Putting the Fun in Homeschooling, Something to Celebrate

Make Math Fun with Pi! (or pie)

Updated from a post I wrote in March of 2019.

I wish all math was as much fun as Pi! Take a break from the norm, and celebrate Pi Day with these fun activities! Oh, and don’t forget the pie (I saved the best for last)!

Pi Day is a day we have enjoyed over the years with a small group of friends, as well as at home by ourselves. I must say, the more the merrier for the “pies” part anyway. I’ll miss our pie buffet this year, but it’s still always a treat to do something different from our regular math routine. I have scoured Pinterest and Google for fun things to celebrate the special day. Most of these activities are no mess, require minimal prep, and have been tried among multiple ages!

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Pi Art

  • Aside from eating pie, art is my favorite thing to do on Pi Day! These Pi Skylines have always been a hit! It’s a ton of fun with very little prep or mess. All you need is graph paper, markers, or crayons. Check out the video and give it a try! There is also a Lego variation of this fun activity.
  • Circle Art – So simple, but so fun. Creativity can really shine with this one. Simply draw a sheet of circles then turn into into something unique. Donuts, a basketball, a tire, a globe, the face of a clock – the ideas are endless when it comes to circular things!
  • Pointillism – One year for Pi Day, we tried a project using the pointillism technique. I simply printed a picture of an octopus and my daughter filled it with lots of tiny dots!
  • Pi-neapples – I saw this t-shirt on Amazon, and thought that this would be fun to do as as an art project this year with some watercolor pencils we are currently learning how to use.

Pi Games

  • Super Simple Pi Day Card Game is fun for a wide range of ages. Be sure to use a couple of decks of cards!
  • Piku Poetry – rather than the traditional 5-7-5 syllable haiku, try 3-1-4 poems!
  • Pi Story – we have not tried this yet, but the idea is to use the number
    π as a unique mathematical writing prompt. Compose a story using words that have the same number of letters as each digit in π. For example, since pi begins with the digits 3, 1 and 4, the first word in the story would contain three letters; the second word would contain one letter; the third word would contain four letters, and so on. This could be an interesting challenge!
  • Word List – a fun activity we have done before is to set a timer to 3 minutes and 14 seconds and make a list of how many words we can think of that begin with pi. There are actually quite a few of them!
  • Recall – Challenge your kids, or even yourself to memorize 100 digits of Pi with this fun song. Your friends and family will be impressed!
  • Check out this experiment known as Buffon’s Needle. It’s a surprising way to calculate π is using the laws of probability – who knew?
  • Pizza Pi Deal – If you have a big family, or are like my kids and enjoy pizza for breakfast, here’s a quick lesson in economics: order three pizzas: small, medium, and large, and find out which one is the best value! See it explained here. Once that question is answered, everyone can eat the pizza.

Pi merch

I’m no math nerd, but I do like quirky things. If you are a lover of all things pi, or looking for something to give a teacher or tutor as a token of appreciation for helping your child understand math, (because they absolutely deserve it) consider these fun options: earrings, tie clip, pi dish, journal, or a hilarious t-shirt. Also, as another activity that we used to read at our Pi Day celebrations is one from the Sir Cumference series. Kids (and adults love them)! I was also surprised to see a Suess book on Pi. You may want to go ahead and grab a copy, as they are becoming rare.

The best part about pi are the pies!

Over the years, we’ve had all kinds of round snacks: pizza, cookies, apple, lemon, and chocolate pies, and even moon pies! One year I made No Bake Mini Grasshopper Pies. I didn’t have the cute jars, but cupcake liners work too. My favorite though is chocolate. I usually make Chocolate Chess Pie from an old church cookbook. While looking for something new, I began scrolling though a gallery of 70 pies. I didn’t have to scroll far to find the perfect one for this Carolina girl…… Tarheel Pie!

I probably should mention, you may want to try this pi themed workout after eating the pie!

Check out these amazing pies at our pie buffet from Pi days past!

Do you have any favorite activities planned for Pi Day? I’d love to hear from you, whether it’s about Pi or PIE!

1 thought on “Make Math Fun with Pi! (or pie)”

  1. So much fun! We are going to read some fun books today and maybe try the Lego version of the skyline.

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