Maths is springing up all over - maths activities for the garden or park
Maths doesn’t have to be an activity that’s confined to the indoors - we’ve got some great ideas for ways that you can bring numeracy outside as the weather (hopefully!) starts to warm up.
Measuring is an important element of maths 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 maths learning at all levels.
For kids who are just being introduced to the concept of measurement, you can either go outdoors with a ruler and look for bulbs that are starting to grow and measure the shoots - lots of public parks have daffodils and other shooting flowers whose bright green spears are easy to measure as they grow. What size is the tallest shoot you can find?
Alternatively you can plant your own daffodil bulb (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 maths 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 garden. Look for lines of symmetry in leaves, flowers, insects - 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 garden 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 maths in the outdoors!
One of the important things we like to emphasise is that maths 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 maths 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 primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in maths – without keeping them at the screen for long.