Finding the Fun with some Festive Math
It’s that time of year again - chestnuts are roasting on open fires and kids have their fingers crossed that there’ll be plenty of snow to play in.
Whether you’re tucked up around the fire or out traveling to visit friends and family, we’ve got some quick and easy ideas to keep math brains active throughout the festive period and the break from school.
Count lit trees
If you’re out and about summon up some festive cheer (and an introduction to math mastery) by counting lit trees in houses or shops as you pass them in the car. Depending on the length of your journey, numbers can get quite high and kids will enjoy looking for the shimmer of lights in the windows to add to their total.
This is a good reinforcement of number order for kids who are just becoming familiar with counting to hundred and beyond.
For older kids, you could try awarding three points for every tree spotted with colored lights, and taking away two points for every tree with plain lights - use whichever numbers you think will challenge them while still keeping it fun.
Turn kitchen time into a math adventure
This time of year is often a busy one for cooking and baking. There’s a huge amount of math associated with baking, weighing, quantities etc, so get the kids involved and let them see how we use math in our day to day lives.
Seeing how their school work is applied and useful in real life is a really good way of motivating kids to learn.
Take a look at our kitchen math video for some ideas!
The mathemagical wonder of snowflakes
If you've never looked closely at a snowflake, now is the perfect time of year to do it. Snowflakes are so much more than the little white dots we see in the midst of a snow flurry. Take some time and have a look at them up close - see if kids can spot lines of symmetry (or often 'not quite symmetry', as snowflakes can take quite a bashing as they fall). If there’s no snow where you live, or if it’s hard to find relatively undamaged flakes, you can find beautiful pictures online, or have a go at making your own.
- True snowflakes have six points and are hexagonal
- Snowflakes fall at a rate of 3.1 miles per hour
- No two snowflakes are completely alike, but they all come in one of 35 different shapes
- The largest snowflake ever recorded fell in Montana, and was a whopping 15 inches wide!
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