You won’t even need to provide ice cream for this Pi Day. But that would be a nice treat.
Yes, it’s almost Pi Day once again. March 14th at exactly 1:59 PM. Where will you be? Maybe eating pie?
The fine folks at Kumon want to make it fun for kids to not only have fun, but learn in the process. That is why they are promoting Kumon Pi Day.
For those who don’t know Pi (π), it is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Commonly approximated as 3.14159, ‘Pi’ is an irrational number with infinite decimal digits. That means it keeps on going…….forever. Think, your kid in the backseat of a day long trip asking “are we there yet?”
This year, Kumon Canada wants to help Canadian children celebrate Pi Day in a fun and exciting way. Pi Day is a great excuse to engage children in fun math challenges meant to enrich and deepen their understanding of the concept of Pi. Activities could include investigations of the value of Pi, special Pi projects and parties with pizza or other kinds of “Pi.” You know your kids best, so whatever they interested in, there is a way to insert Pi.
For parents who are already maxed out and super busy, Kumon Math and Reading Centres Instructors have taken the liberty to put together four fun activities to celebrate Pi with the family. How very Kumon of them.
1. Make a Pi Collage
Michael Albert is a New York pop artists, who’s created some stunning pi related art. His series of pi collages, including one with over 777 digits of pi, have brought a creative perspective into the math world. Albert shows that Pi Day is about math and pies, but it can also be about arts and crafts too. To teach kids how interesting and long the irrational number pi is, they can spend some of the day creating a pi collage.
- Assorted magazines, newspapers to cut up
1. Scour magazines and newspapers to find all of the numbers for Pi.
2. See how many digits you can find
3. Cut and paste to create a custom pi collage.
This is the one I think Harry and I will work on and share for Pi Day on March 14th. He loves glue and cutting up stuff, so it’s a perfect fit.
2. Run a Measurement Race
Circles are all around us and it’s time they get the attention that they deserve. This activity is an opportunity for kids to do quick math and have some measurement fun too. Let’s pay attention to the circles all around us and have a measurement race.
- Soft measuring tape (1 per participant)
- Assorted circular objects (pizzas, cups, wheels, balls, etc.)
- List of all the objects for each participant
1. Lay out all the objects
2. Each participant can run and measure the circumference of each object, writing it down next to the objects name on the list.
3. The participant who records all of the circumference first wins
4. BONUS CHALLENGE: Have the participants try to find the diameter of each object using the number pi. First one to do so wins.
3. Have a Pi Day Bake Off
Though you might not have to do any math with the number 3.14, baking requires lots of beginner math for young kids. Have a bake-off with your kids to create the best pi pie (apple, pumpkin, pizza, etc.) Decorate the pie with pi symbols and numbers!
Baking materials for your favourite pie
1. Pick out a recipe for a pie (fruit or pizza)
2. Follow the recipe and bake the pie
3. Decorate the pie with numbers (3.14), equations (π = C/d) or symbols (π).
4. Host a competition to see who made the best pie.
4. Learn Where Hat Sizes Come From
Most hat sizes range between 6 and 8. Brainstorm ideas for how such sizes could be generated. Then use measuring tape to measure peoples’ heads. (As you do this, think of where a hat sits on a head). Use calculators to manipulate measurements. Now compare your results with the sizes written inside the hats. Do your numbers look like they could be hat sizes? (Hint: Try using different units of measurement.)
- Soft tape measures
- Hats with sizes indicated inside them
1. Talk about how hat sizes are generated
2. Use a measuring tape to measure participants’ heads
3. Use calculators to manipulate measurements
4. Compare the results with the sizes written inside the hats
5. Talk about the results – do the numbers look like they could be hat sizes?
Note: Hat sizes must be related to the circumference of the head. The circumference of an adult’s head usually ranges between 21 and 25 inches. The head’s circumference divided by pi gives us the hat size.
So, how are you going to celebrate Pi Day with the family? Do you have ideas not mentioned here? Do share.
Also check out our social feeds on March 14th, for Harry’s work of Pi art.
Wondering why I am helping get the word out for Kumon? Harry has been working with Kumon for almost six months and the improvements in his reading are off the charts. Thanks for your help Kumon.