How to Keep Kids Engaged Over Mid-Winter Break
5 fun ways to flex those math muscles
While it’s perfectly fine to hit the ice or the slopes over winter break, it’s not okay to let your math skills slide—even for just a week. Minds are like skates, the sharper the better. That’s why we’ve compiled five of our favorite ways for kids to flex their math muscles during the February break. Whether you plan to spend next week vacationing at home or on the road, indoors or out, here are some easy ways to combat the “winter slide” and factor math into all your festivities:
- Check the Weather
Unless you live or vacation in a place where the temperature is always same, it’s a good idea to check the weather before you head out the door—and reading a thermometer is a great way to exercise your math skills. Keep a log of each day’s temperatures. Calculate the difference in temperatures between days and try to predict the next day’s highs and lows. Advanced students can practice converting Fahrenheit to Celsius.
- Order Pizza
Planning a meal requires lots of calculating—even if you’re just getting take-out. It’s easy to work up an appetite while working out the numbers. For example, if everybody has two slices of pizza, and there are eight slices in a pie how many pizzas should you order? If toppings are extra, how much will it cost to add mushrooms, olives and peppers? If delivery takes 35 minutes, when should you call in the order? You get the idea…and now, you’re probably getting hungry too.
- Take a Walk
Geometry is everywhere. Take a walk and try to identify as many 2D and 3D shapes as you can. If kids have a phone, they can snap pictures and share them once school is back in session or create their own notebook to track the shapes they’ve spotted.
- Check out Ted
The TED-Ed Math in Real Life series features 95 different TED-Ed lessons and Ted Talks including dozens of animated math riddles. These are short, fun videos that explore math in the real world, and they’re perfect for binge watching on a cold or rainy day.
- Take a Leap
February is usually just 28 days long, but every four years we add an extra day. Explore the math behind leap year and try to figure out when the next one will occur.
Enjoy your break!