Sticks have long been an important toy from outside that children have used in games, crafts and other play. They can also be used in education in your setting. By utilising sticks, you can tap into the desire to play with them that children instinctively have and also have multiple lessons available from just one abundant resource.
Here are five games to play outside with sticks that can teach kids maths.
A simple game, give children loads of sticks and tell them to count them. You can enhance the game by encouraging them to build small tours or stick homes with their sticks as they count. For this to work, ensure all the sticks are the same size.
You can teach basic maths to kids using sticks. Give them two piles of sticks, get them to count the number of sticks in each pile, then ask them to count the number of sticks as the two piles are contained. You can also do the reverse of this by taking some sticks away and asking them to do the sum. Simple maths, but a fun way to teach young children.
- Simple Division
Division is often taught much later, but the foundations can be taught very early on. Get a stick and demonstrate how snapping it into two, three or four creates different fractions. Children don’t need to understand this concept from too young an age, but getting them to experience it now can make it easier to learn later on.
Shapes is often the forgotten aspect of maths, but it is an important one. Sticks are the perfect tool in building knowledge about shapes. You can teach children about the name of shapes based on the number of sticks it takes to build the shape. For instance, four sticks make a square. Simple, visual learning made fun.
- Number Writing
As well as understanding numbers, children need to be able to write their numbers. So why not get your children to draw numbers in the mud or sand pit in your outside space using sticks. First show them how to do it and get them to copy your movements as they start to learn how to write numbers. Later you can teach them proper grip with smaller sticks or just move straight onto paper and pencil.
Do you have any school canopies on your site? If not, it’s worth considering investing in one as it enables you to plan lessons which include activities such as those above, yet instead of making the classroom mucky, you can hold the lessons outside under the canopy whatever the weather decides to do.
How will you use sticks in your outdoor spacing to teach children maths? Let us know in the comments.
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