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Here are some easy ideas for incorporating the great outdoors into your child’s math skill development:

Look for Symmetry in Natural Objects

Something is symmetrical when it is the same on both sides. Look around in the natural world for items that have lines of symmetry or rotational symmetry (it appears the same when rotated around a center point). See if you can spot butterfly wings, a birdhouse, a sunflower, a shell, or fresh fruit that are symmetrical. It’s fun to point out asymmetrical objects, too! 

Take a Numeracy Nature Walk 

Find a safe area to walk in a nearby park or hiking trail and practice counting footprints, flowers, rocks, birds, or even hops over mushrooms! Estimate the height of trees you see, the amount of caterpillars on a branch, or the number of puddles on your path. Bring a ruler and get measuring – tree trunks, leaves, even slow-moving animals like snails or worms! Practice sorting sticks or leaves longest to shortest, or biggest to smallest.

Go on a Spring Scavenger Hunt 

This is great for practice with counting, data collection, and representing data. Generate a quick list of items to find together. You might try searching for quantities of items, like five green leaves, four thin sticks, three blades of grass, two pine cones, and one moss covered stump. Create a tally chart, pictograph, or bar graph to represent the fun items you find!

Grab the Sidewalk Chalk!

Need a fun way to practice math facts or using a number line? Try fresh air and sidewalk chalk! Draw two, long squiggly lines and connect with horizontal lines to create a game board. Fill each space with a math problem – you can use addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division! Roll dice to see which math problem to hop to and solve. Another way to practice fluency is to draw a number line with your chalk. You can go up to 10, 50, 100, or higher! Using something concrete like a pebble, leaf, or shell, practice moving up and down the number line to solve equations and word problems.

Have fun!

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