The last few weeks I have been feeling like we are not been doing as much hands-on Maths as we usually do. So after we discovered a new stunning wooded area just around the corner from our home the kids and I thought it would be fun to do our Maths under the trees. We “borrowed” their dad’s tape measure, grabbed our wellies and set off. (My daughter loves making lists and notes of all kinds of different things so she brought a clip board and pen with her). My idea was we could measure whatever we spotted while we were out walking. The reason behind this was I wanted my youngest to start getting a bit more comfortable with measurements and words like length, height and width and I know if he spends time actually measuring items it will make more sense to him.
He loved it. He loved the fact that he could climb up onto the tree stumps with his sister and measure the width and that they could race up hill and then measure the roots of the trees at the very top.
We walked, ran and climbed for ages and both kids measured all kinds of items – benches, tree stumps, branches, distances between trees, roots, the hand railing on some old stairs, the small bridge. Taking Maths outside and combining it with an activity is always a winner with my kids
And his big sister wrote down a lot of different measurements. (The photo below is her list at the beginning of our walk – she actually wrote down a lot more but then the kids found some dogs to play with and her list got muddy paw prints all over it – not that she minded, she loved playing with the dogs.)
My daughter has being looking at decimals lately so it was also a great opportunity for her to practice converting cm into m (another great reason to take Maths outside you always end up doing other Maths topics that you never planned on working on).
And when we started getting a bit chilly (I forgot to bring the Rooibos Tea with us – my kids favourite hot drink is a South African tea called Rooibos), we headed home. And while I was making everyone some nice hot drinks they started measuring the different rooms and objects in our home.
Sometimes all you need for a fun maths activity is a measuring tape and possibly a flask of your kids favourite hot drink (oh and my daughter says gloves are also a good idea)