As we learned during math class, pi or π is the symbol that represents the number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle with its diameter. No matter the size of the circle, the ratio between these two is always the same number.
The 14th of March (3/14) makes it a perfect day to celebrate pi and show our appreciation of math and science, since 3, 1, and 4 are the first digits of this special number.
Whether you are a teacher that wants to shake things up in the classroom or a parent that wants to get inspired to set up some new family activities, the following ideas are a great start before planning this year’s celebration.
Learn and Sing Pi Songs
This is a perfect activity for small children and a great opportunity to help them memorize some of the pi digits and see that math can be fun! Luckily there are many songs out there that celebrate pi so you have a wide selection to pick your favorites.
If you know how to play the piano and want a more challenging activity, there is even a piano piece, in which each number is represented by a different note.
Make Pi Art
Another fun way to learn about pi is to create some pi art. Depending on the age and the available materials, there many types of projects you can do with your children or students.
Elementary students that have learned to do some basic operations will have a lot of fun with a coloring page project. You can download this worksheet, in which the letter π is divided into sections that need to be filled with color according to instructions. To find which color to use, the students need to solve an operation, making it a fun way to exercise in solving simple math problems.
Pi Art Grid
To celebrate the infinity of pi, TinkerLab had the idea to create this art project where you have to choose three colors, spend 14 minutes, and paint 15 boxes. Where is the infinity on this? There are countless ways to fill the grid!
Pi City Skyline
For older children, the Pi City Skyline project is an awesome way to learn the first digits of pi and at the same time create something very artistic they can even gift to their math teacher!
The idea behind this is simple. Each building in this cityscape represents a number of pi’s digits. You can create a colorful city by assigning a different color for each number, or keep all buildings black and paint a colorful sky behind.
Pi Crafts You Can Wear
If you love math, why not create something you can also wear? A fun project for teens and even adults is crafting pi shirts. You can pick some colorful fabrics and sew the letter π on one of your shirts, or use a π stencil to create stamps!
Pi Bracelet and Necklace
You can craft a pi bracelet (or necklace) in the following two ways: either as shown below (number of beads equals the value of the digit) or assign a different bead color to each digit. For example, you can assign white to 0, blue to 1, and so on. If you don’t have any beads available, you can also do this by coloring pasta and using them as beads.
Why not decorate your classroom or your children’s rooms to celebrate the day?
Just like pi’s digits, the possibilities are infinite and you can get even more ideas by scrolling through Pinterest boards.
Another cool way to learn about pi and have fun is playing some pi games! A fun project for younger children is the pi spy game, in which it is required to search and identify the π symbol among other mathematical symbols. Apart from being fun, this game also improves comprehension and focus.
For older children and adults the pi card game is the perfect family event! The objective of the game is to be the first player to play all the cards in your hand. In order to play a card though, you need to have in your hand the next pi digit or you lose your turn.
Read Pi Comics
If you are a math teacher and you want to have a little fun during class, you can share some pi-related comics with your students. Especially if you are teaching teens, this can be a short and fun break from the normal class routine.
Build Lego Structures
If you don’t want to bother with baking or painting, and especially if you are a Lego-lover, you can create some fun pi-themed structures with Lego bricks, like forming the letter π or a pie. The advantage of this project is that after Pi Day, all Legos can be repurposed for your next project. What a green and environmentally-friendly way to celebrate Pi Day!
Read or Watch Pi or Math-Related Stories
Mensa for Kids have gathered a list of fun activities for Pi Day and it includes, of course, reading some Pi Literature, like the book “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi” by Cindy Neuschwander or watching pi or math-related movies and TV shows, like “Donald in Mathmagic Land”.
Learn Historical Facts about Pi
During math class, it is common to spend the time only doing equations and forgetting to learn a thing or do about the historical figures behind the math formulas. A fun activity for teachers is to break the usual class routine and do a short trivia game with facts about pi or math in general.
In this article, we presented only some of the fun – yet educational – projects you can do to celebrate Pi Day with your students and children. The possibilities are endless and your only limitation is your willingness to try out something new.
14th March, apart from the obvious connection between 3,14 and 3/14, it happens to be the day that Albert Einstein was born, making it an even better date to celebrate math!
Therefore, you have the perfect excuse to take a break from the normal class routine and do some fun activities that inspire both children and adults to learn more about and love science.