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If you’re looking for some activities and Pi Day worksheets, you’ve come to the right place! Grab the free printables below, and plan out your Pi Day fun with a variety of activity ideas.
As a former math teacher, I love geeking out about Pi day. Maybe you’ve heard about it, and even celebrated it in your homeschool. If not…why not begin this year?
Pi Day is celebrated each year on March 14, or 3/14, because Pi (π) is a number typically written as 3.14. It’s an irrational number, and never ends or repeats.
The number represented by π is used in calculations involving round objects like circles, spheres, and cylinders. To find it (or approximate it), take the circumference of any circle and divide it by it’s diameter…you’ll always get close to 3.14, or, π. Pretty cool, huh?
Today I’m sharing with you some free Pi Day worksheets and activity ideas you can try with your kids to celebrate this day. Anything for a fun homeschool holiday, right?
History of Pi Day
Pi has fascinated people for about 4,000 years. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians made estimations of Pi based on measurements. Archimedes, a brilliant Greek mathematician, was the first to calculate Pi algorithmically. People then continued to estimate Pi using Archimedes methods, and grew more accurate over time.
The actual Pi Day holiday stemmed from a staff member of the San Francisco Exploratorium, Larry Shaw, who made the connection between the date 3/14 and Pi, and simply wanted a fun way to bring his coworkers together. About 20 years later, Congress declared Pi Day an official U.S. National holiday.
Fun Facts About Pi
Here are a few things you may not have known about this intriguing number:
- Why the symbol π? π is the first letter of the Greek word “perimetros”, which loosely means “circumference”.
- Using modern technology, Pi has been calculated to 31 trillion digits (although we really only need the first 39 for observable accuracy). If you were to recite all of these, it would take you 133 years.
- Pi Day (3/14) is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.
- The current record for most digits of Pi memorized in 1 hour is 4,620.
- Rajveer Meena holds the record for reciting the most decimal places of Pi, clocking in at 70,000 (it took him 10 hours to recite – wow!).
- Write 3.14 backwards and it looks like…PIE. Hmmm…
Celebrating Pi Day
I don’t know about you, but my kids are younger and haven’t worked much with Pi in their math curriculum yet. If you’re wondering how to kick off your Pi Day celebrations when your kids don’t know much about this number yet, you might enjoy showing them this short video to introduce it to them.
Once you have the foundation laid, here are a few activities you can incorporate into your Pi Day celebrations!
Use Pi to Point to God
When studying Pi (as with anything else!), we have a great opportunity to point our kids to God, who set all mathematical principals in place for us to explore and know Him better through them.
I love this post from Cheri Gamble, who shares specific ways we can intentionally point our kids to God when studying Pi.
Make a Pi Bracelet
When my girls were in American Heritage Girls, we completed the mathematics badge and one of our activities was making Pi bracelets. You can use a pipe cleaner or cord for the bracelet. Or you can pick up a bracelet kit like this which would be perfect for this activity.
To make the bracelet, start with 3 beads of the same color. Then, 1 bead in a different color, 4 beads in a new color, etc. You’ll switch colors for each digit of Pi, and use the same number of beads that equals that digit’s value.
Another option would be to assign a different color to each number, and make the bracelet that way! (You might be able to fit more digits on your bracelet with this option).
Bake Pi Snacks
What’s a celebration without some yummy treats? And what better to bake on Pi day than…pie?
Here is an easy “Pi” pie recipe you can try with your kids. If you’d like, you could also make your favorite recipe in this Pi-shaped pan, or break out the Pi cookie cutters and decorate some sugar cookies.
Finally, a pizza “pi” would be a great idea for lunch or dinner! You could even use pepperoni to measure out the circumference and diameter of your pizza and make an approximation of Pi.
Write a “π-ku”
A haiku is a Japanese poem that has seventeen total syllables: 5 syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third line.
Why not come up with some fun haiku’s in honor of Pi day? Here’s an example by Paul Doherty:
divide by diameter
You could also do a variation with “three, one, four” syllables in each line to match the digits of Pi. Find some inspiration here.
Why not test your memorization skills and see how many digits of Pi you can memorize?
Here’s a fun song to get you started with memorizing 100 digits:
Once you think you have it down, use this quiz to test yourself. How did you do?
Brought to you by the San Francisco Exploratorium where Pi Day first began, this activity is great for kids to explore patterns through graphing. They’ll get practice recording data in a table, making a scatterplot, and calculating the slope of a line.
Another fun activity from the Exploratorium will have you estimating the value of Pi by tossing some toothpicks (quite the unconventional method…but your kids will love it!). Find instructions here.
Read Books About Pi
There are a few fun books we have enjoyed that you can read about Pi. You might be able to find them in advance at your local library, or I’ve linked them below:
Tell Some Pi Jokes
Did you know? 3.14% of sailors are pi-rates.
You can find 19 other Pi puns to amuse your kids right here (you might enjoy them even more than they will!).
Find a Pi Fun Run
The runner in me has to suggest that you find a fun run to participate in with your kids! With Pi being almost equal to a 5K distance (3.1 miles), it’s a great day to pound some pavement.
If there isn’t anything going on locally, try a virtual Pi Day run, and score a great finisher medal as a reward (plus, you get to count those P.E. hours!).
Free Pi Day Worksheets
Finally, you’ll want to grab my free activity pack to supplement all of your Pi day activities.
In this Pi Day printable pack, you’ll find:
- A Pi information page
- Measuring Circles for Pi activity
- Pi Day word search
- Pi “Baking Time” clock practice
- Calculating Circumference worksheet
- Pi Day coloring page
- Addition and subtraction with decimals sheet
March 14th is a great day to celebrate and learn more about this fascinating number, but you could really enjoy learning about Pi anytime. So grab that slice of pie and dig into any or all of these Pi Day activities with your kids!
And I’d love to hear in the comments: what are your favorite ways to celebrate Pi Day?
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