Following recipes and making meals with your child is a great way to use Maths in the real world. Children get the opportunity to measure ingredients and liquids which are important Maths and life skills. The following websites include delicious and healthy recipes.
Children love measuring length. A lovely activity is to get your child to measure parts of their body such as their height, length of their feet and also their weight. It is a very personal activity and over time it's very exciting to see them grow!
Measuring how tall plants grow in the spring is a very engaging activity too. It also encourages children to take responsibility and to look after something living.
Year 5 and year 2 are learning to knit. What does this have to do with Maths, you may ask.
In fact, anyone attempting to knit or crochet for the first time soon finds they are doing a few calculations in their head (or on the back of an envelope) to get their creation going. Knitting involves maths right from the beginning: counting stitches, calculating gauge (that is the number of stitches and rows required to knit a 10cm square for a particular yarn), working out how many skeins (the bundles of yarn) are needed for a project, and rifling through change to work out how much yarn you can buy at the yarn shop sale. The list is endless.
Mathematics can he applied to the design of a knitted creation to produce something that is both beautiful and geeky. A stripy scarf can be knitted in Fibonacci stripe, with the number of rows of each stripe corresponding to the Fibonacci sequence, where each number is the sum of the previous two numbers, starting with 0 and 1 to get the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and so on. Or perhaps the scarf will be made in a pattern depicting a series of permutations. For example, the group of all permutations of a three-element set have been knitted as a scarf in the picture below, where the three elements are represented by green, grey and black. Mathematics distinguishes abstract designs from repeating patterns, which are often a perfect example of rotation or reflection symmetry.
Bet you didn't know that you have a new hobby in maths too.
This scarf depicts all permutations of a set containing three elements. Knitted by Sarah-Marie Belcastro.
While mathematics is essential in order to knit, needlecraft can also aid mathematics in return: knitting and crocheting can be used to create real models of mathematical objects that seem counter-intuitive. It's visual geometry at your fingertips (or needle tips); a fantastic way to view objects that aren't so easy to think about in your head.
Crafty maths doesn't just stop with knitting and crocheting either. Mathematics can be applied to cross-stitch, quilting, embroidery and weaving. Ada Dietz, an American weaver, used algebraic expressions to create weaving patterns as far back as 1949, while quilt makers have based quilt designs on many different mathematical concepts such as the conic sections and trigonometric functions.