March 14th, or 3.14 is also known as Pi Day, a day to celebrate everyone’s favourite math constant, Π. Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Commonly shown as “3.14159”, Pi is an irrational number with infinite decimal digits – it just keeps going! Since the late 1980s, people have celebrated this unique number in lots of ways. 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.
To get the inside scoop on Pi Day activities, we talked to our friends at Kumon Canada and they gave us 4 great ideas for Pi Day fun!
1. Make a Pi Bracelet or Necklace
To celebrate Pi Day this year, break out the craft kit and make yourself a fun fashion accessory!
- Different colours of beads
- Pipe cleaners, thread or string
- A pen and a pad of paper
- Write out as many Pi digits as you can and colour code each number.
- Grab different colours of beads and begin to string them onto the thread or a pipe cleaner you select to make your bracelet.
- Start to place the beads onto the thread in order of Pi’s number sequence and the colours you’ve selected for each digit.
- Tie up the thread and wear your new accessory – use it to memorize the digits of Pi!
2. Throw a Pi Day Scavenger Hunt
Conduct a Pi Day scavenger hunt by hiding Pi-themed objects around the house. The objects can also represent the numbers of Pi.
- Assorted circular objects (fruit, cups, wheels, balls, etc.)
- Assorted number cards that represent the numbers in Pi
- A pencil and a pad of paper
- Hide a number of circular objects or numbers around your home.
- Come up with a list of the objects kids need to find (provide a few hints just in case!). Here is an example list to get you started: Three objects that have circular cross sections: cylinder, cone and sphere, the first five digits of Pi, three items with the word ‘Pi’ in it
- Ask children to hunt for the objects.
- For older children, challenge them to measure the circumference and diameter of circular objects and then divide the circumference by the diameter, to find Pi.
After the hunt, reward all participants with a delicious prize, like pizza or pie!
3. Host a Pi Word Challenge
Word challenges are always a hit with children. Here’s a fun way to enhance and test children’s vocabulary and help them learn new words as well!
- Pencil and pen for each participant
- OR Scrabble board game letters
- Challenge children to write down as many words they can think of that include the word “pi” (pizza, pineapple, picture, pie, etc.).
- For younger players, help them out by talking and spelling things through and using images for added support
- Determine which child has the most number of words written down and offer them a prize!
4. Host a Pi Day Paint Party
You and your child can have a fun-filled day of painting to celebrate Pi Day by painting your favourite circular objects! This activity would be appropriate for early learners so this may mean painting some flowers, suns, ladybugs and more.
- Different paint colours
- Paint brushes
- Sheets of paper
- Think about your favourite circular objects with your child
- Ask your child to start painting these objects, using their favourite paint colours
- Let your children fill their canvass with circles of all sizes – hang it on the fridge for everyone in the family to see!
We hope these Pi Day activities inspire you to have fun with math on March 14th!