Six ways to have fun with math at Halloween
For kids, everything is a learning experience and as parents we can both maximise it and make the learning fun. Here are six ideas for how to find the math in Halloween...
1. Creepy Counting
Counting shouldn't be underestimated as an important skill for young learners - it really is the foundation of numeracy upon which all the other math skills are based. Whatever age or ability of your child, you can tweak the following ideas to make them work for you. Take a Halloween walk round you neighborhood and count the pumpkins, skeletons, witches or whatever spooky decorations people have decorated their homes and porches with. For older children, use a tally chart to count as you go and then they can draw it as a spooky graph when you get home.
You could also go for a nature hunt in your nearest park and count the autumnal things you find - buckeyes, acorns, beechnuts or red, orange and brown leaves.
2. Kooky contours
Pumpkin carving has reached new levels of intricacy in recent years, but if like me, you're less adept with a knife, you might find your pumpkin ends up with square eyes, a triangle nose and a round(ish) mouth - there's nothing wrong with this as it's perfect for introducing young kids to shapes!
3. Spooky sorting
After an evening of trick or treating, the Halloween candy haul is a great way to practice sorting. You can sort by color, type, flavor, size - whatever categories you can think of. Sorting teaches children to look for similarities and differences and categorise things appropriately, which is another important mathematical foundation.
4. Hocus pocus patterns
Learning about patterns helps kids understand order and make predictions about what might come next. This is an important foundational math skill which is one of the first steps in helping children develop their ability to make educated guesses, logical connections and, in turn, more complex reasoning skills. Have an autumnal treasure hunt, and make sequences and patterns with what you find.
5. Beastly baking
Baking is a great way of practicing mathematical skills with your children, whatever their level. Check out our Halloween baking blog which shows how parents can maximise the math in baking (and use up some of that excess Halloween chocolate!)
6. Little monsters activity
This spooky math activity of ours is a firm favourite - younger children can have fun finding and counting, and older kids (and even adults!) can test their math with our creepy calculations and petrifying picture puzzles.
Have a fun, learning-filled Halloween season!
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