At this time of year, it might be snowing where you live, but not here. The weather is slowly getting warmer and the birds are coming back from homes during the Winter time and they are hungry! So why not prepare something for them and turn it into a mathematics lesson?
You can either make your own bird feeder and bird seed mix or purchase them from the store. Get some measuring cups, a ruler/measuring tape, and go outside to have some fun!
First, take a look at the bird seed mix. What shapes do you see? Do you see some circles and ovals? Do you see some triangles, spheres, or curvilinear triangles? What colors do you see? How many different types of seeds do you see? Could you sort them out if I gave you a cup of that bird seed? How would you sort them?
Next, have your child look at the measuring cup and estimate how many cups of bird seed it will take to fill up the feeder. Remember what your estimate is and now begin to count how many cups of birdseed it takes to fill up the feeder.
Then, how many inches, or rulers tall, or building bricks tall, or hands tall is the bird feeder? Where are we putting the feeder and how long of a string do we need?
Once you have your feeder up, let the fun begin by observing what birds come to use it. It might take a day, or two before the birds come, but it will be a great experience to see how many birds a day visit the feeder. What colors do the birds have? How big are the birds? How many different birds come visit the feeder?
This whole math lesson may take 5 to 15 minutes from start to finish and it is worth it. Something very simple and so many mathematical ideas to explore! Have fun with this and with your child(ren)!
Something to Think About:
This activity can be adapted for any age of child and learning stage for the child. You know your child(ren) better than I do 🙂 So, you may want to not ask so many questions, maybe use three. If you have older children, they can make charts to categorize and keep track of the kinds of birds they see. They can also name the types of seeds and birds as well.
Whether or not the weather is right at the moment, the birds will still be hungry and you are inviting the birds to come to you 🙂 The kids and you can even practice different bird calls and whistles by listening to them as well! Get yourself and your child(ren) outside to explore the Mathematics around you and have fun!