Outdoor Math Activities For Kids

math outside Make learning memorable with these hands on outdoor math activities. Math doesn’t have to be all flash cards and worksheets. It can include games, gross motor, and some novelty like water balloons and Nerf guns. These 9 math ideas have been tested by my kids who adore math but even children who are not so keen on math ( me as a kid!) will find something they can enjoy in this list too.

water balloon math activity for kids 3

Water Balloon Math Game

cheese ball math for kids

Cheeseball Math

number line math activity for children

Sidewalk Chalk Number Line

nerf gun math gross motor activity

Shoot & Count Nerf Gun Math Game

math outside for kids

Numbers In Nature

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Hose Down Shapes

Find and Count Bug Hunt

Find & Count Bug Hunt

math games for kids shell game for 3 year olds

Shell Number Memory Game

marshmallow shoot

Marshmallow Shoot & Measure

 

 

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Lego Math Game For Preschool

lego math roll and build gameDo you know what subitizing is? A lot of people do not and even though we all do it.  When I was studying how to elementary teach math I never learned this it wasn’t something that was focused on but it is now. The easiest way to describe what subitizing is , is to think of it as the numerical equivalent to sight words. It is the ability to recognize total amounts without counting. Tally marks, dice, even fingers are great ways to practice the skill. This Lego math game is great for beginners because it only works subitizing numbers from 1-6. My daughter is our littlest math whiz and loves all things numbers so she was game and dove right in. We played a bunch of times since the game itself can go pretty quickly!  Check out the tutorial below for ways to adapt this game for older children as well.

Gather your materials. You will need a regular die, 12 DUPLO or LEGO bricks, a sharpie, and a tray or wide box to keep the die contained.lego subitizing game

Number your bricks 1-6 with the sharpie. Don’t worry it will come off with a dry erase marker later.lego math for preschool math

Invite your game player and explain the rules – roll an amount , subitize, and find the matching number.

All the bricks are in a loose pile.leho math game for preschool and kindergarten

Roll the die and recognize the amount – say it out loud.Find the brick with that number on it.lego math dice game

Let the other player roll and repeat the steps.lego subitizing lesson

Keep rolling until one person has built their stack and placed it in order.lego brick math game

If you roll an amount you already have skip you don’t grab a brick.

The player who has built their stack first wins.Lego subitizing game for prek

I won the first game and she was not happy. When my kids get upset about me beating them I calmly tell them they can have another chance at beating me if they want to play again. It doesn’t always work but it works more than it doesn’t. Children get excited and losing is disappointing just getting mad at them for being disappointed won’t help. Acknowledge the disappointment and offer some help or ask them how they can get the result they want… practice, play again, take a breather and come back and try again.

 

 

Pokemon Math – Learning After School

pokemon educational activity The stomach flu hit our house hard last week and my son who is in first grade was home for a few days. Last time he was sick he did our Sick Day Printables but this time he asked me to make him something with his Pokemon Cards.  Are your kids into Pokemon? I could not tell you that I know much about how to play the actual Pokemon card game but I do know my son adores it and tapping into their interests is a sure fire way to get them into whatever learning goals you have for them.  We have been working on addition and subtraction so why not turn that into Pokemon math?! This post is part of our Learning After School series which is a series of short but fun activities for school age kids.

Gather your materials. You will need some Pokemon Cards ( you could use regular cards too) , painter’s tape ( I swear I use this more than any material), paper, and a pencil.use pokemon cards for math

Using painter’s tape secure the cards onto the paper. I did four rows of two cards on each page and made three pages.pokemon math for kids

Turn the pairs into either addition or subtraction. DIY Pokemon math sheetsYour child will be using the numbers in the upper right corner which according to my son is the Pokemon’s health number.pokemon math activity for kids

Do the math!pokemon math activity for kids

He told me it was too easy so then I had him write out the answer underneath the number. pokemon math sheet activity for kidsThrowing in a little spelling too.pokemon math learning for kids

Short little bursts of learning like this centered around your child’s latest obsession really adds up to a lot of learning without a lot of stress. School age kids are busy and I don’t do these activities with my son every day. Homework is his priority but when we have a down day I will throw together something like this to remind him how fun learning can be in or out of school.

