While my forte is literacy, ALuv’s {currently 2nd grade} is definitely math. Just last week, my mom {who helps me homeschool three days a week} challenged him with a 12 Days of Christmas math activity.

*This post contains affiliate links.

**The 2016 updated printables can be found towards the end of this post. Just click on the teal download button.

### 12 Days of Christmas Math Activity

He was to figure out how many gifts “my true love” gave each day altogether in the 12 days of Christmas song. My mom went home to figure out how many gifts there were in all and if he arrived at the same number, she would have a little prize waiting for him. He was very eager to try this out.

Once he had gone through the entire song, I challenged him to use *mental math* to add up the sum in each rectangle. This part was rather interesting. We had such rich discussion about several math concepts.

### Math Concepts Covered

1- **Introduction to multiplication.** If you add 1 twelve times, it’s the same as saying 1 x 12, which equals 12.

2- **Multiplication is commutative**. When he got to the number 3 box, he was to add 3 ten times. He began to count by three’s to add them all up. Once he came to the sum of 30, I briefly showed him how knowing that 10 x 3 could help him solve 3 x 10. And just like addition, multiplication is commutative. The same thing happened when he calculated 6 x 7, then turned right around and multiplied 7 x 6.

3- **Grouping numbers to add.** Instead of adding 8+8+8+8+8 as individual 8’s, he grouped 16+16, then added 8 more. This strategy kept him from writing down all the numbers to add.

4- **Using related sums to solve other addition problems**. When he got to day nine, he used the sums of 16+16 from day eight to help him figure out- if 16+16 equals 32, then 9+9+9+9 (18+18) is just 4 more than 16+16.

5- **Using a calculator to figure out sums.** This was the first time he had used a calculator for schoolwork. He rather enjoyed doing it and got his total sum.

After he had figured up how many presents in all “my true love” gave for Christmas, we talked a bit more about the data he had. We discovered a really cool pattern from all the adding. We talked about the fact that all the numbers are even number and why that is. I asked him, “If your true love gave you 1 present a day, would there be enough presents for the entire year? What about leap year?” To say the least, this one activity provided a wealth of Christmas math learning!

### **Updated printables – added December, 2016!!**

The updated 12 Days of Christmas Math Activity Pack contains a printable page with the 12 days gifts plus a recording sheet, much like the one we originally used.

When we used it this year, we figured up how many gifts were given on each day.

Also included is a page with questions such as, “How many gifts were given on day 4?”

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**Roll-a-Gingerbread House Math Game**

Enjoy!

~Becky

Angela @ Joy Focused Learning says

What a great math assignment! I found this post through the After School linky, I would love if you shared this at my link-up: Anything Goes! http://www.joyfocusedlearning.com/2013/12/anything-goes-link-up-5.html