14 Best Outdoor Math Activities for Kids to Boost Math Skills (2024)

  • 1. Nature’s Numbers Hunt
  • 2. Sidewalk Chalk Math
  • 3. Garden Measurement
  • 4. Outdoor Math Bingo
  • 5. Shape Hunt
  • 6. Water Balloon Math Toss
  • 7. Math Relay Races
  • 8. Time-Telling with Sundials
  • 9. Nature Patterns and Sequences
  • 10. Math Treasure Hunt

Mathematics, a subject crucial for cognitive development, can sometimes be challenging and less appealing to young minds. However, it transforms when taken outside amidst the playfulness of nature and the freedom of open spaces. Outdoor math activities break the monotony of traditional learning methods, making math both engaging and enjoyable. They provide a hands-on experience where children can connect mathematical concepts to the real world.

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This blog delves into fun and creative outdoor math activities. Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, these activities are simple to organize and rich in learning outcomes.

Rainy day? No problem! Keep your kids learning math with SplashLearn indoors. Explore interactive indoor math adventures and make the most of any weather.

1. Nature’s Numbers Hunt

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Nature’s Numbers Hunt is one of the best outdoor math activities that combines the thrill of a scavenger hunt with the foundational skill of counting. In this activity, children are given a list of natural items to find in specific quantities, such as 5 pine cones or 3 red leaves. As they explore and collect, they practice counting and number recognition, turning a simple walk in the park into a fun math adventure.

Age group: 3-6

Learning Focus: Counting, number recognition.

Related Reading: Best Counting Activities for Preschoolers

2. Sidewalk Chalk Math

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Sidewalk Chalk Math brings creativity to outdoor math activities. With just a box of chalk, any pavement becomes a canvas for learning. Draw hopscotch grids with equations or create large number lines for kids to jump along. This activity makes math visually stimulating and physically engaging as children hop, skip, and jump their way through basic arithmetic and number sequences.

Age group: 4-8

Learning Focus: Basic arithmetic, number sequences.

Related Reading: Best Number Activities for Preschoolers: Count on Fun!

3. Garden Measurement

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Garden Measurement is a hands-on approach among math outdoor activities, where kids engage directly with nature. They can measure the growth of plants, the length of garden beds, or even the amount of rainfall in a container. This activity teaches them how to measure and understand different units and instills a sense of responsibility and connection with the environment.

Age group: 5-10

Learning Focus: Measurement, understanding units.

Related Reading: Best Hands-On Measurement Activities for Kids

4. Outdoor Math Bingo

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Outdoor Math Bingo is a versatile addition to math activity to play outside. Create bingo cards with various math challenges that kids can solve outdoors. These challenges could range from simple arithmetic to finding shapes or counting objects. As children explore their surroundings to complete their bingo cards, they engage with various math concepts in a playful and dynamic way.

Age group: 6-12

Learning Focus: Diverse math concepts depending on the challenges.

5. Shape Hunt

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Shape Hunt is an excellent way to introduce geometry through math activities outside. In this activity, children are encouraged to find and identify different shapes in their environment. This could be the circular shape of a tire swing, the rectangular outline of a park bench, or the triangular form of a tree’s leaves. It’s a fun way to develop shape-recognition skills and an understanding of basic geometric principles.

Age group: 3-6

Learning Focus: Geometry, shape recognition.

Related Reading: Best Shape Activities For Preschoolers

6. Water Balloon Math Toss

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The Water Balloon Math Toss combines the excitement of a water game with the arithmetic challenge. In this activity, children solve math problems to earn the chance to toss a water balloon. This makes practicing math fun and adds a sense of reward and motivation to the learning process, making it a favorite among outside math activities.

Age group: 6-12

Learning Focus: Arithmetic, reward-based learning.

7. Math Relay Races

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Math Relay Races bring a competitive edge to learning. Set up relay races where each leg of the race involves solving a math problem. This could include puzzles, mental arithmetic, or logical challenges. It’s a great way to encourage speed and accuracy in problem-solving while fostering teamwork and healthy competition among participants.

Age group: 7-13

Learning Focus: Speed and accuracy in solving problems, teamwork.

8. Time-Telling with Sundials

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Teach kids about time-telling by creating a simple sundial. Place a stick (gnomon) in the ground, and as the sun moves, the shadow will indicate the time. This activity teaches time concepts and introduces the idea of angles and the Earth’s rotation.

Age group: 6-10

Learning Focus: Time-telling, understanding angles

Related Reading: How to Teach Telling Time: 11 Fun Activities for Kids

9. Nature Patterns and Sequences

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Nature Patterns and Sequences are a cornerstone of fun outdoor math activities. This activity involves creating or identifying patterns and sequences using natural items, such as leaves, stones, or flowers. It encourages children to observe the natural world closely and apply algebraic thinking to recognize and form patterns and sequences.

Age group: 4-8

Learning Focus: Patterns, sequencing, algebraic thinking.

