Apr 22, 2020

Using Sidewalk Chalk to Make Math FunA student drawing on the cement with sidewalk chalk

As the weather improves and you begin to have more and more opportunities to be outdoors, why not take your “math classroom” outside as well! With a box of chalk, some open space, and a whole lot of creativity, you can make math learning fun!

Below are some ideas to get you started:

  • Take a traditional inside game and recreate it on your front walk - games such as Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Connect Four or Checkers, to name a few. Kids will have so much fun creating their own board on which to play. You can even create your own dice from a cube-shaped cardboard box, or just borrow some dice from the gamebox sitting on your shelf. For those tech-savvy family members, you can make your own custom dice using the website Roll the Dice.
  • How about trying a new spin on a traditional carnival game like Skeeball? Create a set of concentric circles and assign point values to each one. Instead of a set of skeeballs, try using a set of wet sponges, Koosh balls, or beanbags - just toss them to see where they land, and total your points. After a set amount of rounds, the winner is the one with the most points. You can vary the level of difficulty by assigning whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or positive and negative values to the circles.
  • Why not combine artistic ability with numbers by creating your own connect-the-dots drawing? Challenge your at-home math student to create an image that uses 10, 20, 50, 100, or more dots. Then have someone else in the household complete the image by connecting the dots! This draws more people into the fun!
  • Create your own long-jump Olympics. Ask each competitor to jump three times and determine the winner by finding the mean (or median) distance of each competitor’s jumps. Employ a strategy to even the playing field for the variance in ages of competitors by requiring each person to subtract the number of inches from their jump distance based on their age. For example, the 11 year old has to subtract 11 inches from their distance, while the 5 year old only has to subtract 5. 

For more ideas, just Google “fun math games with sidewalk chalk.” You’re sure to find these and more! Here’s one website with a few ideas to get you inspired.

- Shared by Becky Thorson - GWAEA Math Consultant


Category: The Carpool Lane