# Maths Outdoors

A comprehensive collection of 80+ outdoor maths ideas, activities and suggestions. They are open-ended and many work well with a range of ages and abilities. Most just rely on a few free and found resources. Check them out!

#### Outdoor Maths in Primary and EY

This is a Facebook Group set up in April 2017. Please join so you can share your ideas and learn from others’ experiences. Over 1000 people did so within a few hours of going live!

#### Outdoor Maths books and packs

This is a list of books and lesson plans, etc.

The activities below have not been age/stage ranked as generally each one can be tweaked with a little imagination to suit most ages and stages. Enjoy browsing…

## Symmetry investigations

#### Nature Symmetry Circles

Combining maths with art on a wet weather day to explore and create symmetrical patterns from nature

#### Investigating Symmetry Outdoors Using Photo Booth

Great for permanently capturing symmetrical objects with along one axis.

#### Outdoor Reflections

Where symmetry begins

#### Reflections into Symmetry

Moving onto to play based experiences in the outdoor space or school grounds

#### Make a Kite

It’s all about symmetry, not of pattern but of balance!

#### Kaleidoscope Images and Symmetry

Exploring the mathematical art of kaleidoscopic symmetry

#### Stick insect symmetry

Stick insects – made from sticks. Simple and absorbing challenge for children that can be easily differentiated.

## Shape explorations

#### An Outdoor Shape Activity with Sticks

Developing the language of shape!

#### Stick Logic

Creating triangles from sticks

#### Creating 3D Shapes from Sticks

And making dens in the process!

#### The Mathematics of Festive Crafts

An ‘crafty’ way of revising key maths concepts during the festive season

#### Must a triangle always have straight sides?

A geometric investigation sparked by flower beds

An nature-art approach to learning about and exploring the properties of 2D shapes. Suitable for all ages.

#### Give your old tarp a maths makeover

Brilliantly simple approach to exploring properties of 2D shapes especially if you have an old tarp that could be re-used. Suitable for all ages.

#### 2D shape art with leaves

A creative blend of art, maths and science using the colour and shape of leaves as a starting point

## Angles outside

#### Investigating right angles with sticks

A super simple activity. Try it and see!

#### Right angles

Taking a new angle on an old subject

#### Angles and Numerals

A stick challenge linking numbers to angles, particularly right, acute and obtuse angles

#### Angles in Nature

An interesting investigation in to angles outside

## Playground markings

#### Open-ended Playground Markings

Explore shape, position and movement in different ways through designer playground markings

#### Original Playground Markings

Some innovative examples of mathematical design from staff and children at one primary school.

## Pattern work

#### Leaf Logic

A little thinking around the attributes of leaves

#### Scale and Geometric Patterns with Sticks

Infinite possibilities for recurrent patterns

#### White Line Pebble Maths

The brilliant dance of potential when nature is used to explore maths and art concepts. Just sit down and play!

#### Fractals in Nature

Some simple ideas to get you and your children investigating this concept

#### The Macquarie Playground Spiral

An interesting mathematical feature within a public playground

#### Rainy Day Rubbings

Exploring pattern outside on very wet days

#### The Fibonacci Sequence and Nature

A wee cross-curricular outdoor maths project

#### An Outdoor Memory Game

A good way to introduce or revise the concept of pairs

#### Nature pyramid patterns

Same or different? A pattern-based exploration of probability

## Number activities

#### Celebrating 100 Days at School

10 outdoor maths activities which focus on the number 100.

#### 20 Something Maths Pictures

Using natural materials to practise cooperatively counting 20 objects

#### Leaf Multiplication

Learn tables naturally with leaves

#### Algebraic Equations

Some thinking around using objects to represent numerical values

#### Number Bonds with Sticks

Lets get the mental maths going with stick tapping fun!

#### Multiplication Pebbles

A collection of stones to help children learn their times tables.

#### The Black Spot – Pirate Maths Outdoors

Shiver me timbers! A landlubbing activity looking at sycamore leaves for work on numbers

A simple multiplication picture activity that gets children thinking algebraically.

#### Using Sticks to Understand Fractions

Making a fraction wall from sticks

#### Fractions, Decimals and Percentages Outdoor Activities

Using sticks again to challenge thinking

#### Leaf Fraction Walls

How to use leaves to help children learn about fractions

#### The stripy stick subitising challenge

Developing subitising skills and conservation of number through white stripy sticks!

#### The joy of a pocket-sized cotton ten frame

How a little foldable cloth ten frame can aid outdoor investigations within and beyond number work.

