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Getting outside for lessons is fun. You don't have to be restrained to a desk. Here are some ideas for getting math outside.

Do we really want to be indoors doing school work all the time? I bet your answer would be no! Taking learning and lessons outdoors is a great way to engage and motivate kids. Fresh air and being outside can be just what children need to get excited about practicing or learning math.


math on pavement

BENEFITS OF OUTSIDE MATH ACTIVITIES

There are so many great benefits for being outside for math. This list is great to remember when you have a child who might be fighting you on doing math. Why not try something new?

  • Sunshine and fresh air
  • Being able to move and less constraints
  • Exploring math concepts in different ways than just pen and paper or online
  • Kids can look for patterns and shapes
  • Lots of space for fun
  • It encourages exploration and risk taking

hopscotch

ACTIVITIES FOR OUTSIDE MATH

These are just a few ideas. Really, there are no limits to what you can do. One strong suggestion – get yourself some sidewalk chalk and paint as these will be used regularly! 

Check out the video for explanations on the activities.

  • Giant number line – you can use this for counting, for solving equations, so many possibilities
  • Place value toss – throw a beanbag or rock at the correct place value
  • Number jump or throw – write the numbers on the ground and have your child jump to the number you say or the answer of the equation
  • Ball toss (great for skip counting) – throw a ball between each other while counting/skip counting
  • Bowling Addition or Subtraction – this is a great way to practice addition or subtraction using bowling pins. You can keep it simple by adding or subtracting what you knock over. Or you can write numbers on the pins and add or subtract the numbers knocked over
  • Stick tallies – use sticks to practice making tallies. You can combine this with other math activities
  • Length and perimeter – outside is wonderful for practicing length and perimeter using tape measures and yard/metre sticks
  • Maps and Plotting
  • Nature walks – counting, patterns, grouping, shapes
  • What’s the time Mrs Wolf using addition and subtraction
  • Symmetry (with chalk)
  • Telling time on a clock (best for 2 children) – draw a clock on the ground and have the children stand on the correct number/position for the time given (example: 2 o’clock – one child stands on 12 and on 2)
  • Blocks (patterns, length)
  • Obstacle courses
  • Orienteering
orienteering

Get outside and have fun. Math doesn’t have to be restrained to a desk. What fun activities do you enjoy doing outside for math?

Want to get outdoors more with your learning? Here are some reasons why.

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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