Math is springing up all over - math activities for spring
Spring is bursting out all over and giving lots of different opportunities for math learning! Regardless of how much outdoor space you have access to, all of these activities can be done using your back yard or planter at home, or even at your local park.
Measuring is an important element of math that is useful throughout our lives. Measuring things that grow and change in size, like plants, is not only fun, but it’s full of opportunities for math learning at all levels.
For kids who are just being introduced to the concept of measurement, you can go into your back yard with a ruler and look for bulbs that are starting to grow and measure the shoots - daffodils and other shooting flowers with bright green spears are easy to measure as they grow. What size is the tallest shoot you can find?
If you don't have your own outdoor area, you can plant your own daffodil bulb or seeds (like we did!) very easily in a small pot and measure it as it grows. Older kids can practice recording measurements on a chart or graph, and if there’s more than one bulb, you can compare sizes and measurements. There’s a wealth of math in a flower bulb at spring time!
Symmetry in nature
Finding lines of symmetry in shapes is something that children start to learn about around the age of 6 or 7. Finding the lines of symmetry that are present in nature and the outdoors is a really fun activity to do while out on a walk or in the back yard. Look for lines of symmetry in leaves, flowers, bugs - what else can you find that is symmetrical?
You can look for angles between the trunks of trees and the branches they send up, and between the leaves and twigs they are growing from. Discuss whether the angles are acute or obtuse and see if you can find any right angles. You can bring estimation into the mix by having a rough guess as to how many degrees each angle might be.
If you have a back yard with space to plant things, this is a perfect opportunity to teach kids about area. Help them measure the length and width of the space you can plant to find the total area. Figure out how many of each plant can grow in the area you have - you can find a wealth of info to use for these calculations on the back of seed packets.
Calendars and dates
The backs of seed packets also estimate how long it will take for each plant to mature - mark off when each plant should be ready based on these estimations and practice using the calendar to countdown to harvest time!
Have fun finding math in the outdoors this spring!
One of the important things we like to emphasise is that math is all around us and we use it every day throughout our lives. It is not just about getting the right answers and it shouldn’t be something to be anxious about. We feel that by using math regularly, positively and in a fun way with kids, we can help reduce any worries they may feel about it, and in turn enable them to reach their potential in this fascinating, fun and important area!
About Komodo – Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost elementary math skills. Designed for 5 to 11 year olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning math (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in math – without keeping them at the screen for long.
Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at math – you can even try Komodo for free.