Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Outdoor Math Games You Can Play Today


These games are easy to teach, active and collaborative. Just mix outdoor with play and a dash of nature’s loose parts and you have a recipe for fun!!!


Balancing Rocks
Estimate the number of stones you need to build the stone cairn. Collect stones and then stack. We watched a You tube video to help with prior knowledge before building and then began practicing with small stones at the seashore moving up to small boulders in the forest. The children were making what I thought were wild guesses but they were actually very close!! Then I set up a math provocation in the classroom to extend their interest with rocks of different sizes.


MOVE AND COUNT
This active partitioning games does not require any materials but does require space. For our purposes we usually play this math game in the meadow adjacent to our forest. The "caller" calls out a number and the children move into groups. If they need more group members then they hold out a hand show the number. The "caller switches to a different number and the children rearrange themselves. I wish I had a video of this game but hope that you can imagine how much fun it is!!  

We also play it as a partner game using loose parts indoors and outdoors. This very flexible game also lends itself as 1:1 for assessment, build fluency or as an intervention.


NATURE SORT AND COUNT
In small groups of 4-5 students, assign numbers to each participant and have them hunt for nature's loose parts to sort and count using a grid format. Follow-up with a gallery walk so that groups can compare and contrast their collections.



GO MEASURE A TREE
This could be a partner or a small group activity. Ask students ask them to choose a tree for their measurement task. Then working together with a string (any non-standard item will work) they measure the circumference of the tree, it's shadow and any loose parts like seeds or leaves which have fallen. They can also sort the loose parts from the tree by size, shape or colour.

COUNTING COLLECTIONS
This can be done with a paper bag if you plan on combining collections to make a larger number otherwise just asking students to work on a number line in small groups works well and is fun for the children. They collect nature's loose parts and then build the numbers along the number line together. When we are at the seashore I draw in on a long log using sidewalk chalk. This would also work at school on the patio if you have nature loose parts in your classroom or nearby on the school grounds.



     

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