinking ahead :). . . . . . . . .

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted December 12, 2011 7:40 am

    Yes, that would be a great picture frame! I never thought of that:)

  • Jill Posted December 12, 2011 8:06 am

    such a simple activity with so much learning going on!

  • Stacy@Share&Remember Posted December 12, 2011 8:54 am

    My kids love playing with those candy canes! Such a great deal at the Dollar store!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted December 12, 2011 8:58 am

    It was simple and the kids enjoyed manipulating those candy canes:)

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted December 12, 2011 8:58 am

    Yes – I love the Dollar Store:)

  • Jackie Posted December 12, 2011 1:59 pm

    oh! My son just found out he loves candy canes! This will be so much fun to do with him– and very engaging!

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