#### Stick Pic Problems

The brilliance of sticks cut to specific lengths for creating interesting addition-based problem-solving pictures. Wowser!

## Measurement

#### Time Outside

Outdoor activities to help develop a concept of time

#### Measuring the Size of Sticks

Incredibly simple activity for young children

#### Measuring Sticks

One big stick for measuring everything and anything!

#### Making Maths Sticks

Opportunity from coppiced wood to grow my collection of sticks

#### Stick Stacking Maths Challenge

Problem solving, teamwork and creative ways of measuring the height of stacked sticks

#### Outdoor Measuring Continues

The sequel to the stick stacking maths challenge – see what the class did next!

#### The Magic of 1-Metre Rope Snakes

Introducing Sammy the Snake to help your children learn about measurement, fractions, forming numerals and many other aspects of maths. So simple, so yummy…

## Money

#### Does Money Grow on Trees?

Looking at traditions around money and trees

#### Embedding money outdoors

Time to pave your slabs with gold

## Data handling activities

#### Kids Measure in Miserable Weather

Margins of error in measuring whilst looking at the mean, median and mode

#### Information or data handling activities outdoors

In a rather dull outdoor space it’s amazing what can be achieved!

#### Daisy Footprints

How many daisies do you squash with every step you take?

#### Maths investigations from Tyntesfield Primary School

A range of challenges for all ages that involve different elements of data handling.

## Interesting open-ended maths investigations

#### Rainbow Maths Sticks

Brilliantly simple concept! Perfect for learning about patterns, relationships and mathematical rules.

#### Loom Band Maths Sticks

Extend the rainbow maths sticks concept using loom bands on twigs. A bit quicker than weaving!

#### Amazing Mazes

Give children a challenge and see where they take it.

#### Labyrinths, Spirals and Ropes

Creating labyrinths from rope and chalk

#### Dara – An outdoor African maths game

Good for strategy, problem-solving and pattern work using natural materials

#### A Leafy Tower of Hanoi

A puzzle for all ages

#### A Maths Stick Picture Game

An open-ended picture play game with sticks. Suitable for all ages and a good activity for debate, discussion and thinking

#### Nature Mastermind

Time to revisit the classic 70’s board game – with an outdoor twist.

#### A Number Pebble Game

Infinite possibilities for learning about patterns, rules, attributes and number recognition

#### A magical maths moment

When a play-based activity turns into a mathematical game. Lovely guest post from Niki Willows.

#### 6 ideas for using syringes in mathematical ways

What combination of syringes would work best to win a water fight? Does the size of syringe indicate the size of a splat it can make?

## Topic related maths – maths in context

#### A Pocket Outdoor Maths Kit

Mini maths resources which fit into my pocket for spontaneous maths moments

#### 15 Minibeast Outdoor Maths Challenges

Lots of beastly maths ideas for different ages and stages…

#### 10 Maths Challenges that use Cones

A free and found natural resource with plenty of maths potential

## Juliet runs outdoor maths courses and workshops for pre-school and primary practitioners and teachers

Here’s some examples of activities which have been covered:

#### Messy Maths Outdoors

Extending play-based learning through primary school

#### TeachMeet Beyond and the Outdoor Numeracy Notes

Suggestions for activities from the participants at this outdoor TeachMeet

#### 100 Maths Sessions Outside

Any teacher can teach outside! Andrea Stevenson talks about her experiences of getting out there and teaching maths to all ages outdoors with no prior experience.

#### Crianlarich Primary – Maths Trailblazers

How to kick start an outdoor maths project with the help of parents and visiting teachers.

## The most recent Maths Outdoors blog posts are below

17 February 2018

Everything comes at a price

## A Pocket Outdoor Maths Kit

10 January 2018

Show and tell – best mini maths resources

27 December 2017

Check out the list 🙂

## 2D Shape Art with Leaves

3 December 2017

Check out the CZ leaf maths

## 6 ideas for using syringes in a mathematical way outside

21 November 2017

Real, relevant and fun for children

## Stick Pic Problems

16 November 2017

A problem solving display

## The Joy of a Pocket-sized Cotton Ten Frame

21 October 2017

The ultimate go-anywhere ten frame resource

## Crianlarich Primary – Maths Trailblazers

15 October 2017

3 hours of maths fun in the rain

## Nature Pyramid Patterns

15 September 2017

Same or different? Rules rule!

## Get Real. Get Messy. Get Maths. Get Outdoors.

14 August 2017

Outdoor Classroom Day is approaching…

## Messy Maths is Published

16 July 2017

Slam dunk! High Fives!