10. Math Treasure Hunt

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The Math Treasure Hunt turns solving math puzzles into an exciting adventure. Set up a treasure hunt where each clue is a math problem that needs to be solved to find the next location. This activity makes math problem-solving thrilling and enhances logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Age group: 7-12

Learning Focus: Problem-solving, logical reasoning.

11. Counting Stars

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Counting Stars is a serene and educational activity that combines math learning with basic astronomy. On a clear night, children can count stars, learn about large numbers, and learn basic astronomical concepts. This activity not only introduces children to the vastness of the universe but also to the concept of infinity in a physical math activity setting.

Age group: 5-10

Learning Focus: Counting, introduction to astronomy, and large numbers.

12. Stick Tally Challenge

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The Stick Tally Challenge is an engaging outdoor math activity that combines nature exploration with learning basic counting and representation skills. In this activity, children gather sticks during an outdoor walk and use them to create tally marks. This hands-on approach helps them understand the concept of tallying and counting in a fun and interactive way. It’s an excellent method for teaching kids how to represent numbers visually and keep track of counting in groups of five.

Age group: 4-9

Learning Focus: Basic counting, representation of numbers, fine motor skills.

Related Reading: Best Fine Motor Activities for Kids

13. Outdoor Number Line

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Create a giant number line in an open space using chalk or rope. Assign different math problems or equations to specific points on the number line. Kids can jump or hop to the correct answer, helping them practice addition, subtraction, or multiplication while having fun in a physical math activity setting.

Age group: 5-10

Learning Focus: Basic arithmetic, number line concepts.

14. Math Picnic

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Organize a math-themed picnic where the food items are used to teach various math concepts. For instance, use slices of pizza to teach fractions or count the number of grapes in a bunch. This hands-on approach combines outdoor enjoyment with math learning.

Age group: 4-8

Learning Focus: Fractions, counting, and simple arithmetic

Related Reading: Best Lego Math Activities for Kids

7 Benefits of Outdoor Math Activities

Engaging in outdoor math activities offers many benefits for children. These activities not only make learning math more enjoyable but also contribute to their overall development. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Hands-On Learning: Outdoor math activities provide a tangible, hands-on approach to learning math concepts. Children can touch, see, and experience mathematical ideas in the real world, making abstract concepts more concrete.
  2. Enhanced Engagement: The novelty of learning outdoors sparks interest and enthusiasm among children. They are likelier to be engaged and motivated when math is integrated into fun outdoor experiences.
  3. Connection with Nature: Outdoor activities foster a connection with the natural world. Children learn about math by observing natural patterns, shapes, and phenomena, which can inspire a greater appreciation for the environment.
  4. Reduction of Math Anxiety: For some children, math can be intimidating. These activities offer a relaxed and non-threatening environment to build confidence in their math skills.
  5. Multi-Sensory Learning: Outdoor math engages multiple senses – sight, touch, and sometimes even hearing or smell. This multi-sensory approach helps children retain information better.
  6. Life Skills: Math activities in the outdoors often involve practical skills such as measurement, time-telling, and money calculations. These skills are essential for everyday life and are learned in a real-world context.
  7. Positive Attitude Towards Math: By associating math with enjoyable outdoor experiences, children are more likely to develop a positive attitude towards the subject, leading to improved academic performance.
Related Reading: Best Indoor and Outdoor Team Building Activities for Kids

In the great outdoors, we’ve discovered the beauty of math. Now, let’s bring that wonder indoors with SplashLearn. Our indoor math adventures are designed to make math a year-round delight. Join us on this educational journey and help your child embrace the magic of numbers, both indoors and out.

Start your SplashLearn adventure now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is meant by outdoor activities in mathematics learning?

Outdoor activities in mathematics learning involve engaging in math-focused games, explorations, and practical applications in an outdoor setting, enhancing real-world understanding.

Why do we teach maths outside?

Teaching maths outside offers a dynamic, hands-on learning experience, fostering engagement and practical application of mathematical concepts in the natural environment.

14 Best Outdoor Math Activities for Kids to Boost Math Skills (2024)


14 Best Outdoor Math Activities for Kids to Boost Math Skills? ›

Outdoor maths resources

Investigate measures – look at tiny seeds, then measure the height of runner bean plants or tall sunflowers or balance leeks, marrows, potatoes and tomatoes. Collect, sort and count natural objects outdoors – leaves, twigs, stones, pebbles, fir cones and flowers.

How can you incorporate math activities into outside play? ›

Outdoor maths resources

Investigate measures – look at tiny seeds, then measure the height of runner bean plants or tall sunflowers or balance leeks, marrows, potatoes and tomatoes. Collect, sort and count natural objects outdoors – leaves, twigs, stones, pebbles, fir cones and flowers.

What activities do you do outside of math class that require you to use your math skills? ›

Math Matters in Everyday Life
  • Managing money $$$
  • Balancing the checkbook.
  • Shopping for the best price.
  • Preparing food.
  • Figuring out distance, time and cost for travel.
  • Understanding loans for cars, trucks, homes, schooling or other purposes.
  • Understanding sports (being a player and team statistics)
  • Playing music.

