instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Happy Pi Day!

Here's the side-view of a cup with straight sides.
The thin red piece of paper below the cup is the length of the diameter of the cup.
The red line around the cup is a "ruler" that is four times the length of the diameter.
It is wrapped around the cup.
Where it meets the beginning of the ruler is marked with the arrow.
This length is Pi (3.14...).
Or, for little ones, it's "3 and a bit more!" 

Welcome to Pi day!


Pi day is March 14 because 3.14 are the first three digits of Pi.


Yes, Pi is a bit advanced for the intended readers of Smiling Dog™ Math books. After all, the first two books of the series cover counting to 9 and adding to 9. Book #3 is on the horizon, and that focuses on adding to 10.


The concept of Pi—the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (about 3.14159) is still years away for our budding mathematicians.


Yet, you'll find that Smiling Dog™ Math books plant seeds for the future.


That's why the NUMBERs love pie. Hmmm . . . or "Yummm . . ."


In fact, Pi, is pivotal to book #2, Circus Fun! Add Up to 9. The NUMBERs get into trouble at dinner, and Mom is so upset that the NUMBERs are sent to their rooms without Pie.


No Pie! Unthinkable! What willl they do?


Here's a Pi Day activity for little ones


What you need:

  • A circular object with straight sides (e.g, cup, pot, mug, etc.).
  • Construction paper and a marker to make a small "ruler" the length of the diameter.

Here's what to do:

  • Ask, "How many of "these" (the "ruler" the length of the diameter) do we need to go around the (cup) just once?
  • It's so unintuitive; the answer will be a fun surprise.
  • Now make a second ruler that is 4 times as long as the diameter, and mark each diameter length on that ruler.
  • Wrap it round the object.
  • Mark where it touches the other end.
  • So we need "3 and a bit more" to go around!
  • What if we do the same thing with a different size circle? (Remember to make a new ruler each time based on the diameter of that new circle.)
  • Wow! The answer is always "three and a bit more."

Cool! You've just help your child discover Pi.


Maybe celebrate the new discovery with some pie. My favorite is blueberry with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Happy, Happy Pi Day!


Be the first to comment