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Six festive and fun maths challenges

11/12/2020

We’ve pulled together a list of our favourite festive maths activities for you to try this month. These are perfect for the whole family and will have you practising maths without even realising – that’s one way to make sure your confidence doesn’t slip during the break from school!

Give these suggestions a go and let us know how you get on! We’d love for you to share a photo with us if you are on social media. Make sure you tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Quick reminder: if you are under 10, please make sure an adult is around to help you out. 

  • TetraTREEdron

Maths on Toast have come up with a fantastic festive maths project for you to use your 3D shape skills. While you’re inside this December, see if you can make a Tetratreedron from 4 tetrahedrons (or more!). These instructions give you a tetrahedron template, but you could put your maths skills to the test by trying to draw your own tetrahedron net.

Full instructions and the template can be found at https://www.mathsontoast.org.uk/tetratreedron/ 

 

  • Christmas origami

If you’ve ever studied nets, then we’re sure you’ve practised folding paper into different shapes. This Christmas origami takes paper-folding to the extreme. Artful Maths have created a bank of paper-folding challenges from stars to crackers. 

 https://www.artfulmaths.com/blog/origami-christmas-decorations 

 

  • Festive Venn diagrams

Do you need a way to sort out what’s a Christmas yay or a Christmas nay? Well, maths has the answer – Venn diagrams. Oxford Maths has created a short worksheet which will get you using and designing Venn diagrams to sort your stockings from your socks. 

Give the worksheet a go: http://fdslive.oup.com/www.oup.com/oxed/secondary/maths/Festive_venn_diagrams_final.pdf?region=uk

 

  • Maths quiz

If you aren’t already all quizzed out this year, we’ve stumbled across a cracking maths quiz – with a twist! In this quiz, you are given the answers and have to fill in the gaps in the question. 

You’ll brush up on your maths without even realising. A few questions could have multiple answers so see if you can get family or friends involved and see how many you can come up with. 

Download the quiz for free at https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/what-was-the-question-christmas-theme-11982053 

 

  • Paper decorations

Have you got a bare looking wall (or even a busy one)? Great excuse to make some more decorations. You could try estimating the width of your wall to work out how long your paper chain needs to be, or measure it with a tape measure to make sure your paper chain doesn’t fall short.

  • Grab an old newspaper, used wrapping paper or any recycled paper
  • Measure and cut the paper into strips of around 15cm x 2.5cm
  • Make one strip into a hoop and glue/sticky tape the ends together
  • Then, thread a second strip through the hoop to make a second hoop and glue the ends together
  • Repeat this until you’ve got your desired chain length
  • Tip: alternate different colours of paper to make a more vibrant chain

Loads of fun can be had with paper. Try creating some snowflakes and then for each one, work out its order of rotational symmetry and the number of lines of symmetry it has. Do these properties change depending on how you cut your paper?

 

  • Fake snow

Some of us certainly won’t be getting a white Christmas this year (no matter how much we sing and dream about it). So why not make your own snow indoors?

All you need is a few household ingredients – a bowl, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and water. It’s super simple and fun for all the family. The instructions are over on the BBC Good Food website – for the two dry ingredients, it’s all about ratios. As long as keep the amounts of cornflour and bicarbonate the same, in a 1:1 ratio, then you’ll be guaranteed a white Christmas!