Outdoor Math: Backyard Fun

This summer, your children can continue to practice their math skills by planning outdoor fun that incorporates math. This post will provide several examples of how you can incorporate math into fun backyard games. Outdoor Math: Backyard Fun!

  • Water Balloon Toss – A water balloon toss is a creative way that you can incorporate math and outdoor water play. There are many variations of play with water balloons that can incorporate math including a toss game where you count how many times you can pass the water balloon back and forth without it breaking or how many balloons you can get into a bucket without breaking or missing. You can also add targets and write problems on the balloons that your children would have to toss the correct problem to the correct answer. Here is an example from notimeforflashcards.com. The options for water balloon play and math are really endless!
  • Math Bean Bag Toss – A lot of the ideas that you can incorporate with water balloons can also be done with beanbags. You can buy beanbags fairly inexpensively from many popular online retailors and they can be used in a wide variety of games. One game you could play is to create a grid of answers on the back lawn using paper and rocks that have answers or chalk if you want to do this activity on the driveway. Then you would provide your child a math problem to solve and they would toss the bag to land on the correct answer. This game can be modified to be harder or easier depending up your child’s abilities. It can include skip counting, multiplication, division, or even word problem answers.
  • Math Treasure Hunt – Another fun activity would be to create a math treasure hunt in your backyard! This activity can be geared to practice not only math skills, but to teach how to use a compass or even include reading skills. You will have to setup your clues and hide your clues using math problems to help your children to find the next clue. At the end of the clues, there will be the prize. You can help your children to use the compass on a phone or tablet. To make it a bit simpler, you can always add in the number of steps they need to take and reading directions to find the next clue. But instead of “take two steps forward, turn left, take 10 steps forward”, you can change it to “take 5-3=? steps forward, turn left, take 5*2=? steps forward.”

What engaging backyard math activities do you have planned for this summer? Feel free to share and comment below. Check back later this week on this outdoor math fun series.

Photo by: MN AFL-CIO

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