Here are five of the best ways to channel your primary pupils Christmas excitement with some fun ready to go Christmas Maths lessons for KS2.

Judging by the glitter and tinsel at school, nativities, pantomimes and school trips seem to be our main focus at this time of year but that doesn’t mean that Maths should stop. We just need to make it as fun and engaging as the other distractions!

So our teachers at Third Space Learning have made things easy for you and put down our five favourite KS2 Christmas Maths lessons that we turn to in this hectic period. They’re all quick to implement and can be incorporated within whatever else you’re teaching that day just for a bit of Christmas Maths fun!

1. Christmas maths recipes

What would Christmas be like without all the food we enjoy altogether around this time? Mince pies, Christmas pudding, Yorkshire puddings…

So get your kids researching and creating recipes for their favourite Christmas foods. This can be linked to ratio and proportion, fractions and converting between different units.

Scaffolding tip

Give your pupils this recipe and ask them to re-write this recipe for 8 people, then for 4 people, then 2 people… See if they can then find a link between the numbers.

Mince pie recipe

Makes 16 mince pies

  • 1 jar of mincemeat
  • 2 satsumas
  • 400g plain flour
  • 260g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 egg

2. Christmas maths calculations shopping list 

Get your pupils to write a letter to Father Christmas explaining what presents they would like to receive for Christmas (maybe a less selfish list could involve writing a list for a family member, a friend or family pet). Once they’ve written a list, they can decide prices for their items and calculate the total cost of their list.

To extend this activity:

Find the modal, median and mean price of their presents or discuss the appropriateness of their prices with a partner.

3. Christmas classroom fayre

Use role play as a tool for getting your pupils to understand the maths of money better and apply it to a real life situation in this case deciding your going to run a Christmas classroom fayre.

Some pupils can take on the role of stall managers and some can be customers. The stall managers can create posters with prices of their products on and the customers can set themselves a budget for their Christmas shopping list before the Christmas fayre begins.

To adapt this lesson:

Take your pupils back in history and instead of money, replace their currency with goats, sheep or cows.

For a challenge, give the stall managers a different currency to work with and provide the pupils with a conversion rate (to make it easy, you could use $2= £1) to buy/sell goods with.

Don't miss out on our Christmas Maths Quiz - reasoning and arithmetic questions all on a Christmas theme

Classroom resources free

Key Stage 2 Christmas Maths Quiz

20 Year 5/6 Maths questions for some festive fun that'll keep pupils focused right up till Christmas

4. Wrapping paper Christmas maths nets

Ask your pupils to carry out a range of investigations using nets and wrapping paper. They could wrap up different objects and compare their nets, they could design different nets for the same object or they could be given an A3 sheet of paper and could have a competition to be as efficient as possible in order to wrap particular objects.

The nrich website, a great source of inspiration for Maths teachers everywhere, has some great suggestions for the approaches you can take with this Maths wrapping activity.

Cross-curricular integration:

Link this activity to religious education by investigating the reason behind giving and receiving presents at Christmas or to geography by discussing the environment and recycling.

5. Symmetry with snowflakes and Christmas baubles

All kids love making snowflakes. Folding the paper, cutting the paper, seeing their designs hung up on the window… How about making this activity more challenging by ensuring maths is involved? Your pupils could be challenged to ensure there are four lines of symmetry or have to find the symmetry in their designs once they have created their snowflakes.

A similar idea can be to provide your pupils with outlines of different shaped baubles and to then get them to create symmetrical Christmas designs for their baubles. You could also ensure they use rotational symmetry for an additional challenge.

Still looking for more KS2 Christmas Maths ideas? 

Download our free Christmas Maths Quiz or find out about the brilliant Christmas maths activities teachers in other schools are getting up to.

And finally, of course, Christmas is just one of the events in the school calendar you can be using to put Maths in context, check out this blog for more brilliant date-based KS2 Maths investigations. You’ll be “snowed” under with free resources and awesome activities to try with your class!

Sophie Waterman-Smith , Teacher , Third Space Learning

Sophie grew up in Brighton and taught Maths in a secondary school. In between working with our schools, she writes about the teachmeets she attends on our blog.