 

Pokemon Book My Son Can’t Put Down

( seriously it goes everywhere with him)

pokemon book for kids

Tapping into your child’s interest is especially important with reading for fun. This is my son’s absolute favorite Pokemon book! The title link is an affiliate link.

pokemon essential handbook

 

 

Pokemon: Essential Handbook by Chris Silvestri

There are a lot of Pokemon books on the market but this one gets the biggest possible thumbs up from my seven year old son. We had to replace his first copy because he read it so much it fell apart. This book is an encyclopedia of all the Pokemon characters. Each description includes a little blurb about the Pokemon and some stats. We have had a blast reading this book together. He memorizes everything about the Pokemon, looks to see which ones are about his height, about his weight and of course asks me to quiz him on all of the above. I can not tell you how much he loves this book. It goes everywhere with him and when he says ” Where is my book?” we know which book he is speaking of. If your child is into Pokemon they will love it.

 

How do you use your children’s current obsessions for learning?

Color By Number Easter Eggs

easter egg game for kids Math and art work well together with this simple game made for decorating Easter eggs. For kids who love art it’s a fun way to mix some math into something they like and for little math whizzes it gets them into a little art too! You could use real hard boiled and cooled eggs but we used craft ones from Walmart so our finished eggs could be brought out every Easter.

Gather your materials. You will need some craft eggs, permanent markers, some masking tape, and some dice.easter egg math game supplies

Start by adding numbers to your markers. I couldn’t find our masking tape so I used paper and taped papers with numbers on ( masking tape would be way faster) making sure that you use numbers that will be rolled.easter egg math game for kids

Time to play!

easter egg math game for easterRoll and count.easter egg math game for kids drawing

Color using the marker with the number you rolled. I let my daughter color as much as she wanted with each color but you could set a timer to keep things moving if need be.

Roll, count and color  again. easter egg math game for preschoolUsing dice doesn’t only work on counting as children get familiar with them they will start subitizing which is the ability to know an amount without counting. My daughter did it with the dice much to my surprise. She knew the individual amounts but then counted the dots to find out the sum. Older children could take it a step further simply adding the two amounts instead of counting all the dots. You could also use other operations like subtraction or multiplication for more able kids.easter egg math game for little kids

She adored this and completely covered her first egg then continued to play and play making even more.

Outdoor Number Line Activity

outdoor active math game

It’s spring and it’s time to get outside and learn! This sidewalk chalk number line activity is great because it uses almost no materials and you can use it however your child needs to. My son used the line as a place to show his answers but didn’t use it as a manipulative itself, and my daughter used it to count by 5 with help. Your child may like the line as a guide to figure out the equations or as a way to show their answers to mental math like my son. Use it for whatever math goal you are working on.

Gather your materials. You will need a sidewalk or road, sidewalk chalk, some pebbles to use as place markers and a young mathematician or two.number line outdoor activity

Start by drawing a number line on the ground. Ours went from 0-50 by 5′s and I used one big step to measure between the numbers. Ours did not have marks to mark each number on the line but if you want to you can do this. I had my son estimate where those numbers would be when he needed to. My line is a little wobbly but it didn’t bother either one of my kids or change the outcome. Don’t stress about little things like this. number line outdoor math

I wrote out equations that my son has been working on doing mentally. This is our way of drilling without drilling. number line numbersIt’s fun and active and even if you are working on drills you can add an active element. Then switch gears to using the number line as a tool to help figure out the equations. number line math for kindergarten and first grade

Call out the equation and have them place a pebble on the answer.number line math activity for kids

Keep going. number line math activity for childrenThis was a big hit with my son and I went through all the equations and added more on the fly.math activity for kids with a number line

For younger players have them simply find the number and step on it. For my daughter after she walked the line and counted by 5s  I called out the numbers on either end of the line so she was bopping from one end to the other and learning as she went.number line fun for preschool

Although it often rains around here we aren’t expecting rain for a few days so we grabbed the hose and sprayed down our line when we were done.side walk chalk activity number line

 

Want more active learning ideas for kids? Check out these 21 fun ideas!

active learning activities for kids