I joined Pinterest last spring. I knew it was dangerous. The internet is like Alice’s rabbit hole for me — once I go down it, it’s near impossible to get back out. But I’ve found that I love using Pinterest. It inspires me and helps me stay organized. (One little click, and I’ve filed away an idea for later!) And because I’m a very visual thinker, I find that organizing my online life with Pinterest is much easier than using traditional bookmarks.

I’m also a hopeless DIYer (hopeless in that I can’t stop trying these projects!), so my boards are filled with recipes, home projects and sewing ideas. And — you saw this coming — all of these require some math. I noticed that any one of these projects could be useful to a parent trying to stop the summer (math) slide, and I started collecting ideas.

You can view my Stop the Summer (Math) Slide board here. (If you’re not following me on Pinterest, what’s stopping you?) Take my ideas to create a board of your own. Then add to it. I’ve outlined a few of my absolute favorites below. Please share yours in the comments section!

1. Make a circle skirt.

This was actually a Spring Break project that, thanks to MADE, I did with my daughter and some of her friends this spring. I’m particularly tickled with how MADE describes the math behind drawing the circle. (Suggestions: Unless you’re a very experienced sewer, avoid slippery fabrics. And if you have a serger, boy-howdy is that helpful!)

2. Find your fuel economy.

Your child can help you track your car’s miles per gallon. This site shows you how (and includes some other nifty tools). But really all you need to do is divide the number of miles traveled by the number of gallons used. (Remember: per means to divide.)

3. Build a tomato trellis.

I featured this project on my blog in June, but it’s well worth mentioning again. The beauty of this idea is that it brings in some higher-level math, like the Pythagorean Theorem and right angles. (But don’t worry, it’s not hard math.)

4. Paint a room.

Last year, my daughter wanted to repaint her room. I said fine, on two conditions. She had to figure out how much paint was required, and she had to help (a lot). This site shows, step-by-step, how to calculate the paint needed.

5. Use coupons.

In this economy, everyone needs to save some cash. Coupons are a great way to reinforce math skills, like estimation and basic operations.

I’ll continue to add to this board, so check back from time to time and see what’s there. If you create something similar, please share it on the Math for Grownups facebook page or here in the comments section. I’d love to write another post later about what you guys have come up with!

What are your favorite projects to do with kids? How is math involved? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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