# Little Lambdas – What’s in store?

A sneak peek inside a typical Mathematics is Fun! class

In the „Welcome Back“ week of Mathematics is Fun we cover the idea of 3-Dimensional shapes.

Mathematics is introduced as a fun topic through the same motivating explanation of what mathematics is and then we sing and dance together to a song called “Mathematics is Everywhere”.

We distinguish between flat shapes. Circles, Squares, Triangles. And we talk about the fact that shapes need not be flat but indeed use the space around us. This is the third dimension!!

We talk about Balls (rather than spheres!) and cubes (or boxes) and Pyramids.

For the “Dice” craft each Little Lambda is given 6 white square-shaped stickers to represent each side of the dice. Each receives a little cardboard box upon which they are able to apply the stickers (with help from myself and Stefania). The budding mathematicians love this challenge and love the result even more. They can throw the dice around, noticing the different numbers showing up each time, comparing higher and lower numbers with their class mates.

We then introduce a new toy “a Light Panel” which is a very bright large screen upon which transparent items can be placed to create a mini-spectacle for the little ones. There are “boxes” and “balls” and “cones” to build with and to assemble together on the light panel.

Finally, for the activity game, the class is split into two. Two Teams! The Ball Team and the Cone Team. The shapes are put in a bag.  Some music is played and the Little Lambdas dance around till the music stops. Then a shape is selected from the bag. That team needs to describe one property of the shape. It is 3-dimensional, it is round, curved, pointy etc! Then the music and dancing begins again. Repeat – till they have enough 🙂

Afterwards we sit together while some gentle music plays and talk about the favourite and most fun parts of the class and we make a short recap on what we covered that morning.

# Pepping up the daily dialogue with your kindergartener

Is the daily dialogue with your kindergartener losing its spice? Try pepping it up with some of these taxing topics!

Shapes and the Imagination

Have a look inside your little diva / divo’s busy mind by posing the following question: “If a *tiger were made of simple shapes what would they be?” Bonus points for any answer with more substance than “Tiger Shape”

*substitute tiger with: your feet, the clouds, Papa, dinner, etc.

Patterns and Rhythm – We love it when our little darlings repeat things over and over and over and over, right?? 😀

So try some of these to get the ball rolling.

• Ask them to repeat the sequence: Red, Blue, Red, Blue……… Make the sequence one colour longer each time. See how far you both get!
• Ask them to fill in the missing beat: Beep, Beep, Bop, Bop, Beep, Beep, X, X and encourage them to create their own rhythmic pattern!
• Repeat this: (it’s difficult) Apple, Orange, Orange, Apple! Add a tongue-twister to mix it up: like shells, seashore, seashore, shells.

Number Association – Counting is soo 2016. This year it’s all about “number association”, baby!

Can you name anything special about the number 5? Hint: it has to do with your hand.

The Number 7? Hint: it has to do with the days of the week

The Number 1? Hint: it has something to do with the number of noses you have.

They might also like to turn the game around and start asking you the questions!

These are just some of the things I try, when I want to have a look past those dreamy eyes of my 4 year old son. I am always eager to hear of other conversation extraction methods 😉 So if you have time then please do share!

# Circles and Snowmen!

Are you decorating a Christmas tree this holiday season? Are your little ones verging on obsessed wondering when the tree will actually arrive? Whether the Christkind brings it on the 24th or you prefer to bring your tree home as early as is humanly possible (like me), this little craft will give you the chance to enjoy this special time together with your little elves ❤

My four year old little elf is at that stage where he is stubborn about his ideas and how he wants to do things, but needs a little nudge to bring them to fruition. We cut out the shapes and decided together how we would make our decorations. He was surprisingly insistent that the snowman should NOT have jewels for buttons and that the present should NOT be wrapped in ribbon. In the end they turned out quite lovely, so I guess his selective “eye for detail” paid off this time! 😀

As I was cutting out the shapes, I talked a little about them and how many sides each has and how when a line standing straight meets a line lying flat, it makes a “right angle”. Needless to say he was more interested in getting the chance to decorate so I didn’t dwell on the geometrical properties for too long! 😀

If you get the chance to make some decorations with your little ones (geometric or otherwise 😉 ), it would be so nice to receive a photo via Instagram or web message. I would love to feature a collage of pics to showcase the creativity of our little “Be Creative, Do Math” community.

I wish everyone a fun holiday and a “nice slide” into the New Year! See you in 2017!!