March 14th of every year is a wonderful time for people who love math – because 3-14 means that it’s Pi Day! While it falls on the same date each year, Pi Day sometimes takes place during March Break when kids are home from school. Not to worry, you don’t have to be a math tutor to teach kids about this international holiday. Families can start with simple math and shape recognition from our daily lives. The Teachers on Call team loves making math fun and has ideas to share for students of all ages.
Find Circles Around the House
Even the littlest ones in the household can identify circles and some of their related geometric shapes (spheres, cones and cylinders). Get them involved in enjoying Pi Day by having them see how many they can find, like a treasure hunt!
Calculate Pi Using Any Circular Item
Older children can measure the diameter and circumference of cans, jars, lids, glasses, bowls, vases or rugs to find π in the house. To find π, divide the circumference of the circle (all the way around) by the diameter (the length from one side of the circle to the other).
C ÷ D = π
You can measure circumference easier with a piece of twine or thread – something that won’t stretch too much when you wrap it around the object – and then lay it flat against a ruler or a measuring tape.
Do you get 3.14 on a calculator every time?
Use Pi to Calculate the Area of Circles
For a fun, mind-bending trick, guess at the area of circles and compare how much larger one is than the other! The Area of a circle is equal to π times the Radius, squared. (A = π x R2)
It’s simple to see that a large pizza is bigger than a smaller pizza, for example. But how much bigger is it? If your large pizza is a 20” diameter, and a small pizza is 10”, you might be tempted to say at first glance that the large pizza is about twice the size. But would you be right?
Thanks to a reddit user for providing this awesome pizza math!
Throw a Pi Party
First of all, to throw a great Pi Party, you’re going to need some decorations to make the place festive. We recommend Pi-themed hats (party hats are circles on the bottom!) and banners with as many digits as you can make fit. Music comes next, and there’s some great Pi Songs you can enjoy! This one teaches you 100 digits of Pi if you can memorize it!
Lastly, Pi Party just wouldn’t be a party without circular foods. Some great options would be orange, kiwi and cucumber slices, donuts, crackers, mini cheese wheels, pizza, and of course, pie! If you want to measure and check to make sure that your foods are Pi-worthy before you eat them, we wholeheartedly approve.
We have some easy pizza dough and piecrust recipes in our Winter Math Facts post if you want to make a main course for the party!
Have a wonderful, Pi-tastic March 14! And if you need more ideas appropriate for younger children, check out our post 3.14 and More Fun Ways to Celebrate Pi Day at Home.
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