Educational Math Elf on the Shelf Ideas
Elf on the Shelf season is upon us, and while you might think that this little elf is nothing but fun and games, the truth is you can use it to help reinforce some essential math skills as well! Yes, the elf can be a fun tool to use to teach math to kids in a way that feels like a game. Take a look below at 6 ways to incorporate math into your elf on the shelf adventures, and then keep scrolling to find fun Elf on the Shelf Reading ideas so you can be sure to make the most of this time with your kids!
Elf on the Shelf Ideas
1. Try some candy addition.
Candy pieces make wonderful manipulatives when learning addition and subtraction. Leave some candy out with your elf along with a few math problems. Encourage kids to use the candies as manipulatives to add and subtract. You can even have the elf create some problems, such laying out candies to show how 2 Skittles plus 3 Skittles equals 5 Skittles! How fun is that?
2. Create patterns for children to finish.
Use candies or crafting pom poms to create a pattern. You can set up the elf and the pieces to look like he is the one who started the pattern. Leave extra pieces sitting out and invite children to finish the pattern for the elf. You can create all sorts of pattern trails using candies or pom poms.
3. Leave story problems on sticky notes.
Create a set up where the elf is holding a pencil and has a story problem written on a sticky note. Invite kids to help the elf solve the story problem. They will love helping him and writing the answer down on the sticky note. You can even use stickers to mark the sticky note once it is complete.
4. Let kids help the elf solve a riddle.
You can leave a riddle that helps kids find the elf’s hiding next hiding spot. For example, you can leave a story problem or numeric equation and let kids solve it. Once they solve it they can turn over the card or open a sealed envelope to discover where the elf is headed to next.
5. Utilize some inexpensive flash cards.
Head to the dollar store and grab some inexpensive math flash cards. You can lay these out like the elf is practicing them and invite kids to join him. You can also leave flashcards out with the elf each time you move him and ask kids to solve 3 before he will move again.
6. Help elf with his homework!
You can create a mini homework page with math problems on them. Help elf answer them or have them already answered and let kids grade his homework. They will love the chance to grade!
As you can see there are many ways to make your Elf on the Shelf adventures a learning experience. Consider these 6 ways to incorporate math into your elf on the shelf adventures and see how much educational fun you can have.
Make sure to check out my 6 Ways to Incorporate Reading Into Your Elf on the Shelf Games article, full of more fun ideas for encouraging learning and fun with your Elf on the Shelf!