Monday, 10 December 2012


We've been working on the concept of half, but I'm sorry to say dear readers, I couldn't think of a practical activity for outdoors.  Maybe some of you can?  If you do have ideas, feel free to post a comment.  If I was in a more woodsy outdoor area, I suppose we could have filled up some containers half full with acorns, pine cones etc.  What do you think?

Monday, 3 December 2012


We've been measuring with non-standard units.  The children have collected leaves and ordered them according to size.  They drew lines with sidewalk chalk and then found objects longer and shorter.  We also used leaves to find things longer and shorter.  For problem solving, which we do at least once a week (often more) we worked out how to measure our outdoor area using our footsteps, we all looked at the concept of estimating too.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

2D shape hunt

We've been learning about 2D shapes this week.  Shockingly, my class seemed to find this quite unfamiliar.  We did lots of activities with playdough, art straws, feely bags etc.  We also had a 2D shape hunt outdoors.  I hid the large wooden 2D shapes outside and they had to find the shapes first according to their names and then by property.

Saturday, 27 October 2012


We've been working really hard on our subtraction!  I took a group out and played skittles.  We knocked over some cups and then wrote the subtraction sentences. We are lucky to have a covered area outside our Year 1 classrooms, because it was raining!  Also, guess what I got with our Tesco Vouchers???  The outdoor shop that I posted about a while ago.  Now I have to rustle up some baskets and play food to kit it out.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Confession Time

I haven't been outdoors this week for lessons!  What I have been up to is updating the ipads with new apps. The children have been doing subtraction this week and we didn't really have anything for maths on the ipads yet.  So what did I put on there?  Little digits and rabbit take away!  We are all in love with little digits, it's amazing.  Hopefully next week we will get outdoors a bit more.  Maybe a game of take away skittles...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Money, money, money

We just finished a week on money.  Outside I hid coins in the sand tray and the children found them and sorted them and made coin rubbings.

Friday, 5 October 2012


Today we went outside to solve a puzzle.  I used a challenge from the Year 1 mathematical challenges book, but made it real.  We used our big outside wooden blocks in piles of 6 3 2 5 and had to make them the same height in only two moves.  I also gave jenga blocks for the ones indoors.  It was great to see the children trying different ideas and working together!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Numicon and the outdoors

My school has purchased Numicon for all of our classes recently, lucky us!  We are all trying it out.  But what does this have to do with outdoors, you may ask? Well I found two links on the Numicon site I thought I would share with you.

I had some other ideas like hiding number bonds around in little bags and the children have to check the bag to see what they have and put in the correct place.

How have you taken numicon outside?  Let me know.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

No maths outdoors this week!

I'm sorry to say that we did not go out for maths this week.  We had a display change to get ready for and this took up some time.  Towards the end of the week we were looking at 1 more and 1 less and I just couldn't think of an outdoor lesson.  Have you got any ideas?  I will say we were outside for literacy finding wooden rhyming pictures I had hidden in the sand.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Outdoor learning

The weather has been great this week!  Lucky us.  At the moment we are working on basic number skills. One of my groups went outside in maths to find hidden number cards and then had to make human number lines.  Another found hidden compare bears and had to count how many they found.  We then take photos as evidence of their work.
But of course maths isn't the only thing we do outside.  We are learning about the senses and poetry.  So this week we have gone outside to find signs of Autumn and collected them in and displayed our finds on trays.  We made smell pots, which involves finding things that smell and picking them from around the school grounds.  We are lucky at my school as we have a sensory garden, veggie patch and fruit trees.  We also did a listening walk for sense of hearing in the outdoor meadow.  The children even heard some insects.  To explore the sense of touch we used this hand template (you can find it on my pinterest board)  and found the textures outdoors.  What have you been doing outside this week?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Week 1 -Done!

Okay so it was only a 3 day week with the children (5 for me) but it still felt like more!  I have a small class this year which is nice, I keep counting them because I think children are missing.  We didn't go outdoors for maths but we went outside during choosing time.  The children had a chance to explore their new outside area, we've also managed to snag some wooden blocks and a water table!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Good Bye Summer Holidays!

Back to school on Monday!  Of course I have been in over the holidays putting my classroom back together after getting new double glazed windows.  But Monday and Tuesday are staff days and the children return on Wednesday.  In addition to the new windows I've also got new sliding doors that lead onto my outdoor space.  So I'm looking forward to having a bit more free flow into this area.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Olympic Maths

This week we've has an Olympic theme!  It's been great.  I was really excited when I found these clips .  They are all about sports challenges and maths.  So we watched the cycling track clip and then we went out onto the playground and skipped around a track where the children timed each other, they recorded their times into a table.  We also did one where we threw beanbags onto the playground and measured the distance thrown with measuring tapes and trundle wheels!  So some great outdoor learning with a bit of sport thrown in!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wish List

I've seen a great piece of outdoor furniture that I would love to have.

