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Out & About Maths

During Walk to School Week, why not get active as a family and explore the great outdoors?

Try our step-by-step ‘Out & About Maths’ activities. Remember, you can find maths almost everywhere you look! 

1. Counting & Data Collection

There are so many opportunities to practice counting when out walking. From counting steps to the number of dogs you see on your journey.

How many houses have a blue door?  How many cars are red? You could even make a competition to each choose a colour and whoever counts the most of their colour wins.

What about doing a tree count? You could record the different types you find and collect some data – which is the most common tree? The smallest type? You could create a data chart of anything you discover on your walks.  

Or perhaps play a counting game like hopscotch. Or hide and seek – who says you have to count up in 1s, why not count to 100 in 5s? 

2. Shapes 

Younger children might enjoy a shape hunt. Ask them to spot circles, squares and triangles as you walk. Can they make a shape out of stones or sticks? Ask older children to find both 2D and 3D shapes. Can they discover patterns and symmetry? 

3. Measuring 

Height of plants, length of bridges, and width of paths – the possibilities for measuring are endless. Ask children what units they would use to measure different objects. Are there any other ways to measure? What could they use instead of a ruler? 

4. Estimating & Predicting 

Choose a start and end point. All family members can estimate how many steps it will take. What’s the difference between the estimations and the actual number of steps? Is there any difference between boy/girl, child/adult?  Next, predict how long it will take to get to a location then use a watch or phone to time. How accurate were the predictions? 

5. Now, wow your friends and family with this foot-related maths trick!

  • Ask them to secretly write down their age 
  • Multiply it by 20 
  • Add on today’s date (e.g. 20 if it’s the 20th day of the month) 
  • Multiply by 5 
  • Add on their shoe size (if it’s a half size round up to the next whole number)
  • Subtract 5 times todays date 
  • Now ask them to show you their final answer 

You can tell their age and their shoe size. If the answer is 1205, it means there are 12 hundreds (their age is 12) and 05 remaining digits (their shoe size).  

Your challenge! Can you work out how this trick works?