8 things to do this Christmas – and practise for the 11+ at the same time!



With Christmas nearly upon us and things winding down for the holiday season, we thought we would share some ideas for fun 11+ activities to do over the Christmas break.

Merry Christmas!


    • Christmas baking

      Mince pies, stollen, Christmas biscuits – Christmas is the perfect opportunity to get into the kitchen and practise some essential 11+ maths skills, whilst also creating something delicious!

      Great ways to incorporate maths skills into your baking include:

      • Finding an old recipe using lbs and ozs and asking your child to convert it to metric. (1 pound = 0.453 kilograms / 1 ounce = 28.3495 grams)
      • Asking your child to take a recipe and change the number of people it will serve, e.g. for a recipe that makes 10 cookies, what quantity of ingredients will you need to make 20 cookies or 12?

    • Planning the Christmas walk

      If you traditionally go on a Christmas walk, why not dig out a paper map and see if you and your child can plot the route together? Working with real ‘graphic data’ is a great way of developing your child’s confidence when it comes to working with and interpreting data – a key topic in the maths section of the 11+.

Download this: Free maths worksheet for ages 10-11. (Look under: Maths > No Nonsense Maths > Extra Resources for Age 10-11)


    • Ideas to improve comprehension

      If you can find the time this Christmas break, why not try reading the same book as your child? By reading the same book, you can both discuss and compare your impressions of the characters and plot, naturally developing your child’s comprehension skills. If you want to take it a step further, ask your child to write you a short quiz on the book, so you can both see how much you know about it! You could start with some of these brilliant, Christmas-themed reads to boost comprehension whilst immersing yourselves in yule-tide cheer:

      Christmas Carol book jacket  Little Women book jacket  Night Before Christmas book jacket 

      Lots of Christmas films started life as books, so this year, before the film fest begins, why not encourage your child to read the book version of their favourite Christmas film? This will then allow you to compare the book and the film, discuss which one they prefer and think about why there might be differences between the book and the film.

      • Christmas Alphabet Game

        A fun game that you can use to develop your child’s vocabulary. Write down the letters of the alphabet, then ask you child to write down Christmas-themed words for each letter:

        Boxing Day

    Download this: Free English worksheet for ages 10-11. (Look under: English > No Nonsense English > Extra Resources for Age 10-11)

    Verbal reasoning

      • Puzzle books and crosswords

        If you're travelling to visit relatives this Christmas, make sure you pack lots of word puzzle books for your child. Not only will this help keep them occupied on long journeys, but by solving anagrams and doing crosswords your child will develop key verbal reasoning skills. Try our new range of Brain Training for Kids puzzle books, which are packed with fun puzzles that build children's skills through problem-solving.

        Bond Word Puzzles book jacket  Bond Logic Puzzles book jacket  Bond Number Puzzles book jacket

      • Christmas word games 

        Popular word games such as Scrabble and Taboo are a great way of developing your child’s problem-solving skills.


    Download these: Free sample word puzzles from the Bond Brain Training for Kids puzzle book range

    Non-verbal reasoning

      • Wrapping paper nets

        Use up leftover wrapping paper by asking your child to make nets of different shapes out of it.

      • Christmas reflections and rotations

        Ask your child to make their own Christmas reflection and rotation diagrams. Ask them to draw a Christmas decoration and then ask them to draw it after different rotations, e.g. after a 90° rotation to the right. Try something similar with reflections; ask them to draw different types of Christmas decoration and their reflections.

    Watch this: Christmas tree origami video – have fun making these with your child. If you fancy a challenge, see if your child could draw the instructions.