Christmas Clues – Reading and Mathematics


Christmas Clues – Reading and Mathematics

This morning we have another great guest post from Claire Howden – Teacher. Reader. Book Collector. Mathematician.  Clues for finding Christmas presents is a great idea…lots of reading, lots of mathematics. PudStar is particularly excited by this idea as she loves a bit of a map. I seem to spend lots of time drawing mud maps and putting x’s on them for her to go and find ridiculous things that she has hidden and then pretends to find.  

I can’t really tell you what my favourite ever Christmas present as a child was but I definitely remember my favourite delivery method.  Christmas stocking filler pressies were one of my favourites and of course having the family gathered around the tree when the biggest present was presented to me (I am the youngest after all), were all amazingly exciting but my favourite way to receive a present has to be when my brother Shane sent me on a treasure hunt.   In fact I loved it so much, I still have the clues in my childhood photo album. 


Now that I’m older I see the benefits of this type of task for all children, in terms of reading, and when learning how to follow directions, describing position and movement!  So why not get your children to write clues for their siblings’ presents this Christmas and add a bit of suspense to the giving process.



  1. Choose some of the locations around the house that are appropriate for hiding clues.  When my brother wrote his, he contacted them and stuck them in various locations but if you want to spoil the kids that little bit more, why not put small presents in each location that also hold the next clue?
  2. Help your child type up or write in their best writing the clues they have chosen eg. Look under the table in the kitchen.  Try to make sure each clue has a specific location and direction.  For younger children this may be as simple as ‘under, between, on top of, behind’, for older children, give them specific compass directions and make the first present the actual compass! Imagine what you could do if the clues came with a mud map!
  3. If you want to add that extra mathematical oomph to the clues, why not use degrees of temperature to indicate how close the real present is! For the really small, they could look for particular coloured or shaped objects in various locations.
  4. Print out your clues and contact or laminate them just in case there is a late storm on Christmas Eve and you have outside clues!
  5. At some point in the days before Christmas, find time to place the clues around the house. 
  6. A word to the wise, most presents will actually be placed under the tree while the hunt is on.  However, is you have a number of children participating in the treasure hunt, they will all know that their final clue ends there so make sure you mix it up a bit!
  7. Watch the excitement unfold on Christmas morning; don’t forget the camera!!

You are only limited by your imagination for this one so have fun with it and have a Merry Christmas!

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