Maths shouldn’t be restricted to inside the classroom. In fact, the outdoors provides a rich and unique, hands on learning environment for maths. There are opportunities to develop, practice and apply maths understandings absolutely everywhere! The rich and varied natural environment in particular is abundant with many valuable ways to explore maths concepts. There are many benefits to taking learning outdoors. Learning outside promotes whole body and sensory engagement in a context where learning is likely to be both more meaningful and memorable. There is also a considerable amount of research that illustrates how time out in nature positively influence physical, mental and emotional well-being. Nature is both and excellent classroom and an excellent teacher
Designed by primary school teacher, bush playgroup facilitator and artist Kaye Rijs, this stunning set of 18 maths in nature, downloable and printable activity cards will provide your child with practical maths learning prompts to explore early maths concepts whilst fostering a deeper connection with nature.
ABOUT THE CARDS
These hand illustrated cards each feature an opportunity to explore a maths concept outdoors with nature items that can easily be found in the backyard or school yard. They provide exploratory math’s learning opportunities that feel like play because mostly they are play. Albert Einstein once said that “play is the highest form of research”. When children are given time to play and explore they are able to wonder, invent, investigate, experiment, imagine and discover new things. So what may look like ‘just play’ to us as adults is also very real learning that when done outdoors is also rooted in a real world environment.
The learning prompts on these cards have been informed by both Victorian Curriculum documents and The Victorian Early Years Developmental Framework. They have been designed with children between the ages of 4-7 years in mind although the cards haven’t been targeted towards a specific age or learning level as it is recognized that young children are all on their own unique learning journey. Many of the cards are open ended in nature which allows children of different ages and stages of learning to engage with them from where they are at. This also means that there is space for children to follow their individual curiosity and interests.
How you may use the cards
There is no right/wrong way to use these cards. They have application in both a home setting, early learning setting or outdoor school environment. With a little prompting some children may be able to engage with the cards independently while others may benefit from talking through them and exploring with a supportive adult. Many of the cards are also conducive to working collaboratively in social or family groups. Learning socially can provide a great opportunity for children to discuss their learning discoveries and develop their maths language.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Kate Rijs is an artist, qualified and experienced Primary School Teacher, Art Teacher and bush playgroup facilitator who is passionate about creativity and nurturing creativity and imagination in both children and adults. She believes that nature is the best classroom that there is.