Category: Math

45+ Hilariously Funny Math Jokes for Kids square

We ♥ jokes in our house, especially ones that sneak in some STEM learning love! The punnier the better. We tell knock knock jokes around the dinner table. My youngest likes to read joke books before going to bed. Sometimes I pop an educational joke into their school lunchbox.  We tell riddles on long car trips. You get the idea…

You might have already seen our awesome list of 60+ science jokes, but I was starting to feel that the other STEM subjects deserved some punny love too! This may have resulted in my spending the last few hours giggling researching and collating 45 of the funniest kid-friendly math jokes around. Read More Funny Math Jokes for Kids

Illustrate data! Use the shape of a line graph as inspiration for kids’ art.

Graph Art - illustrating data

I first came across the of idea of illustrating data, or using a line graph as the inspiration for an artwork, when an awesome barrier reef line graph artwork by Jill Pelto popped up on my Facebook feed. Not only is Pelto’s work artistically amazing, but I like the way her illustrations add context to the data being presented, encouraging the viewer to think about the data in a deeper way. Cool, huh?

So, one day when Jewel was feeling poorly and stayed home from school, we decided to do a little homeschooling and give our own version of “graph art” a try.

Suitable for

Jewel was almost 9.5 years old when we did this. I think this could be adapted to suit grades 3-6, or extended for early high school kids. Actually, it’s kind of fun for adults too.

How to create Graph Art (or Data Art)

These are the basic steps we followed:

  1. Think of a topic that you want to illustrate
  2. Research the available data, and see if you can find data that can be easily graphed as a single line graph.
  3. Conceptualise how you could use the shape of the line graph to create an illustration that is relevant to the topic.
  4. Create your graph art!

I love the way this activity combines several of the pillar STEAM (or STEM + Art) pillar subjects in the one open-ended activity. If you’re looking at trends in scientific / climate data, then you have the Science pillar right there. If you enter the data into a spreadsheet and create your own graph, then that’s your Technology and Maths ticked off. And of course the artistic component is the Art pillar. And because kids can choose the topics they’d like to research, and what they’d like to draw, it’s lovely and open-ended. So, tick, tick, tick, tick! (Let’s just leave the ‘Engineering’ bit for next time. 🙂  )

Jewel creating Graph Art

For our first artworks, Jewel and I looked at global temperature data from NASA. We thought that the annual mean temperature anomaly, (i.e. how much the annual temperature is different from the average), looked very spiky, like the tops of flames, which is a relevant image, as the graph is showing that temperatures are heating up! We downloaded the original data into a spreadsheet, created a basic line graph, printed this onto paper, and then used this as the basis for our art. Jewel and I used a combination of pencils, gel pens and marker to create these two artworks below.

Jewel global land-ocean temperature art

Global land-ocean temperature line graph with fire art zoomed in

Let me explain this graph a little bit. The x axis is the years, from 1880 (the year that climate data was first reliably recorded), until 2018 (last year). The y axis shows the temperature anomaly, or how much temperatures vary from the average. Can you see the dotted line above? That’s represents zero change from average. So, if the climate were staying more or less consistent, then you would expect the temperature to fluctuate on either side of this dotted line as the years progress. But the graph above shows a distinct upward trend, meaning that the temperatures are becoming a much higher than average. The top of this graph is 1.5 degrees higher than average, which is the point that many scientists say is the ‘tipping point’ for climate change. And if you follow the graph’s trend, that tipping point is fast approaching…. Scary stuff.

Jewel wanted our next graph art to focus on something more positive. She wants to focus on what we are doing to fix the world’s problems! So we started brainstorming positive topics that we might be able to find data for. We found these “good news graphs“, which are all very cool! The decreasing cost of solar electricity has a lovely downward curve which would make a great graph art topic.

But in the end Jewel and I decided to try illustrating the increase in electric vehicle sales in the US, partly because we’re considering buying an electric car ourselves, and partly because we found an electric vehicle sales graph we could print straight from the Internet (thus saving us the steps of having to find / download the data and create the graph ourselves). We used black marker and watercolour paints.

Increasing Electric Vehicle sales graph

For more math art ideas, my blogging friend Karyn from the fabulous Teach Beside Me blog (which, incidentally, is one of my favourite blogs of all time!) has just released an awesome new book called “Math Art & Drawing Games for Kids” that looks really cool. It has over 40 fun art projects that also build math skills! You can find it on Amazon here (please note, this is an affiliate link). But don’t tell Jewel about it yet, as she might be getting this under the Christmas tree this year!

Or for more arty or crafty STEM ideas, you might like to check out our STEAM activities page. (This page is live updated whenever we post a new idea, so be sure to check back often).

You might also like to follow our Go Science Kids and Fun Science for Kids boards on Pinterest.

And, of course, you can always subscribe to our newsletter, to receive all our latest activities straight in your Inbox.

Graph art - illustrating graphs - fun STEAM activity for kids

Did you see this tall Magna-Tile tower we built yesterday?

Using magnatiles to measure DIY catapult projectile heights - fun STEM activity for kids combining science, engineering and maths with playWe built it to measure how high our catapults were shooting. We had to keep building it higher and higher, as we discovered one of our catapults had a very high trajectory!

All that tall-tower-making had me thinking…. If we built it just a little bit taller, could we use it to measure the girls’ heights?

So that’s what we did!

Measuring height with Magna-Tiles is a fun way to explore math and measurement at home

Suitable for

This is a fun activity for 3-6 year olds. Using everyday items that are a uniform size to measure objects and compare their relative size is one of the maths skills Jewel learned when she was in kindergarten and Year One.

Bumble Bee and Jewel were 4 & 6.5 years old here.

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The girls have been lucky enough to receive two Magna-Tiles sets (this 100 piece one and this 48 piece one) over the past few years as Christmas gifts (thanks Grandma!), and so are quite familiar with building with them. Even so we had to get a little creative in working out how to build a tower tall enough to measure Jewel, stable enough that it wouldn’t fall down, using only the limited number of square tiles that we had available.

Here’s what the structure looked like from behind.

The rear of the tower

We ran out of squares at the very top, so we made our own using right-angled triangles. (Hands-on geometry!)

We found out that Bumble Bee is currently 13 Magna-Tile squares tall, and Jewel is currently 16 Magna-Tile squares tall, meaning that Jewel is 3 Magna-Tiles taller than Bumble. (Oh, don’t they grow up so quickly!)

Measuring the height of kids with a Magna-Tiles tower is a fun way to practise math at home.

The engineering and math components make this a fun STEM activity that kids can try at school or home!

 

For more Magna-Tiles fun, you might like:

 

You might also like to follow our Go Science Kids, STEM for Girls and Playful Maths for Kids boards on Pinterest.

 

And, of course, you can always subscribe to our newsletter, to receive all our latest activities via email. We’d love to have you join us!

 

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My daughter had so much fun exploring numbers and measurement at a cafe recently. Learning is more fun in an unusual setting! Plaful preschooler math - exploring measurement at a cafe

This is a cute idea that I stumbled upon quite by accident.

The three of us (my husband, my youngest daughter Bee, and I) were heading out to a cafe for lunch, and as we walked out the door, I spied the measuring tape out of the corner of my eye. Bee has been showing a fascination for maths lately, so I popped the measuring tape into my bag, thinking she might like to play with it over lunch. Turns out, it was a winner!

Read More Exploring Measurement at a Cafe