"What is mathematics? It is a systematic effort of solving puzzles posed by nature" - Shakuntala Devi Taking Early Learning and Maths Outdoors Looking for…
Tips and Tricks on Taking Maths Outside!
During these unprecedented times we are always looking at ways in which we can adapt and switch up the environment we work in. Now more than ever we are looking for new ways that children can learn numeracy in a safe environment. Whether this is in Primary School or Nursery, with your Childminder or Homeschooling, we have the tips and tricks to adapt your usual teaching style to suit your outdoor maths lessons.
So why not take the children outdoors and use the endless amount of space to explore how the usual classroom aesthetics can be adapted with nature?
We have a wide range of versatile resources to not only switch up the classroom to outdoors, but for your little ones to get hands-on and enjoy the sensory experiences that nature brings to outdoor maths.
The Intersectional Sorting Activity
Intersectional sorting is a way of allowing your child to begin to understand social constructs and how objects can be a part of different groups.
First, the child can collect anything that they see around them and use this as a category reference such as ‘collect everything you can see that is green’. Remember, adult supervision is key and the child must try and find anything that is on the ground (not rubbish) and avoid picking anything from plant or trees for safety.
For this part of the outdoor maths activity, you can let your child’s imagination run wild as you ask them to sort everything they have picked into their own categories. There is no right or wrong way of doing this but we found that using the Ten Frame Rail helped children to easily place their items into categories and then explore everything from the texture to the way things grow (up high or close to the ground).
The Benefits of Intersection Sorting
This allows your child to understand nature appreciation and also use their vocal skills to explain to you how and why they’re categorising certain things.
Includes: Go Bag Maths Set
The Nature Counting Activity
Similar to Intersectional sorting, Nature Counting is a way for your little ones to count objects and group them.
Ask the children to explore the environment around them and bring back what they have found. You can then lay out the items found onto the Rustic Square Counters and ask them to count how many of each item they have found. As an addition you can then create sums out of the items found and plot them onto the Chalkboard Ten Frame Set.
The Benefits of Nature Counting
Nature counting allows your child to both explore the outdoors but also gather numerical skills as they work through the items they have grouped.
Take the Outdoors, Indoors
Not to worry if you are faced with a gloomy rainy day, as our Outdoor Classroom range can also be used indoors! We would suggest to either bring in what was previously found outside and place it onto a Tuff Tray or you can use a handy rainy day pack (such as the Round Sticks and Versatile’s) to get the children’s senses flowing.
The Benefits of Indoor Activities
Your little ones maths activities are not limited when the weather isn’t going as you would like. Using these outdoors maths resources inside can work just as well and make this range adaptable.
Includes: Forest Scroll
The Multiplication Activity
The times tables can be a tricky one, no matter what age, but we have made exploring Multiplication adaptable to all stages of learning with the Go Bag Maths Set. The bag is a fantastic first investment into great quality natural numeracy resources.
One way to use the Go Bag Maths Set is by having a go at number bonds to 5. Place one of the Versatile’s onto a Ten Frame Rail and write the calculation on the chalkboard squares. Your child can then make 5 by adding the correct amount of square counters. Let them have a go at writing a ‘+’ and ‘=’ on the chalkboard too so the multiplication can resonate.
The Benefits to Multiplication Activities
This Go Bag Maths Set allows your little ones to explore different sections of numeracy. And after completing a numerical task why not let the little ones play with the different sections in the Go Bag Maths Set and come up with their own game – after all it’s all fun and games at the end of the day.
Exploring outdoors has always been about looking up and outwards, but what happens when we take the classroom outdoors and begin to take a look at what is at our feet for outdoor maths? You can use the Outdoor Classroom products however you wish – get creative with academic learning!