We’ve put our creative maths twist on the number-themed festive classic song 12 Days of Christmas!
Challenge yourself and your family to try as many of the activities as possible over the Christmas holidays – can you do all 12?
A Festive Family Maths Challenge
Creating positive memories of doing maths together as a family is an important step in building a confident, can-do attitude towards maths.
Explore the 12 days of Christmaths
You know the song off by heart and back to front, so here’s our version. Each ‘present’ featured in the song has inspired us to create a new activity, or find a festive twist on an old favourite.
Watch the videos and have a go!
The 12 activities, like all our creative maths resources, are designed for exploring as a family. Let children take each activity or challenge as far as they want. There is no right or wrong way, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in and enjoy experimenting.
How To videos & craft materials
Scroll down to the Resources section at the bottom of this page for short videos demonstrating each activity. Some activities have an accompanying worksheet (links provided). You’ll also find a list of what you’ll need to do the different activities.
What you'll needMost of the activities use everyday stationery and simple craft materials you are likely to already have at home:
- Paper or card
- Colouring Pencils/Pens
- Glue or tape
- String or ribbon
- Glitter, pom poms and other decorative craft materials (optional)
To complete all 12 activities you’ll also need to find:
- A stopwatch or the timer on a mobile phone
- A ball that bounces
- Some beads (or we can show you how to make your own)
1. A Partridge Without A Pear Tree
Create a unique bird mobile. Pear tree optional.
A Partridge Without A Pear Tree Activity SheetMake a Paper Bird Activity Sheet
2. Double Doves
Practise doubling and symmetry.
Double Doves is based on our 'Doublebugs' activityhttps://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activities/doublebugs/
3. Pursuing Hens
Practice your measuring and line drawing skills, and explore different patterns with just a pencil, ruler and some simple shapes.
Create a Curves of Pursuit artworkhttps://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activities/curves-of-pursuit/
4. Tessellating Birds
Create your own tessellation and transform it into a piece of art.
Create a Tessellation artworkhttps://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activities/escher-inspired-tessellations/
5. 3D Gold Rings
Craft your own set of 3D ring decorations.
6. Egg Symmetry
Practise pattern-making and use symmetry to decorate the eggs that all those famous geese have been a-laying!
Download an egg template from our 'Egg Symmetry' activityhttps://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activities/egg-symmetry/
7. Origami Swans
Transform flat paper into a beautiful 3D swan (or 7).
Origami Swans Activity SheetMake an Origami Swan
8. Counting Legs Challenge
8 cows, 8 milkers - how many legs? Get cow-nting!
9. Dancing Multiples
Practise multiplying using paper. How many dancers do you start with, and how many do you end up with? Use pattern, shape and symmetry to decorate your dancers.
10. Leaping Heartbears
Explore what happens to your heartbeats when you change your activity. Measure your heartbeat, then try measuring it again after a spot of leaping about.
Measure your heartbeats activityhttps://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activities/multiple-heartbeats/
11. Pi-pers Bracelet
A crafty decorative way to explore the concept of Pi by using the digits to design a unique bracelet.
Need to make your own beads? Find the instructions in our '100 bead necklace' activity sheethttps://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activities/make-a-100-bead-necklace/
12. Bouncing Beats Challenge
Grab a ball and challenge your family to bounce it in time to the music. Then take it to the next level and bounce along to the rhythm. How far can you get without getting out of time?