# Math for all Seasons

The four seasons provide lots of reasons to explore math! Encourage your child to notice patterns of change with the seasons by asking questions such as:

• Is it getting lighter or darker at bedtime?
• How do the plants change at this time of year? What will happen next?
• Is it colder or warmer today? How can you tell?
• Is it likely to be colder or warmer tomorrow?

Involve your child in planning a seasonal party or special event:

• Ask them how long it is until a special day.
• Sort gifts by size (volume) or weight (mass).
• When wrapping gifts, ask: “How much wrapping paper do you need? How much ribbon will you need? Will the gift fit in this box? What shape is this gift?”
• Count down the days to a special event or day using counters such as blocks, stickers or Popsicle sticks.

## Fall

Count the days:

Play with leaves:

• Sort leaves by shape, size, and colour Count how many are in each group.
• Compare groups of leaves. Ask which group has more or fewer or the same number of leaves.
• Use string to measure around the leaves.
• Ask your child to find a leaf that is the same size as his or her hand, or one that is bigger or smaller..
• Ask how many leaves your child thinks he or she can hold in one hand (estimate). Or estimate how many leaves are in a patch on the ground.

Use pumpkins:

• Ask which pumpkin is the heaviest or biggest.
• Carve shapes into a jack-o-lantern.
• Sort pumpkins by size (for example, from largest to smallest, or from least amount of green to most amount of green).
• Estimate the seeds, then count. How close was the estimate?

Sort Halloween treats:

• Ask your child to divide into the ones they like most and the ones they like the least..
• Put the treats into groups (organized by shapes, size, or type).
• Ask your child to take one group of treats and make it into two different groups.

## Winter

Count the days (again):

• Ask your child how many days he or she has been in school.
• Ask how many days it is until winter break.

Notice the holiday lights:

• Look for patterns in holiday season lights. Ask which colour they see most often. Are there different shapes in the decorations?

Take advantage of the snow or rain:

• Ask how many days were sunny this week and how many days were rainy.
• Ask about puddles: “How deep is this puddle? Which puddle is the deepest? Which puddle holds the most water?”
• Ask how much water or snow your child thinks has fallen today.
• Ask which boots, coat or mittens will fit: “Which ones are the right size? Which mittens match?”
• Play in the snow. Build a snow fort. Build a snowman. Compare and order snowballs by size.
• Make a path in the snow to a car or tree or sidewalk. Ask how many boot prints it took.

## Spring

Listen to the birds:

• Listen to bird songs. Ask: “What pattern do you hear? Can you repeat it?”

Count and measure in the garden:

• Compare different plants by asking which seed they think will grow into the biggest plant.
• Measure plant growth. Ask if this plant will grow higher than your knee.
• Choose the right size of vase to put flowers in.
• Sort flowers by size or colour.
• Count birds and sort seeds.

Play ball:

• Have your child throw a baseball. Ask how many steps away the ball is.
• Order different balls by size – marble, golf, tennis, softball, soccer, for example.

## Summer

Measure while playing:

• Ask your child to guess how far he or she can run in 30 seconds. Then run and compare the guess with the actual distance.
• Ask your child to estimate how many steps to the playground.
• Ask how many scoops of sand are in one pail.
• Measure the longest throw or the furthest kick by number of steps.
• Ask your child if there are more people in the water or on the beach.

Observe patterns:

• Ask your child to look for patterns in shells, beach balls and beach towels. Arrange shells in patterns. Ask what comes next.
• Ask your child to sort shells in different ways and tell how they are sorted.
• Have your child draw and copy patterns in the sand. Ask what comes next.