13 May 2017

Zebra maths 🙂

## Maths Investigations from Tyntesfield Primary School

5 May 2017

Simple doable ideas

17 April 2017

Join the conversation!

## Give your old tarp a mathematical makeover

21 January 2017

Best resource of 2016

15 October 2016

An arty approach to investigating shape

## 100 Maths Sessions Outside

6 July 2016

Well done Andrea!

## 10 Maths Challenges that use Cones

12 May 2016

What would you do with a cone?

## 15 Minibeast Outdoor Maths Challenges

5 May 2016

Lots of beastly ideas for different ages

## Stick Insect Symmetry

1 May 2016

Maths-made insects based on word play.

## A Magical Maths Moment

1 March 2016

How one thing led to another

## Must a triangle always have straight sides?

31 January 2016

A geometric investigation

## Leaf Fraction Walls

20 January 2016

Take an idea and adapt it.

## Introducing Sammy the 1-metre Rope Snake

12 January 2016

Every educator’s mathematical friend

## Wet Weather Nature Symmetry Circles

24 August 2015

Today has been a wet, rainy day. It was perfect for creating nature circles – or mandalas – depending upon how you choose to introduce and contextualise the activity. For me, I am interested in the mathematical element of this work. I’ve blogged about symmetry several times using reflections as an introduction in the early […]

## Loom Band Maths Sticks

21 July 2015

As usual I am blogging way behind the times! Loom bands were last year’s craze. I have sat with a packet in my drawer meaning to have some fun and somehow time has moved on. Regardless, I still feel this is worth blogging about.

## Multiplication Pebbles

14 June 2015

Multiplication pebbles are a very simple resource. I have put 10 pebbles in one bag to represent the 3 times table. As illustrated above, each pebbles has the number 3 painted on it with acrylic deco pens. Each pebble is a different colour.

## Embedding Money Outdoors

23 March 2015

One of my favourite fairy tales as a child was Dick Whittington. I was always fascinated by the idea of streets being paved with gold. Whilst in Adelaide, I discovered a similar concept. On the ground outside a cafe on Rundle Street, lots of coins had been embedded into the ground.

## The Macquarie Play Spiral

6 March 2015

At the Macquarie Lake Variety Playground, there is a performance space which is intriguingly mathematical. From a distance, it just looks like a wavy wall – cute in a wall-ish, playful sort of way. After all, walking along a wall is a popular activity and this wavy-curvy wall is suitably low enough to entice little […]

## White Line Pebble Maths

12 July 2014

It’s hard not to be inspired by pebbles. You pick them up, you look at them and they speak silently to you in ways that words can’t describe. They are inexplicably powerful. Sometimes one ends up in your pocket. Other times they get dropped and moved around by our actions as well as that of […]

## A Number Pebble Game

13 May 2014

Recently I was browsing Childhood 101’s blog and stumbled across this post about using Uno to play an attribute game. It reminded me of several summers of serious card playing where my sisters and I played a lot of “Black Jack” which is similar to Uno but uses a regular pack of playing cards.  Naturally […]

## Kaleidoscope Images and Symmetry

22 April 2014

The kaleidoscope feature of Photo Booth on an iPad remains one of the funkiest ways of looking through the lens I know. It is a useful addition to any light and colour project because what one sees can be photographed. It can capture images for later use. Ordinary kaleidoscopes do not have this ability.

## Rainbow Maths Sticks

8 April 2014

The mathematical potential of a stick never ceases to amaze me. Here’s my latest idea which is remarkably simple and came about owing to overhearing someone mention colour coding. You get some sticks. You paint the ends different colours. You play with them. You explore the potential for maths. That’s it. Experiment! Now if you […]

## An Outdoor Memory Game

25 February 2014

At the International Skogsmulle Symposium in Japan last year there was an afternoon of playing games and undertaking practical activities such as making things with bamboo. This very simple memory game was featured and this is how it is played…

## Celebrating 100 Days at School

4 February 2014

How many days has it been since your class returned to school last August or September? You may need to do some counting on a calendar. For schools in Aberdeen City this is Friday 7th February.   Naturally this is a lovely opportunity to celebrate all things 100 and of course going outside as part […]

## Nature Mastermind

7 January 2014

A great variation on the Seventies classic strategy game

## The Mathematics of Festive Crafts

14 December 2013

Recap the term’s work!

5 October 2013

## Using Leaves for Learning – 10 Ideas

20 September 2013

A collection worth looking at