Yesterday’s activity got me thinking about mathematical experiences and activities I provide outdoors.
We know that it’s important to provide a rich environment outdoors as well as indoors, in which children are provided with interesting materials to sort, count, talk about and compare. We’ve also touched before on the fact that maths involves much more than ‘doing sums’.
My 4 year old mindee loves being outdoors and I feel this is a great place for him to learn. Of course, outside isn’t confined to just my back garden, the opportunities for incorporating maths are everywhere, this is one of the reasons that I am not concerned with having numbers printed all over my garden, this ends up being like wallpaper that ends up not being noticed. I would rather it was incorporated into fun activities for the children who are actively involved.
These are just some of the ways I’ve identified that we are learning about maths outdoors –
- Sand and water play (Sand and water wheels encourage children to think about movement and fast/slow, Filling jugs and containers explores capacity: full half full empty holds container) etc
- Fishing ducks “(I’ve caught 5!” etc)
- Number magnets on the easel (recognising numerals)
- Hopscotch mat – Reinforces and practises arithmetic skills
- Time – how long to the park “how long will it take to get to the park?”
- Visiting the shops and using Money (Cheap, costs less, cheaper costs the same as how much…? how many…? Total)
- Distance and Positional language – distance home from school – you’re behind me, in front etc
- Counting stepping stones in the garden
- Making a number line (recognising numerals)
- Measuring plants in the garden – height (short, tall etc)
- Jumping in puddles – (Capacity: shallow/ deep)
- Counting conkers, blackberries picked etc (I’ve got more, less etc)
- Rolling down hills (I was fast, faster, fastest)
- Pooh sticks (“My sticks first”, last etc)
- Looking at shapes in environment (rectangular doors, square windows, triangular road signs)
- Nature finding walks (how many leaves, twigs etc)
I am constantly reviewing the activities I provide and as always am happy to hear if anyone has any good ideas!