4 Great Art Projects that Teach Kids Math

Tensegrity

Tensegrity (Photo credit: fdecomite)

Does your child or student love to draw but struggle when it comes to arithmetic? Or do they excel at math but struggle at expressing themselves? To open up the New Year, the MakIt Blog is presenting a series of crafts projects designed to help children discover the educational power of art! In this entry, we discuss a number of great projects that can help your child or student find their inner artist while also honing their basic math skills.

Game of Hearts

Materials:
Construction paper
Markers
Scissors
Stickers

Start by cutting large hearts from construction paper, and then cut those hearts in half down the center. On one half of each heart, write a number. On the other half of each heart, add the number of stickers that correspond to the written number. While you’re working, talk to your child about numbers, introducing simple equations.

Then the real fun begins! Mix up the heart halves and ask your child to match the written number with the correct amount of stickers. Alternatively, turn the hearts over for a game of memory. Your child will have so much fun playing the game they won’t even realize they’re building the skill to quickly recognize numbers!

Symmetry and Shapes

Materials:
Colored markers and paints
Paper
Pencil
Ruler

Start by drawing or tracing a large octagon onto a sheet of paper; then, have your child use a pencil and ruler to draw lines connecting the corners of the shape, creating a symmetrical design. While they’re working, brainstorm other places symmetry, shapes, and patterns can be found. One their design is completed, help them to color the pattern symmetrically. Their artwork can then be cut out and hung up as a guide to the symmetry and shapes in the world around them.

Equations Rock!

Materials:
Bright paint
Jar to hold rocks
Paintbrush
Several flat rocks

After gathering several flat rocks, paint one side of each a bright color. Next add the rocks to a jar and dump them out. By counting how many land paint-side-up, you can construct equations. For example, if 3 out of 12 rocks are showing their painted side, one equation could be 12 – 3 = 9 unpainted rocks. It may seem simple, but your child or student will have fun figuring out how many equations can be built from the ground up. Subtraction is just the beginning!

3D Toothpicks

Materials:
Cube-shaped gumdrops
Toothpicks

Before beginning, talk to your child or student about three-dimensional shapes like cubes, pyramids, and tetrahedrons. Then lead them in creating a few of these basic shapes with the toothpicks and gumdrops, discussing how the pieces need to be put together to construct something in 3D. Afterwards, encourage your child to add the shapes to one another and come up with the geometric designs of their own. What kind of new creations can they come up with?

Stay tuned for more fun projects that combine art and education to help children learn important information and life skills while developing into a young artist all at the same time!

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Nona Taut

Nona Taut is Sales Director for Makit Products, located in Dallas, Texas.

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