                          I think this would be great for learning about money, but outdoors!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Odds and Evens

This week we have been recapping/consolidating odds and evens.  One group went outside where number cards had been hidden and they had to find the cards.  At first they found any card and then brought it back and sorted it onto an odd or even table.  After we hid the cards again and they had to find only an odd number or an even number etc.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

What else do we do outdoors?

Not much maths outside lately, due to poor weather.  So I thought I'd blog about other things we get up to outdoors.  Recently we investigated magnets and on day one we stayed indoors and I let the children try out everything in the magnet box for a bit of self discovery.  The next day though we were focusing on what materials magnets are attracted to, so I gave every pupil a horseshoe magnet and sent them onto the playground.  Before they went out they told me what things they predicted would be magnetic.  It was great, they ran about testing everything!  After they came in and wrote down what they had found out.  One child even said maybe there are some metals that are not magnetic.  So a great child led investigation, where I supplied no answers, just the opportunities and much more fun than staying indoors!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

More Ideas for a hundred square

Back to school tomorrow!  It's been a rainy half term, but we have made the most of it.

Hundred Square Games

Hundred race:  start on the 1 and give each child a giant dice and they add to the number they are standing on, first child to get to 100 wins.

Rounding:  give a number card to a child and have them stand on it, then each child goes to the correct rounded tens number.

Do you have a hundred square on your playground?  Leave me a comment if you do or even if you don't.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Inset Day Outdoor Learning Cards

We had a great inset day!  It was based around the Outdoor Learning Cards produced by the OEAP.  We had to do some bouldering, orienteering, journeying and problem solving/team building.  It gave me some great ideas to use with the children.  We also did Raccoon Circles, more information can be found here these are a good idea for circle time!  So I'm off to buy some climbing webbing.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Position and Direction -mazes

This week we have been doing position and direction.  We took out the skipping ropes and made mazes, then the children gave each other verbal instructions to a blindfolded child on how to navigate the maze.  I also stuck Left and Right post-it notes onto them.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Telling the Time

Today a group went outside to use our giant clock on the playground.  They laid inside the clock to show half past and o'clock times.  I think I will get another group to use it tomorrow and make them run one revolution of the clock to show an hour more etc.  So if you don't have one on your playground, break out the sidewalk chalk! And it would a good way to teach angles to older children.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Rain rain go away...

Sorry I haven't posted much lately, but the rain has been torrential lately!  We haven't been getting outside.  I don't mind going out in a misty rain but not in sideways rain.

Measurement -Length

Now that spring has finally sprung, it's a great chance to get outdoors and measure anything!  You can give the children multi-link cubes, who can find a plant that is smaller or larger?  How many cubes long?  Incorporate some ICT and give the children some cameras to photograph their plants etc. If you are using standard units this is a good chance to use tape measures instead of rulers.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Lets face it capacity is fun, but messy, so it's a great chance to get outdoors and the keep the cleaners your friends!

This year I use rice and lentils to teach my class about capacity.  We filled our builders tray (tuff spot) with the lentils and collected up different types of containers.  What holds the same amount?  How many scoops will fill the cup?

Using lentils and rice was a more sensory experience for the children and they didn't get soaking wet!

Saturday, 31 March 2012


  • label hula hoops with different numbers, children can throw bean bags into two different hoops and add the totals on mini-white boards or clipboards
  • give the children a total and have them work in pairs to stand in the hoops that show the number bond
  • use cones or number tiles, ask the children to double a number and stand behind the answer and of course this works the same for finding halves or quarters

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Data Handling

Collecting Data

  • go out to the staff car park and fill out a tally chart about the colours of cars
  • make a pictogram about shoe size, by having children take off their shoes and put them in the pictogram

  • use hula hoops to create Venn Diagrams
  • get the children to sort themselves by eye colour, hair colour etc by standing into the hoops

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Number Work

Hide & Find:   this game can be played in many different ways
  • hide large number cards around your outdoor area
  • ask the children to find 1 number card each and return, you can then ask them questions about their number or to tell you something about their number
  • ask the children to find a number that is less than or greater than
  • ask the children to find a number that has a specific number units/tens
  • peg up the cards onto a washing line in ascending/descending order
Hide & Find Dominoes:
  • hide dominoes (I use large foam ones)
  • on return ask children to stand up if they have more than 5 spots on their domino
  • balance on one leg if you have less than 4 spots

Hide & Find Treasure:
  • hide treasure of any sort 
  • when the children return ask them to count how many pieces they have found (extend by counting in 2's or 5's)
  • can they estimate how much treasure they have before counting
  • who has the most/least?
  • if you give one of your pieces away, how much will you have?
  • how can we sort our treasure (colour, size, shape)

Hundred Square

  • get the children to chalk out a hundred square
  • use your painted hundred square or a giant hundred square mat
  • ask the children to cover the even numbers with red bean bags
  • find all the multiples of 3, 5, 10 etc


Welcome to Outdoor Maths!  I created this blog to help link together ideas for teaching maths outdoors.  Feel free to comment and add your own ideas.