The blossoming landscape of spring presents a plethora of opportunities for playing, practicing, and investigating math concepts. Here are some of our favorite ways to turn your trip to the park into a fun math activity.
Measurement is one of the most basic concepts of math There are an innumerable amount of real-world examples of measuring problems. Measuring things that develop and change in size, similar to plants is a fun way to engage in math for all skill levels.
For youngsters acquainted with the idea of estimation, you can go into a garden with a ruler and search for similar plants that are beginning to develop and take note of their size and length. You can then compare and contrast the sizes and take stock of what the garden has!
You can also take note of the plants size and length and track it over time. You can even calculate the rate of change of the plant throughout repeated visits. Activities like this are a great way to engage in math, and can even foster a love for ecology!
Charting changes in the air
Tracking weather facts can be a great activity to follow weather trends throughout a period of time. You can help kids set up a spreadsheet to record data and create graphs so that your child can see the trend of numbers visually. What sorts of data? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- daily temperature highs and lows
- the time of sunrise and sunset each day
- daily changes in pollen count
- the daily growth of newly-planted indoor or outdoor plants from seeds or seedlings
- daily changes in the length of time it takes to run from here to there
- a comparison of the height of bouncing balls on pavement, dry soil, moist soil, and/or grass
Geometry In Nature
Whether you’re taking a hike, gardening in your backyard, or even taking a walk around your neighborhood, you can find geometry in nature like shapes, angles, parallel lines, symmetry, similarity, and fractals.
Kids can look for the Fibonacci Sequence in a pine cone, pineapple or seeds in a sunflower, or the number of petals on a flower. The numbers in this sequence also form a unique shape known as a Fibonacci spiral, which again, we see in nature in the form of shells and the shape of hurricanes.
Fractals are another intriguing mathematical shape that we see in nature. A fractal is a self-similar, repeating shape. In other words, if you were to zoom way in or zoom way out, the same shape is seen throughout.
Kids can also look for angles between the trunks of trees, the branches they send up, and between the leaves and twigs, they grow 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 of how many degrees each angle might be.
Kids can find different geometric shapes and angles in nature. Keep an eye out for rectangles, circles, triangles, trapezoids, cylinders, cones, rhombi (diamonds), and more.
Assuming you have a garden or a plant bed, you can use it to teach about the area. Assist your child with measuring the length and width of the space you can plant to track down the total region. Try to figure out how much you can plant in this space, but keep in mind every plant takes up a different amount of space! You can check how much space they take up on the backside of seed packets.
There are so many fun opportunities to engage your child in math this spring. We hope you were able to find some new, fun spring math activities for your little learners. So, this Spring, take your tape measure with you for a stroll and have fun learning outdoors!