Ultimate Guide to Living Math Activities

I’ve been touting the benefits of living math for quite some time now.  Why?  Because living math makes sense to kids.  It builds concrete understanding of abstract concepts.  It touches real-life, giving math meaning and purpose.  And, it’s fun!

Need ideas for living math lessons? There are more than 100 here!

This post contains affiliate links.

To make your life (and mine) easier, I decided to pull together a giant list of fabulous living math activities from all over the internet.  Grab one anytime you need a little inspiration!  I’ve attempted to compile the activities into appropriate grade levels.  You will find, however, that several of the lessons can be used with older or younger children.  (That’s another beauty of living math – it’s ability to span multiple ages!)

How can you use the activity lists?  You might decide to do a living math activity once a week and come here to find an idea.  You might find a topic your child has been studying in the math text and use one of these activities as reinforcement.  Or, you might find your child struggling with a math concept and find a helpful hands-on lesson to teach the concept in a different way.

Loving Living Math teaches you how to add living math to your homeschool - it's not hard!

Living Math Activities

K-3 Living Math Activities

Addition Bingo from Teach Beside Me

Apple Measurement from Something 2 Offer

Area & Perimeter Name Art from Adventures in Third Grade

Bead Classification from Our Journey Westward

Charts and Graphs from Jimmie Lanley

Chex Mix Math from E is for Explore

Dice Tic-Tac-Toe from Education

The Doorbell Rang Division from Our Journey Westward

Doubles Math Puzzles from Teach Beside Me

Exchanging Coins from Hands On Homeschooler

Exploring Capacity with Colored Water from The Imagination Tree

Folk Art Patterns from Painted Paper

Fraction Fun with Play Dough from The Organized Classroom

Fraction Match Up from 2nd the Best

Frogs and Snakes Dice Game from Something 2 Offer

Fun with Functions from Math in Your Feet

Fun with Patterns from Our Journey Westward

Geo Pumpkin from Fun A Day

Geometry Project from Ms. Mathemagician

Gingerbread Man Math Facts from Something 2 Offer

Gumdrop Engineering from Modern Parents Messy Kids

Graph My Room by Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

Greater Than Less Than Game from Living Creatively

Hand Print Area from Lesson Plan Diva

Hands-On Multiplication with Lego Bricks Frugal Fun for Boys

Math manipulatives make math easier to understand, especially in the younger years. If you can only buy a few, these are my top choices.

How Many Lego Bricks Does It Weigh? from Frugal Fun for Boys

Introducing Place Value from Adventures at the Kitchen Table

Lego Bar Charts from Science Sparks

Math Poetry from Jimmie Lanley

Measure the House from Let’s Explore

Nerf Gun Math from No Time for Flashcards

Number Line Fun from Childhood Beckons

Picture Pie for Fraction Fun by Ms. Fultz’s Corner

Place the Digits Dice Game from Teach Beside Me

Place Value Stomp from Creekside Learning

Popcorn Estimation Experiment from Hodgepodge

Positive Negative Symmetry Art from Our Journey Westward

Post-It Note Scavenger Hunt from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

Pretzel Polygons from Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade

Pumpkin Weighing from Something 2 Offer

Roll A Whole Fraction Game from Teach Beside Me

Shape Graphing from Imprints from Tricia

Shape, Mondrian and Oil Pastels from Art Smart

Sir Cumference Place Value from The Tiger Chronicles

Sneaky Math Games from The Unlikely Homeschool

Standard Measurement with Play Dough from Our Journey Westward

UNO Make 10 Game from The Activity Mom

Yummy Shapes from Our Journey Westward

Living literature makes a GREAT addition to math lessons. Books teach and reinforce math concepts in ways that sparks interest and add real-life understanding.

4-8 Living Math Activities

Absolute Value War from Making It as a Middle School Teacher

Abstract Art Math for Our Journey Westward

Area and Perimeter of Leaves from Our Journey Westward

Bar Graphing from The Science Penguin

Candy Bar Volume from Classroom Magic

Candy Math from Our Journey Westward

Capture Recature: Proportions Activity from Ms. Milleson’s 7th Grade Blog

Coin Probability Lab from STEM Mom

Design a Park from Principal’s Point of View

Fraction Operations Project from Teaching with a Mountain View

Fractional Me from The Teaching Thief

Geometric Designs from Art Lessons for Kids

Geometry Focus: Angles from Teaching with a Mountain View

Graphing Facebook Birthdays from Our Journey Westward

Hands-On Fractions from Jimmie Lanley

Hands-On Volume from Our Journey Westward

M&M Math from Our Journey Westward

Measuring and Comparing Stretch and Distance from E is for Explore

favmathgam Here's a list of our family's most played games that promote math.es

Measuring the Volume of Boxes and Spheres from The Homeschool Scientist

Measuring the Volume of a Solid from Susan Evans

Multiplication Facts Dice Game from Mama’s Learning Corner

Multiplication Grid Game from Teach Beside Me

Multiplication Ring Toss from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

