‘Parent Blog’

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LEGO Balloon Car

October 8, 2014 8:00 am


Calling all race cars to the starting line! It’s time to pull out your big box of LEGO bricks to build and race with math fun in mind. You’re going to create a LEGO car that will be powered by a balloon and your own hot air. While it’s easy to construct a LEGO car, the balloon adds a twist that requires problem solving, measurement, and more.

Get Those Math Skills on Target

October 6, 2014 8:55 am


There’s a reason the cardboard box is in the National Toy Hall of Fame. You’d be hard pressed to find a more open-ended toy. We recently turned an upcycled box into a math target game. A math target game combines two things kids universally love: a chance to throw things and a game to play. Add to that my love of upcycling items destined for the trash and a chance to build math skills and we’re right on target for a perfect project!

So You Wanna Be A…Trapeze Artist

October 3, 2014 8:00 am


If you’ve ever gone to a circus, you probably know that you don’t need an airplane or hot-air balloon to soar through the air. Trapeze artists fly and flip and do all sorts of other tricks, using only a swinging cable, a dependable partner, and some math skills. Liz Osting performs in a trapeze troupe and she shared some of her mid-air math with us!

Ringmaster-ed Math Games

October 1, 2014 9:49 am


Good things come in 3s: magic wishes, blind mice, and of course, the rings inside a giant circus tent. Well, here’s one more item to add to the list of terrific triplets: our new set of circus math games. So pop on your top-hat and get ready to crack the whip in case a lion gets out of line, because it’s time to enjoy some Ringmaster-ed Math.

Nuts about Math

September 29, 2014 8:00 am


Are you nuts about math? You will be this fall after trying these nutty fun activities. Sort, measure, and estimate acorns. Best of all an easy acorn craft!

Paper Plate Weaving

September 26, 2014 8:00 am


Thanks to fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, most kids know that cotton is spun into thread, and thread is woven into cloth, but most kids these days have never seen a spindle or a loom in action, let alone know how to spin or weave. Most of the looms available in craft stores are the rainbow kind, but if you want to give your child a basic idea of how to weave thread into cloth, all you need is some yarn and a paper plate. Here’s a fun weaving craft that will keep kids of any age busy for hours:

Best of Bedtime Math: Like a Broken Record

September 25, 2014 8:00 am


Breaking things will normally get you in trouble, but world records are made to be smashed. Figuring out how to set a world record takes some creative (and sometimes ridiculous) math, which is why we’ve written so many Bedtime Math problems about these stunts of super-sized scale and skill. And there’s even a Bedtime Math problem about how to land yourself in the record book.

Marvelous Marble Run

September 24, 2014 8:00 am


Ever feel like you lost your marbles? Find them so you can do this fun activity! With a few simple items, your family can make a marble run wall!

Symmetry Drawing

September 22, 2014 8:00 am


I love to draw, and it seems my children have inherited that love. All three of them can spend hours doodling and recreating whatever fantasy worlds they’ve spun in their imaginations. They also love to copy their favorite characters and objects, but often end up frustrated because their drawing looks nothing like the original. The key is lots of practice, and a knowledge of concepts such as perspective, light, proportion, and symmetry.

So You Wanna Be A…Buccaneer

September 19, 2014 8:00 am


Anne Bonny was an unlikely pirate. First of all, there weren’t many female pirates in her day, and most wore disguises to look like men. But not Anne. Second, she came all the way from Ireland to the Caribbean to commandeer her ships. And most impressive, she did all this sailing as a red-haired and freckly person in an age before sunscreen existed! We caught up with Anne on board her sloop while it was anchored in a secret cove, and she shared some numeric tricks of the trade with us!