10 Things To Do On Pi Day: Snow Day Edition


I have one kid who will be sorely disappointed by today’s snow day. After all, missing day-long celebrations are tough, especially for a math-loving kid on pi day. He’s going to miss the pi reciting contest (he was on the committee that made the award, and looked forward to competing to win it for knowing pi to the greatest number of digits). So I have to make sure to make pi day as special as can be, right here at home. So what’s a parent to do to celebrate pi day at home?

Pancake contest

Borrowing this idea from school, but no reason we can’t do it at home. Make a pancake. Whoever can guess its area eats the pancake.

Snow Circles

Kind of like snow angels, but you connect the hands to the legs so it’s going all the way around. Maybe even rotate your body 180 degrees to complete the effect.

Snowball Fight

Circles, circles, circles. measure the snowballs, throw as far as possible in all directions to make a giant circle and measure that radius to find the area.

Bake

This one’s easy. Bake a pie. If you’re really feeling it, make both a dessert pie and a savory pie (pot pie). Or make pizza pie. Really, anything round will do. If you’re more into cookies, discuss the area of the dough pre-baked and predict the post-baked area (or calculate the volume (4/3 x pi x r^3)).

Craft Paper Ring Chains

You know those chains, where you take strips of colored paper and tape them into circles, with each subsequent ring going through the previous ring. This can be a great lesson in circumferences. Remembering that C=pi x d, if they measure out the strips of paper, have them calculate the diameter. Vary the lengths to create multiple math problems. Or challenge them to create a chain with diameters adding up to a particular value (say, 2,017). Or that each ring should have a diameter representing a digit of pi (3.1415926 – first ring diameter is 3 inches. then 1, then 4, etc.

Pi Word Game

Come up with as many words as you can with “pi” in it. Decide ahead of time if words that include the letters ‘pi’ but have a short I count. For example, pine vs. pit. Maybe the former gets two points while the latter gets one. Bonus points for words that would include a pi measurement, I.e. 3.14 points for pineapple, for which you could use pi to measure the area and circumference of a slice.

Einstein Hair Contest

Celebrate his birthday by competing to see who can have the wildest most Einstein-like hairdo.

Einstein Challenge

Have your kids look up Einstein facts, then put together a trivia quiz: they can ask each other (or the whole family) about different facts they’ve learned, and see if they can stump one another. Maybe make up a jeopardy-like game using some online tool.

Pi Digit Contest

Each kid recites pi to as many digits as they know. The one who knows the most wins a prize. Maybe a pi paper chain?

DIY Pi T-shirts

If you don’t already have the supplies handy, going out to get them during a snow day may not be the best idea. But if you have supplies handy, have the kids design their own pi day T-shirts.

  1. Draw the design on the non-shiny side of a sheet of freezer paper
  2. Cut out the design.
  3. Iron the paper onto the shirt,
  4. Put cardboard inside the shirt so the paint doesn’t bleed through.
  5. Use fabric paint to paint on your design. Feel free to get outside the edges; the freezer paper serves as a single-use stencil
  6. Peel off the freezer paper while the paint is still somewhat wet, then leave the shirt to dry completely.
  7. Cover the shirt with an old cloth or towel, then iron the design. This helps to smooth down any spots of paint protruding up and to smooth the design into the shirt better.

There you have it. A whole lot of activities to keep the pi day spirit alive, even on a snow day.

Get the GeekDad Books!

   

Nivi Engineer is a novelist and playwright in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a mom of three boys, and escapes the never-ending sports calendar through reading. This month, she's learning that the capital of Bhutan is Thimphu. And now, so will you.