One Grain of Rice from Our Journey Westward

Oreo Math from Teaching in Room 6

Paper Airplane Math from Our Journey Westward

Perimeter, Area and Fraction Mosaics from I Want to be a Super Teacher

Perimeter, Area and Volume from Math Things

Picture Algebra from Mrs. Whites 6th Grade Math Blog

Polygon Angles: Cookie Math from Almost Unschoolers

Popcorn Math from Our Journey Westward

The Power of Doubling from Our Journey Westward

Probability and Odds: Skittles Activity from Ms. Milleson’s 7th Grade Blog

Protractor Art from For the Love of Art

Sir Cumference Geometry from Almost Unschoolers

Symmetry Books from Nyla’s Crafty Teaching

Teaching Pi with Lids from Our Journey Westward

Tessellations from Julianna Kunstler

To-Scale Mapping from Our Journey Westward

Logic games are one of the best ways to practice logical thinking in a fun and simple way. My kids beg for logic!

High School Living Math Activities

Box Office Math Project from Byrdseed

Brand Symmetry from Teach Mathematics

Escher Symmetry from Teach Mathematics

Exponent Sort from Mark Clark

Factor Pair Spoons Game from Jon Oaks

Function Game from College Math

Geometry Vocabulary Match Game from High School Math Adventures

House Remodel from Everybody’s a Genius

Math You Need to Manage Your Money from Unschool Rules

Pythagorean Theorem Board Game from High School Math Adventure

Quadrilateral Properties from Teach Mathematics

Real-World High School Math from Unschool Rules

Similar Triangles from Teach Mathematics

Sine Rule Using a Theodolite from Teach Mathematics

Slopes and Ladders from Jon Oaks

What the Factor? from Jon Oaks

Seasonal Math Activities

Autumn Leaf Graphing from Our Journey Westward

Candy Heart Math from Our Journey Westward

Double Mint from Our Journey Westward

Football Math from The Happy Housewife

Lucky Charms Data from Teaching Heart

Olympic Medal Math from Byrdseed

Pumpkin Math from Our Journey Westward

Seasonal and holiday related posts from Our Journey Westward

There are three GREAT websites I can always count on for living math activity ideas that make math meaningful and fun.

  • Mathwire is for elementary students and offers lots of seasonal related ideas.
  • Yummy Math is for middle school (and sometimes upper elementary or high school) students.  You’ll also find several seasonal ideas, but what I like most here is there use of real-life math problems.  They usually provide a printable, too!
  • Robert Kaplinsky has really great real-life math prompts for all ages – including high school level algebra and geometry.
Loving Living Math teaches you how to add living math to your homeschool - it's not hard!

You can find all these living math activities and MORE on my Living Math Pinterest page.  I add new lessons there all the time!

The living math Pinterest board from Our Journey Westward is packed!

ENJOY your math lessons!

Incorporate Living Math in Your Homeschool

Want even more fantastic ideas for Living Math? Join me in the Living Math Masterclass to learn more about the methods I love, and you will too!

9 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing some of my links!!

  2. love living math. love manipulatives. love games. but my child loves the computer. do you teach coding? have any suggestions for online games late elementary? currently we are trying out MathBreakers (Jo Boaler suggested); Tynker; Hopscotch;

  3. Shelly Todd says:

    This is an amazing resource! I’ve read your book – Loving Living Math – well, I should say I’ve dog-eared, underlined and re-read it often- and love how Living Math has changed our homeschool! Now this list – Wow! I am so grateful!

  4. Shelly, I’m always SO encouraged when I read comments like yours. Thank you!

  5. Best math connected activity is playing chess. I know that it’s not obvious, because where do you have numbers and equations here. But math is not only about this, you need certain skills to understand complicated word of numbers. Unique thing about chess is that it develops both sides of the brain. Researchers analyzed this back in 2010 and found that more advanced players use the right side of their brain to recognize patterns in the game and their left side to analyze and make the most logical move. Regardless of the child’s age, chess develops concentration, increases patience and positively affects the intellectual and emotional development of the child. The rules of chess are very simple and children can learn them already from around the age of three. Not everyone can or wants to become a professional chess player but everyone can use chess for learning. For this purpous I can recommend a book (net-bossorg/chess-puzzles-for-kids-by-maksim-aksanov) with bunch of great exercises, which will help you and your kids to be better in this 🙂

  6. Nice post.

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