At home crafty math ideas and projects... let's make a list! - Mothering Forums

Old 12-14-2008, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter

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Both our girls love workbooks etc. and do those on their own. I'm thinking of things more along the lines of projects and I was sure some folks here might have some ideas for those kiddos who can't seem to get enough math. We already do 'unschooly' math in our everyday lives (while we cook, measure floors, sort things evenly, etc.). I'm looking for crafts or projects so I'll start with a couple.

This link came up on another thread awhile ago and DD's _loved_ it!:
http://www.robinsunne.com/robinsunne...lication_clock

They love to measure the circumference of our trees to estimate growth and age.

They love board games like Totally Tut, Math Dash. Our 4 year old loves domino and dice games as well as sorting and adding up all our pocket change from one big jar to smaller jars for different coins.

Any other project or activity recommendations? Don't worry about the age, I imagine someone here would find it useful.

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:50 AM

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Here is one.

Draw a circle. Make sure to find the centre or use a compass (not sure if this is the correct word! That thing from the geometry kit!).

Draw a shape - any shape, but make sure it is pointing at the opposite ends and fits in the circle.

Place one pointy at the centre of circle...trace! Move it a certain number of degrees (using other thingy from geometry kit) and trace again. Keep repeating until you have gone all the way around.

You can also do the same thing using identical cut out shapes and glue.

Here is another one - it uses metric.

Turn a white 8.5 x11 sheet sideways. 11 inches equals 28 centimeters. Hopefully your ruler shows this, if not, I am sure there are templates on line or you can use math to figure it out!

Now, write your name in bubbles and circles!

Let's do kathy:

K - draw a vertical line at 11 cm. 1 letter per cm. a=1, b=2, c=3, etc

a - vowels are tricky. You could just draw them the size you like, or figure out a rule for them. For simplicity's sake, I will stick with random.

Draw a circle of the size you like, but its centre must fall (as it is an "a" on the invisible 1 cm line)

t - draw a vertical line at 20 cm

h draw a vertical line at 8 cm

y - draw a circle whose centre is on the 25 cm line

Colour the cirlces one colour and the bubble another.

Going off the page with circles is fine, as is going over lines with circles.

Have fun!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:40 AM

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Mandala art = geometry and art

http://www.coloringcastle.com/mandal...ing_pages.html

Teach them to look for patterns:

This is an uber cool website. http://www.uen.org/themepark/patterns/

You can find patterns in everything from art to weather to music and literature.

Teach them origami.

Do mosaic crafts with them.

Show them the works of MC Escher and Piet Mondrian. You can even get coloring books.

http://www.amazon.com/M-C-Escher-Col.../dp/0810926350

learn quiltmaking. Or at least study the patterns in quilts.

There's lots to learn how math relates to the world.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:48 PM

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This is very simple, but DD really enjoys playing store with play food and real coins. She chooses prices and labels the goods and I buy things and get change.

We also have had a lot of fun with a tape measure.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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Old 12-17-2008, 03:24 AM

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Don't forget cooking!

It's great for fractions. Say your pancake recipe calls for 3 eggs and you want to make a bit more, how much flour will you need if the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour and you use 4 eggs instead of the 3?

Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM  to T (4/01) and M (5/04)
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:46 PM

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How about string art. In Girl Scouts we did simple string art by using a square with nails evenly spaced around the edges. At the time I didn't realize it was math related. Here is a link.
http://www.mathcats.com/crafts/stringart.html

Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:13 PM

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When dd was learning multiplication, we put a giant grid on the wall with numbers 1-20 horizontally and vertically. DD filled in the matrix a few rows at a time up to 20 x20 equals 400. We'd check her answers to make sure the poster was accurate, and she'd use it as a reference when she didn't know a fact of the top of her head.

Just did a dinosaur version of the 12 days of Christmas with my toddler and preschooler. 'On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 7 brachiosauruses" etc. We cut and pasted dino pictures so that we have a felt board version and have the numbers to go with the names.

We went out and bought geoboards, but you could easily make a homemade one with nails and wood...
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:13 PM

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Mini-marshmallows and toothpicks kept my kids (5, 10 and 12) happy for an hour or so yesterday.

Other hobbies that are mathematical / pattern-based in nature: origami, kirigami, folding fabric boxes, knitting, crocheting, sewing, baking, woodworking.

Miranda

Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter

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Thanks for all the suggestions, please keep 'em coming. I'm really trying to follow the advice from my other thread on lateral learning and some of the ideas are great for where we are now.

I've had fun on the math cats website and found this:
http://www.mathcats.com/crafts/spaceforms.html
I'll think we'll do it over the break from school.

DD1 loves the 'sir cumference' series of books as well as dragons and loves "The Dragon of Pi". I think we will also do some measuring and exploring of circular objects in our house to see if she can find the correlation on her own. Not so lateral as far as school goes, but it is for her.
http://www.amazon.com/Cumference-Fir.../dp/1570911525

There's also "G is for Googol" as far as books go:
http://www.amazon.com/G-Googol-Math-...7225846&sr=1-1

Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter

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Bumping back up in case anyone has any more to add. There have been lots of great math resources lately.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:30 PM

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you can make Montessori bead set, but also just pretty necklaces that follow mathmatical patterns.

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Old 03-19-2009, 10:26 AM

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Geomag magnet toys, for building geometric shapes

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Old 03-19-2009, 07:44 PM

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This isn't my blog post, but we also do it at home and it's easy enough for the littles to do:

geometric shape collage

cut out circles, triangles, rectangles, squares from colored construction paper and glue onto black construction paper.

I'd use glue sticks as they are less messy though.

Toothpicks and gumdrops

http://s157.photobucket.com/albums/t...dropshapes.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...uilding6yo.jpg

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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