How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Guess & Count Math Activity for Kids (Christmas Read + Play)

I LOVE the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas because it’s super cute and heartwarming, so when I set to the task of prepping a…

I LOVE the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas because it’s super cute and heartwarming, so when I set to the task of prepping a book based activity for the  Christmas Read + Play Blog Hop, I knew I wanted to do something Grinch-ish. This activity was inspired by the Grinch’s heart being 3 sizes too small and is a fun way to practice guessing, logic, and counting. 
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Math Activity (Estimation, Counting, December)

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Guess & Count Math Activity

M&M’s (or other small candy or objects)
3 heart shaped cookie cutters of various sizes (Or just draw 3 hearts on a piece of paper)
1.  Guess how many M&Ms will fit into each heart and write the guesses down.
Before we guessed, I asked Ms. Tiger which heart was the largest, and which was the smallest. She hypothesized that the smallest heart would hold the least amount of candy, and the largest heart would hold the most. Then she made her guesses. Since this was her first time guessing and larger numbers are still abstract for her, her guesses seemed really random which is totally fine and part of the discovery process.
Some kids may want to count the M&Ms instead of guess. You may suggest having them close their eyes, and saying the first number that comes to mind. Being able to come up with a logical guess is a learned skill and this is a great first step.
2.  Fill the hearts with M&Ms.
I suggest using less M&Ms if your kiddo is still learning large numbers. The first time we did this activity Ms. Tiger filled the hearts with a lot of candy. The next time we did it, we limited the amount of candy to make it easier.
3.  Count each pile of M&Ms inside each heart and write the findings down.  I suggest lining the M&Ms up in a line while counting them to make it easier for visual comparisons. Compare the actual number, to the guesses in step 1 and talk about the findings. This activity is not about being right or wrong, it’s just about observations and comparisons.We would say something like, “The small heart had more M&M’s then we guessed, the medium heart had less M&Ms then we guessed…”
Whenever candy is involved, my kids are all about whatever activity we are doing with this one being no exception. Hopefully your kiddos are just as motivated!
This post is presented as part of the Christmas Read + Play collection put together by Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing.  Please visit the Christmas Read + Play page to see more awesome book-based activities for Christmas.

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Thanks for learning with us today. If you enjoyed this idea please pin & share it with others so they can enjoy it too! Love, Katie & the Kiddos


    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks so much! We will be doing more guessing games in the future to help get the concept down.

    1. Hi Emma, thanks so much! I was staring at our cookie cutters and it all just came together 🙂

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