These Christmas themed candy cane estimation jars will help your pre-k kids learn how to estimate in a way that is meaningful to them. Also check out my previous post about estimating with markers.
As you can see, I use 4 jars. Three jars show the children how different amounts of candy canes look in the jars, and “teaches” them to make a better guess. The last jar has a question mark on it, and this is the estimation jar.
- The first jar had one candy cane in it with a numeral 1 taped to the front.
- The second jar had three candy canes with a numeral 3 taped to the front.
- The third jar had six candy canes with a numeral 6 taped to the front.
- The last jar had ten candy canes with a question mark taped to the front.
I left these jars on a table near our math center for about 3 days. It was not easy for the children to look at those candy canes every day and not be able to open the jars and eat them!
After the children had an opportunity to come up to the jars and look at them for a few days, we made a chart to write down their guesses. I wrote each child’s name on the chart with their guess beside it.
We had a talk first about what it means to estimate or guess. I told them that we would count the candy canes afterwards, but I emphasized that no answer was wrong. All answers are right when you guess– it’s just a guess.
After everyone’s guess was written on the chart, we counted together as each candy cane was taken out of the jar and lined up in a row on the whiteboard ledge. The number in the jar was 10. As you can see, several of my prekinders said 10. Some of the children were actually able to count the candy canes rather than guess, so the next time I do estimation jars, I will use a larger number.
Other ideas for Christmas estimation jars: try using Christmas tree ornaments or gift bows.
Before you ask: Yes, the jars are plastic! 🙂 Not glass. From Walmart. In the kitchen section. (I know someone will ask.) The children are not able to open these very easily because of the tight seal.
Christmas Door Decor
Just wanted to show off my classroom snowman door. 🙂 I admit, I’m not fond of decorating doors, so this is a once-in-a-year thing for me. I plan to leave this up through January and change the holly on his hat to a snowflake.
Find more Christmas Activities for Pre-K on the Christmas category page.