What are three activities that can be used to teach mathematical concepts? ›

Use these fun activity ideas to engage your students and help them build a lifelong love for learning math.
  • Play Prodigy Math. ...
  • Read a Math Book. ...
  • Create Mnemonic Devices. ...
  • Deliver a Daily Starter. ...
  • Visit the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. ...
  • Run a Round of Initials. ...
  • Play Math Baseball. ...
  • Start a Game of Around the Block.
Jul 24, 2023

How do 10 year olds make math fun? ›

15 Ways to Make Math Fun!
  1. Make It Hands-on. A hands-on math activity involves children doing something instead of passively learning through reading or writing. ...
  2. Real Life Math. ...
  3. Magic Motivators. ...
  4. Art and Music. ...
  5. Math Apps. ...
  6. Mr. ...
  7. Don't Talk About How Math was Boring for You. ...
  8. Make it Practical.
Apr 1, 2024

How would you introduce math skills when children are playing outdoors? ›

Use math tools outdoors

Teachers can scaffold activities as children incorporate the tools into their play. Loose natural materials, like stones and acorns, can be placed on ten frames to encourage counting; flowers can be organized on sorting trays by color and size; and sticks can be counted using a number line.

What are the activities enriching mathematics learning? ›

Incorporate movement into math facts memorization. Shout math facts while tossing beanbags from hand to hand or while tossing a beach ball to another person. Many games, such as hopscotch, can be modified to include math concepts. Apply math lessons to real world experiences such as when learning fractions bake a cake.

How do you use math outside of school? ›

10 Ways We Use Math Everyday
  1. Chatting on the cell phone. Chatting on the cell phone is the way of communicating for most people nowadays. ...
  2. In the kitchen. Baking and cooking requires some mathematical skill as well. ...
  3. Gardening. ...
  4. Arts. ...
  5. Keeping a diary. ...
  6. Planning an outing. ...
  7. Banking. ...
  8. Planning dinner parties.
Nov 9, 2017

How can you utilize everyday activities to encourage children's use of math? ›

For example, you can introduce maths through everyday play and activities by encouraging your child to:
  1. compare and order things of different sizes – 'big', 'small' and 'medium'
  2. group things together and talk about 'same' and 'different'
  3. use words to describe where things are – 'over', 'under' and 'next to'
Nov 28, 2023

What are the six fundamental mathematics activities? ›

The six mathematical activities are counting (for example, numbers), measuring (such as comparisons and units), locating (incorporating position and orientation), designing (for example, properties of shapes and objects), playing (incorporating rules, procedures, and processes), and explaining (such as classifications, ...

How do you help children develop their mathematical skills early? ›

8 Tips to Boost Your Child's Early Math Skills
  1. Count everything! ...
  2. Play games that involve math skills. ...
  3. Have children practice simple addition and subtraction problems. ...
  4. Practice early graphing activities. ...
  5. Help your child develop number sense. ...
  6. Introduce basic measurement concepts. ...
  7. Encourage problem-solving skills.
Dec 15, 2021

How do I help my 7 year old with maths? ›

How to help at home
  1. Partition numbers. Partitioning means to break numbers into parts. ...
  2. Tell stories. Make up addition and subtraction stories together. ...
  3. Play shops. To help your child get used to the value of different coins and notes, use real money to play shops.

What do kids struggle with the most in math? ›

Kids who struggle with math may have trouble with very simple concepts, like “more” vs. “less” and “bigger” vs. “smaller.” They may not understand amounts or the order of things, such as “first,” “second,” or “third.” The ability to understand basic concepts like these is known as number sense.

Why do most kids struggle in math? ›

It might be a combination of new math concepts and procedures, which are hard for the student to grasp. There might also be factors such as missing school, changing schools, a move, societal or cultural factors, a language barrier, or something going on at home.

How to make mathematics learning joyful? ›

Incorporate Games and Puzzles

Games such as Sudoku, math bingo, and math-related board games can help students practice their math skills while having fun. These games provide a different way of learning and can be used as a reward for completing assignments or as a fun way to start a lesson.

How do you incorporate play into math? ›

For example, children can practice counting skills when playing with pretend money, spatial skills when putting together a puzzle, and geometry when building with blocks. Our own research provides support for the benefits of play for children's early development in each of these areas.

How is math used outside of school? ›

Yet we all engage in math in almost every activity we do. There are some (potentially) more obvious examples that involve numbers, such as calculating “better” prices, measuring quantities for a recipe, dosing medicine, or telling time. And these are just a few of the things we do at home.

What are the benefits of learning maths outside the classroom? ›

Let's explore seven benefits of using nature and the outdoors to teach math:
  • Provides motivation. ...
  • Increases mathematical thinking. ...
  • Invites problem-solving. ...
  • Supports diversity. ...
  • Strengthens STEM skills. ...
  • Enhances cross-curricular learning and improves overall school success. ...
  • Supports child development.

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