What child wouldn’t enjoy creating a fanciful gingerbread house! Just imagine that scrumptious aroma and taste plus icing and candies galore!
National Gingerbread Cookie Day is celebrated on November 21st. Now that’s a delicious way to herald the beginning of the holiday season.
Here’s a free gingerbread house math activity to help your first and second-graders practice or review the doubles or doubles plus one basic addition facts. It’s the perfect holiday partner or small group activity!
Choices to Make
To get started, make the following choices.
- doubles or doubles plus one
- color or black/ white
- counters or crayons
- 10-sided dice or number cards
- 0-9 or 1-10 number range
Materials Needed for Gingerbread Cover-Up
Gather or prepare these materials.
- one mat for each participating student
- one 10-sided die or set of number cards for each pair or small group of students
- 10 small counters or crayons for each participating student
- a recording sheet, a sheet of paper, or dry erase board for each participating student
For the easiest preparation, use ten-sided dice. These are available with either the numerals 0-9 or 1-10. I created mats for both sets of numerals so you can use what you have. If you happen to have both on hand like me, decide if you’d rather your students practice 0 + 0 or 10 + 10.
If you don’t have ten-sided dice, either use playing cards or make the gingerbread men number cards.
Get it Prepared
Print your mats. Use card stock for durability and to reuse. Laminate the mats or use them with dry-erase pockets. Use 1/2 to 5/8″ counters such as buttons, gems, mini-erasers, or even holiday M & M’s.
The black/ white mats can also be printed on paper to color and consume.
Print the gingerbread man number cards, if using. Use card stock and laminate for durability. Either cut into rectangles or cut around the gingerbread men.
I suggest making one set of numbers for each student participating in a group. For example, make 2 sets for 2 students or 4 sets for 4.
For easier preparation, use selected numbers from a deck of playing cards. Reshuffle as needed while playing.
Make one copy of an optional recording sheet for each student. Feel free to use whiteboards or a sheet of paper, instead.
Get ‘Em Engaged With Gingerbread Cover-Up
Try this activity with partners or in a small group. It works equally well in an intervention group or as an independent math station. It won’t be as much fun, but a single student can complete the activity on their own.
Gingerbread Cover-Up Doubles Mat
Take turns rolling a die or picking a number card. Record your number. Then, write the doubles equation with that number. For instance, Number: 5, Doubles Equation: 5 + 5 = 10. Cover up or color the sum (10) on your mat.
Doubles Plus One Mat
Take turns rolling a die or picking a number card. Record your number. Next, write the doubles equation with your number. Then, write the doubles plus one equation. Here’s an example: Number: 4, Doubles Equation: 4 + 4 = 8, Doubles Plus One Equation: 4 + 5 = 9 or 5 + 4 = 9. Finally, cover up or color the sum (9) on your mat.
If you roll or pick the same number on a subsequent turn, say the equation(s) out loud. Then, make a tally mark in the last column.
Who can cover or color all their numbers? Who rolled the same number the greatest number of times?
Let me know if you’d enjoy having more of these addition activity mats along with any suggestions for themes.
Click the highlighted words to download this free resource, Gingerbread Cover-Up.
Looking For More Resources…
For the Curious
And if like me, this post piqued your curiosity about gingerbread, click on the links below to discover fascinating facts!
- The History of Gingerbread (The History Kitchen, PBS Foods)
- A Brief History of Gingerbread (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Gingerbread Facts to Tell Your Kids (HubPages)
Photo in the title image by Oksana Shufrych.