Teach Your Toddler Numbers and Counting with Candy Cane Math

What is a Christmas themed math game my preschooler can play?

Now that Thanksgiving is over it’s time to decorate for Christmas! Wahoo! Candy canes are all over during the season, so making a game for your toddler using candy canes just makes sense. You can use this candy cane banner on Pinterest, for an activity that isn’t only fun, but also educational. It’s always good to throw in a little bit of a math twist on a fun idea.

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Find out how to use this candy cane math game to teach your toddlers number

First start with blank candy cane template. I just printed these on regular paper, but if you want to make your candy canes extra fun, you can print them on colored paper. Just make sure the color isn’t too dark because you will be coloring them. You can play two different games with these candy canes: Patterns and Roll and Color.


This one was really easy. Look at a real candy cane and talk about how there is a pattern on the candy cane. Choose two colors to use on your candy can and decorate the candy cane with do-a-dot markers. You could also use crayons, markers, paint, or glitter.

An exciting activity teaching your toddlers numbers with candy cane math
An exciting game teaching your toddlers numbers with candy cane math

Make about 3 candy canes with simple ABAB patterns. After that you can make things a little more challenging with an AABAAB pattern. If you child doesn’t want to use  do-a-dot markers you can use crayons. When you are finished feel free to hang the candy canes up on the wall or the refrigerator as part of the holiday decorations.

Check out this beaded candy cane craft for another great Christmas-y pattern activity.

Roll and Color

You can do this activity on a different day than the first game. They sometimes take quite a lot of brain power for your little ones. there is a little video at the end of this post showing the Roll and Color activity so make sure to take a look.

First, get out your dot markers and have your child put four markers in any order they want. Once they choose an order, get out some dice. You can use this brilliant idea to put dice in a container from Pinterest. I’m sorry I don’t know the original source of this pin. If you know, please tell me because I would love to give you credit.

Use this fun idea called candy cane math game to teach toddlers numbers

To play the game, roll the dice. Take the first color (from the order previously chosen) and make that many dots on the candy cane.

Use this fun activity called candy cane math game to teach toddlers numbers

Roll the dice again and make that many dots with the second color.

Use this fun activity called candy cane math game to teach your toddlers numbers

Repeat those steps until the candy cane is all the way filled. The kids have a lot of fun trying to see how many colors they can fit on the candy cane. If they roll really high numbers the candy canes might only have one color, but if they roll really low numbers they might get all four colors on the candy canes. You can use two dice, but you could just use one.

If you don’t have dot markers, you could also use stickers, crayons, markers, paint, glitter, or stamps. Be creative. 🙂

These two candy cane math games were really fun to play, but our favorite part is our holiday décor. It’s beautiful, right? Who needs crown molding when you can have an awesome homemade candy cane banner. 🙂