Candy Cane Stripe Counting

Candy canes are pretty irresistible, so this has been the perfect counting busy bag. It was a cinch to make, and all of my kiddos absolutely love it.

Candy Cane Stripe Counting by Preschool Inspirations-2

I found solid colored candy canes at the grocery store then curled pipe cleaners/chenille stems around them and trimmed them. The edges were a bit sharp so I pushed them down as well as possible. So far no one has complained about them, so that’s always a good thing.

Now we have DIY candy cane stripes, which each child can put on and count.  It’s both a math activity and great fine motor practice.

Candy Cane Stripe Counting by Preschool Inspirations-3

With younger children I like to focus on counting and helping them feel successful about that. Once they’re ready for more of a challenge you can throw in some number cards.

Here’s what the setup looked like with the older ones, Montessori inspired.

Candy Cane Stripe Counting by Preschool Inspirations-4

Playing with candy canes is a blast, but just know that some will probably break. It’s a great way to help encourage children to treat items gently and learn about things that are fragile. Of course you can always eat the broken candy canes or use them in a science experiment.

To see more fun-filled Christmas themed busy bags, pop on over to one of my favorite kid bloggers below.

15 Awesome Holiday Busy Bags for Kids.


Gingerbread Man Shape Matching Busy Bag // Powerful Mothering

Christmas Activities for Kids Printable Busy Bag // LalyMom

Christmas Counting Busy Bag // Coffee Cups and Crayons

Decorate a Play Dough Christmas Tree Play Kit // Mama. Papa. Bubba.

Gingerbread Button Counting Busy Bag // Wildflower Ramblings

Snowman Busy Bag // Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Reusable Christmas Sticker Busy Bag // Still Playing School

Christmas Posting Busy Bag // Adventures of Adam

Christmas Tree Busy Bag // The Pleasantest Thing

Christmas Jingle Bells Fine Motor Busy Bag // Sugar Aunts

Printable Mix and Match Christmas Puzzles // Itsy Bitsy Fun

Christmas Chocolate Maker Busy Bag // Best Toys 4 Toddlers

Printable Q-tip Snowflakes // Playdough to Plato

Candy Cane Stripe Counting // Preschool Inspirations

An Early Reader Christmas Busy Bag // The Educators’ Spin on It


  1. Katie says

    This is a great center that my preschool students will LOVE. It’s perfect for my class because it will be challenging for the younger ones and the more mature ones. Can’t wait to do this with them right after Thanksgiving break. Thanks!!!

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