Math and Art

Photo By: joris

Children love to do art projects.  If most of them had their way, they would do art all day!  Art is fun, but it can also be a way to sneak in some math. In fact math and art have many overlapping areas.

Shapes

Geometry is a large part of math, but it is also a crucial part of art.  As your child draws, colors, or paints, talk to them about the shapes they are working with.  Younger children could review the names of shapes.  Older children can discuss other geometric terms.  Children of all ages would have fun making mosaics.  They would cut out shapes of all different colors and sizes and then glue them back onto a blank sheet of paper to make a picture. The website dltk-teach.com has some more great ideas for art projects based on different shapes.

Measurements

While not all art uses exact measurements, many projects call for certain specific amounts of things.  You can encourage your child to measure exactly when called for.  From measuring out a specific length of string to pouring an exact volume of plaster of paris, measuring precisely is an important skill in math and life.

Word Problems

Art time can also be a good opportunity to sneak in some word problems.  Talking to your child about the materials they are using for the project leads to word problem questions.  Ask things like, “How many more orange beads do you have then red beads?” or “How many blue and yellow beads do you have altogether?”

Your child will probably be having so much fun that they may not even notice that they are actually learning or reviewing math concepts. So get out those art supplies and have some fun, but don’t forget to think about how you can include some math into that fun time!  How do you combine math and art projects?