I’ve got over 50 candy cane activities perfect for your early childhood students! Be sure to add these to your Christmas activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids right now.
In addition to Christmastime, these candy cane ideas would be great during a peppermint theme or as part of a unit on food. No matter when you incorporate all of the peppermint-y fun, you’re sure to find ideas to use below.
There are sensory, science, math, and literacy activities, as well as some candy cane treats to make with the kids. And of course there are some creative candy cane projects, as well.
Related: Holiday Activities for Preschoolers
There’s just something about candy canes that add to the holiday festivities, right? Maybe it’s the colors or the sweet smell . . . or maybe it’s the sugar! Either way, I find candy cane-themed activities really up the engagement with young kids.
Candy Cane Activities
Below, you’ll find over 50 candy cane ideas to try with your students. I’ve broken them down into categories so it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. There are categories for the basic subject areas, as well as some tasty treats. Because who doesn’t want some treats?!
Since this post is a big collection, each of the ideas will have a link (blue, underlined text). For all the details for each specific activity, you’ll need to click through those links. So take a scroll through everything first, and then go click on the ideas that interest you the most.
Materials for the Candy Cane Fun
Before we jump into all of the activities, let’s chat supplies. Since there are so many ideas in this post, I bet you’ll be able to find some that use materials you already have on-hand. Of course, if you’re looking for a reason to head to the craft store, you’ll find that too I’m sure.
Here are some supplies you might want to grab for all the candy cane fun. Be sure to reference your favorite ideas for any other particular items you need. (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.)
- Mini candy canes
- Fake candy canes
- Regular-sized candy canes
- Dot stickers
- Corn kernels
- White beans
- Corn starch
- Peppermint extract
Okay, now let’s take a look at the candy cane ideas. Remember to click on the individual links for details, directions, and even more pictures of each activity.
Candy Cane Math
First up is math. Because you can definitely use candy canes to explore a wide variety of math concepts with your students!
- Candy Cane Math Activities (like the symmetry show in the first image)
In those candy cane activities alone, your students practice symmetry, counting, color identification, visual discrimination, patterns, and fine motor skills. Whoa!
Preschool Science Activities with Candy Canes
Your little scientists are going to love these ideas! We’ve tried almost all of them over here, with much success.
- Dancing Candy Canes (not pictured)
Which of these science-based candy cane activities would your students enjoy the most?
Peppermint-y Literacy Ideas
Yes, you can even use candy canes to explore important literacy concepts with the kids. The activities below touch on letter formation, letter identification, high frequency words, word families, and oral language development.
I haven’t tried all of these literacy candy cane activities yet. But they’re all on my list to try soon. Be sure to let me know if you give any of them a try.
Candy Cane Arts and Crafts
Okay, I have to admit, this post is an off-shoot of an old post I wrote about nine years ago. But the creative candy cane activities took over the other post, so I needed a new one where everything was a bit more even. Thus this new article for you!
You can read all about the candy cane crafts and art activities by clicking on the blue, underlined text in this sentence. There are over 25 crafty ideas over on that page. Which means, once you’ve checked out this entire list, you’ll have over 50 ideas to choose from! Not too shabby, right?
Sensory Candy Cane Activities
Now, we can’t overlook sensory play when we’re chatting about candy canes, right? Just their existence appeals to the senses, especially the sense of sight and the sense of smell. So let’s take a peek at some ideas for your sensory center!
- Candy Cane Sensory Bin (this one always smells so good!)
Our favorite of these candy cane activities is the third one. It’s a scented sensory bin that uses dyed corn kernels and white beans. It really engages the kids’ senses of sight, smell, and sound. And it is so soothing to run your hands through it, let me tell you!
We’ve tried almost all of the other sensory ideas shared above, too. And they’re all kept in our holiday rotation because we love them that much!
Holiday Treats Made With Candy Canes
How can we have a collection of candy cane activities without including treats?! We can’t, I tell you! So I have some of the yummiest ideas for you here. You can make them ahead of time as a surprise for the children. Or you can have the kids help you make them. That’s totally up to you!
- Reindeer Candy Cane Pudding Cups (not pictured)
Are you hungry yet? And inspired with tons of ideas? Which of these candy cane activities do you plan on doing first? Be sure to save this post for future reference.
More Holiday Activities for Kids
Here are more ideas to check out once you’re done with all the candy cane fun:
- Christmas Popsicle Stick Crafts
- Fingerprint Christmas Lights Photo Frame
- Christmas Science Experiments
- Snowman Fingerprint Ornament
- Christmas Messy Play Ideas
- Marbled Christmas Cards
Of course, with all of the candy cane activities I shared, you might not want to do anything else!
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