Category: Maths

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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How to make (and test) DIY craft stick catapults! Fun catapult STEM project for kids, that combines physics, engineering and math with play.

Catapult STEM - how to make DIY craft stick catapults

Making catapults is one of those classic STEM activities that are so much fun.

Y’all know what a STEM activity is, right? STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and a great STEM activity is one that incorporates two or more of these pillar subjects, in an open-ended, lets-find-out, hands-on kinda way.

Making catapults involves three of the four pillar STEM subjects – there’s the whole projectile, forces, physics thing (Science = tick!), creating a machine and evaluating different designs (Engineering = tick!) and measuring the height and distance of your projectiles (Maths = tick!).

So I’m pleased to present this as the C is for Catapult submission in this year’s A-Z of STEM Activities for Kids series that Little Bins for Little Hands is running. (We also submitted a Why STEM for Girls is So Important post to that series too – because that’s something that we tend to be a bit passionate about around here!)

Anyway, I digress.

We’ve made easy upcycled catapults before (which were so much fun!). But this time, I thought we’d try making classic craft stick catapults – mostly because I’ve been wanting to make some for ages and ages and ages.

Launching a DIY craft stick catapult
Read More C is for Catapult!

How to make a cool Christmas tree bubble wand – and learn about bubble physics though play. Fun Christmas STEM activity for kids!

Make a cool Christmas Tree Bubble Wand and explore bubble physics through play

We’ve been playing with bubbles a lot this year. We’ve worked how to make quick and easy DIY bubble wands, so we can theme our wands to match the occasion!

Each time we’ve made our own bubble wands, we’ve had a chance to learn a little more about bubble physics, and what makes them take a particular shape.

Plus, bubbles are fun!

Related: We’ve also made geometric shapes bubble wands, Easter egg bubble wands and heart bubble wands….

Suitable for

Bubbles are fun for any age! Babies and younger toddlers are usually entranced with catching bubbles, rather than the implement used to make them, so this activity is probably best for the preschooler and kindergarten / early primary school age group. Bumble Bee was 4 and Jewel was 6 when we did this.

Christmas tree bubble play

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How to make a DIY Christmas Tree Bubble Wand

You need:

We used two different types of pipe cleaners – a sparkly one and a furry one – to make a two different looking trees. They work equally well (although aesthetically I think the girls preferred the sparkly one).

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Fold the pipe cleaner in half. This middle point will become the top of your Christmas tree.
  2. Bend into a Christmas tree shape, with both ends joining in the middle of the base of the tree.
  3. Weave the remaining pipe cleaner around the end of chopstick.
  4. Wrap tape to secure.
  5. Pour bubble mix into a cup.
  6. Ask your child to guess what shape bubbles your bubble wand will make.
  7. Dip your bubble wand, and blow!

Bubble physics - what shape bubbles does a Christmas tree bubble wand make

Four year old Bumble Bee initially thought the bubbles would be Christmas tree shape, and then quickly revised her hypothesis when she saw that they were round. She discovered that after blowing a few bubbles into the air, she could then use the bubble wand to catch the bubbles again and study them!

Christmas tree shaped bubbles - bubble physics

Studying bubble shapes

Make a Christmas tree shaped bubble wand

We talked about how bubbles are made up of both bubble mixture and air.

The bubble shape is called a sphere, and the outside of the sphere is the bubble mixture, and the inside is the air that she blew.

When her older sister Jewel (6 years old) came out to join us, we took the bubble physics explanation a little further.

Bubble fun with DIY Christmas tree bubble wands

We talked about how there is air all around us, even though you can’t see it. When a bubble floats through the air, the air that is inside the bubble pushes out, and the air outside the bubble pushes in. That’s why it is a round shape. If there were pointy bits (like if it were still Christmas tree shaped), then the inside air forces and the outside air forces wouldn’t balance each other out. The outside air forces would push on it until the bubble was round again.

Jewel noticed that the bubble changes shape if it lands on the (very wet & soapy) table.

“It’s a semi-sphere!”, she cried.

Semi-spherical bubble

We talked about how the table acts as another force, and that whilst the part of the bubble against the table is flat, the part of the bubble that is pushing up against the outside air is still round.

Jewel wanted to see what would happen if she added another bubble to this first one.

We noticed that the parts of the bubble that were touching something else (like another bubble, or the table) were flat, but the parts that were exposed to the air remained curved.

We talked about how, if you had a bunch of bubbles joined together on each side, you could create a middle bubble that was flat on all sides, like a cube.

Next Jewel tried to see how big a bubble structure she could make. Her record was eight bubbles. It’s not easy though, as the bubbles refused to stack, and sometimes when she added a new bubble, the existing bubbles would join together and make one big one!

Making bubble domes

I love how we’ve done this activity a few times now, and we’ve been able to revisit our prior knowledge, and expand upon it, each time. Bee is still quite a way off understanding about forces just yet, but it seems that Jewel is starting to ‘get’ it.

Fun Science

Our (store-bought) bubble mix is made up of (mostly) soap and water. The soap makes the surface tension of water weaker than normal, and also forms a very thin skin (or film) that is flexible, perfect for making bubbles.

Bubbles are actually a film of soapy water with air trapped inside. There are two forces occurring here: the air inside the bubble is pushing out, whilst at the same time, the soapy film and the outside air, are pushing in. To balance these forces, the soapy film assumes the smallest surface area it can, and that shape (in the absence of other forces) just happens to be a sphere.

Therefore, in the absence of other forces, bubbles that float in air are always round, regardless of the shape of the bubble wand used.

I wonder what shape a bubble would be in space???

How to make a Christmas tree bubble wand and kids can learn bubble physics through play

For more Christmas-themed fun, check out our Christmas Science page, including:

For more physics fun, check out our Physics Experiments for Kids page, including:

You might also like to follow our Go Science Kids, Fun Science for Kids and Christmas Science Projects 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. We’d love to have you join us!

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Bubble fun! Make DIY shape bubble wands, to introduce shape recognition into your backyard bubble play (and explore a little bubble physics at the same time)!

Make your own shape bubble wands - what shape bubbles will they make

Bubbles are always a winner at our house! And we’ve come up with a cool way to make our own bubble wands, in any shape we want! This time we made circle, triangle, rectangle and square shaped bubble wands – but the big question is: what shape bubbles will each of these wands make?

Click through to see how we made and played with these shape bubble wands in our guest post over at NurtureStore today.

Blowing bubbles with the triangle shaped bubble wand

AND, I’m so pleased to announce that this activity has been selected as one of the 40+ literacy and math activities in a brand new ebook called ABCs and 123s. So exciting!

ABCs and 123s series

The ABCs and 123s ebook is a resource for parents, grandparents, carers or teachers who want to introduce letters, numbers and shapes to kids in a fun, hands-on and playful way. It’s a collaboration of over 40 like-minded kids activities bloggers, who all believe that kids learn best through play.

It’s more of a literacy and maths ebook, than a science ebook per se, but a few of the activities do have a science element (including this one of ours). You can read more about the ABCs and 123s ebook, and see page examples here.

ABCs and 123s ebook cover

Shape Bubble Wands

I’ve listed some more of our bubble science activities below. I have to warn you though, making DIY bubble wands is slightly addictive. It’s so easy, and much cooler than the standard ones that come with the bubble mixture!

And I have a feeling that’s just the start….

Shape Bubble Wands - what size bubbles will they make

DIY Bubble Wands