# Elf Counting Mats for Christmas Math Fun

Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a kid again.  It helps relieve stress to just pretend like I have no responsibilities.  I often picture myself as Will Ferrel in Elf.  Because he was the epitome of an adult who never grew up.  Actually, when my husband calls I often answer “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”.

And when my kids are feeling embarrassed in the store, I say “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” as they beg me to not start singing.

And of course elf puns, jokes & riddles help a lot!

Christmas elves just remind me of being a kid!  So of course I wanted some elf counting mats!

This is day two of our 12 Days of Christmas printables!  This week is all Math printables and next week is all language arts!  Don’t miss all the great printables by signing up for the once a week newsletter!

### How to Set Up the Elf Counting Mats

Supplies:

I almost always laminate my counting mats.  They just tend to take a beating.  Cardstock is okay but laminating is best, in my experience (both is superior to one or the other and I recommend that if you’ll use them a lot or keep them for next year).

I laminate and cut out the little presents, too.  They tend to get played with on the side as well.

### How to Use the Elf Counting Mats

We’re not really using them for counting any more but instead of simple addition.  Sometimes I use two differently colored gems to illustrate the many ways to add to a certain number.  The white space can be used to record how many ways to add up to that number.  0+4, 1+3, 2+2, 3+1, 4+0

The printable presents have numbers on them.  I like having two separate ways to count up!

The 10 frame is great for subitizing and memorizing what a number looks like when it’s grouped together.  Plus, I love getting them used to 10 frames early so they are familiar when we use them for higher math.