Friday, March 11, 2011

Kindergarten Pi-Day Activities

When I was telling my sister that I was getting Pi-Day activities ready to share with Firecracker's kindergarten class, she asked me, "What do you tell the kindergarteners about pi?"  (If you've never heard of Pi-Day, you can see my explanation here.)  The answer is not much...understanding the number pi is a bit too advanced for kindergarten.  (Which is probably why I didn't find many kindergarten Pi-Day Activities when I googled it.)  We'll tell them that pi is a number that will be important for circles when they're older...and we'll be celebrating circles and math more than the pi itself.  I figure that the more fun math seems to them now, the better attitude they'll have in the long run. 

So, as promised yesterday, I've got some kindergarten appropriate activities ready to share...and similar to my post yesterday...I've got a book to share for the Read-Along at the end of this post.  These are probably too late for many of you teachers...but maybe they can help some home-schooling and pre-schooling moms out there.

Since celebrating Pi-Day was my idea, I didn't want it to be extra work for Firecracker's teacher.  I brainstormed several ideas and sent them to Firecracker's teacher's, and then she choose the ones that would be most appropriate for her class.  We'll be dividing the class into 3 groups and having them rotate through activities, so there will be about 6 students doing each activity at one time.

Here's what we came up with:

Fraction Paper Plate Pies

I made up 6 different colored "pies" out of paper plates and contruction paper.  I decorated a couple of the tops, but you wouldn't need to.

I kept one pie whole and cut each of the other pies into a different size fraction.  So one pie is cut into halves, one into thirds, one into 4ths, one into 6th, and one into 8ths.  (If the kids were any older, I'd make a set of 12ths to round out the set so that they could always have a way to make a complete circle no matter what is mixed and matched...but 12ths just seemed too much for a kindergarten group activity.)

The plan is to have the kids put the different pies together like puzzles.  Firecracke had fun helping me test them out.

We can also have them do some simple comparisons (like how many 1/4 pieces does it take to make a 1/2 piece). 
Then we'll give each student their own paper plate to color and decorate with crayons.  Depending on how time is going, we may also have them choose a size fraction piece to trace onto their pie to "cut" their pie...but I don't think we'll have them actually cut their pies up.

Circle Patterns
Patterns are also a big topic in kindergarten as a math skill...and patterns are more fun with fun pictures.  I tried doing a google search for a circle pattern worksheet and didn't come up with anything.  Then I tried just searching for pictures to use to make my own...and still couldn't come up with anything.  I ended up drawing and scanning in my own...which I should have just done in the first place.  It only took about 10 minutes, and here it is in case you would like to use it.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE PDF with the Pi-Day Patterns Worksheet. 

(This is  picture of the worksheet, but it will likely print better if you click on the link above.)

Circle Collages and Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
For our last activity, we'll let the kids make circle collages.  I checked out Color I traced a bunch of circles of different sizes onto contruction paper.  (I used bowls, cans, quarters, etc to trace.)  Then we'll give them to the kids to design their own pictures.  These are a few examples that I came up with.

This activity was inspired by the illustrations in Color Farm and Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.  (I mentioned before that we are Lois Ehlert fans.)  These books are not stories, but rather animals made from basic shapes that are transformed as you move through the book.  They're both great, but I especially recommend Color Zoo.

Snack - Muffin Tin Pies
And of course, to top things off, we'll be having the muffin tin pies that I posted about yesterday.

And finally, if you love math enough that you might actually celebrate Pi Day with your kids...then you've got to check out Boutique Academia.  She has a Pi necklace that's beautiful.

If you're just now joining us, be sure to visit our Read-Along Archives to see the books we've already read.

Please show my sponsors some love...
Southern Cross Necklace from Boutique Academia
Fibonacci Necklace from Boutique Academia
Pi Necklace from Boutique Academia


  1. Thank you so much for the printable! I plan on using it for my Pi day-I'll link to you when I post it!

  2. Polly, these are great activities. I'm excited to hear how the kindergarteners do with pi/pie.

  3. Can I just say I seriously love your site? Thanks for sharing so many great things.

  4. Wow Polly! You have so many fantastic ideas here. I can't wait to try them.

  5. Okay these are awesome!! Educational and cute at the same time! Just makes me happy!

  6. Awesome ideas! I need to do this with my daughter!

    Thanks for sharing at the For the Kids Friday Link Party at Sun Scholars! I look forward to having you back this Friday!

  7. Hi,
    Just found your site tonight. I spent 2 days looking for PI ideas for primary grades! Finally I found your site. I LOVE< LOVE< LOVE what you did for the little kids!
    I had put up a post last night for Pi day. I went back and added a link to your site today. Thanks for your post.
    Marcia Murphy :)

  8. Very fun ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I really like the paper plate fractions. This is something my kiddos can make on their own. Fractions are so much easier to understand when they are experienced through hands-on exploration. This will work great during our math investigation time.

  10. I love your fraction ideas! I am going to put it in my math folder to use this last quarter in Kindergarten. I am sad that I got behind in following your blog and we missed celebrating pi day! My 7th grader just finished learning all about circles and pi. Great ideas!

  11. What a great idea! I am a new follower and I would love if you would link it up to my Made by Little Hands Monday Linky party!
    Thanks so much!

  12. I agree about making math fun to encourage good math attitudes later on! Wonderful activities for Pi Day. I would love for you to share them at my Pi Day link up.

  13. Great ideas! I'd love for you to link this up to Tot School Tuesday:

  14. I really like your fraction paper plates, pinning!

  15. Thank you so much! (From Hungary.)

  16. Thank you so much for the circle bear, I used it with my Students with special needs, we are on the shape circle.

  17. Thank you for the post. I love the paper plate idea. We are using it for our Pi Day activities tomorrow. I have a blog post on our activities and linked to your site from my website at Chief Household Officer - .
    Thanks again, Amber

  18. Kindergarten is such a fun year for writing and reading progress. I wish I would have saved more samples from my years of teaching over the years as each kid has such a unique style!

    kid's life


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