What better way to celebrate Pi Day than with a DIY felt pie! March 14th is a special day for early math explorations as young learners are introduced to the mathematical concept of Pi. Children will love developing their math and fine motor skills as they weave, grab, sort, and count to make a pie of their very own and discover what makes Pi so special!
What Is Pi Day?
Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th to represent Pi's value of 3.14! Mathematically, Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and is used to calculate values like the area of a circle, how big around a circle is, and more. While little learners aren't quite ready to learn all about Pi and its advanced uses in math, Pi Day is still the perfect opportunity to introduce simple math concepts and, most importantly, have fun learning them!
Why Is Pi Day Important?
Even though younger students aren't ready to dive into the complex uses of Pi, they can still have fun exploring the basic concepts of Pi! Exposure to early math concepts help children develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills while giving them the confidence they need to explore math concepts in the future. By celebrating Pi Day, teachers are giving their students the chance to discover math in an abstract, open-ended way that allows them to combine their creativity with critical thinking and other developing skills, to explore math in a way beyond reciting numbers or doing worksheets.
How Can I Use This in My Lesson Plan?
Creating a DIY felt pie is a wonderful way to celebrate Pi Day while keeping the lesson fun and age appropriate! With some felt, a pie pan, pom poms, and little imagination, children will make their very own pies using crucial skills such as fine motor, counting, and sorting. As children weave their pie crusts and use tweezers to make a pom-pom filling for their pies, they're also building their early math skills and discovering the properties of Pi in a hands-on play experience!
Extend this activity by having a discussion about the basics of Pi and what it means. Let children know that Pi can help us discover how many slices of pizza we can eat or how big a cookie can be! Introducing Pi through the simple DIY felt pie activity and other basic concepts, like exploring circles, makes this interesting math concept accessible to all ages.
Download our FREE printable below!
1Make Your Crust
Every good pie needs a crust! Using a marker, trace an outline of your pie pan onto a piece of felt. After tracing two circles, cut them out to make your pie's crust. Draw a few short lines across one of your circles, fold the felt in half, and cut along the lines to create slits. Make sure you don't cut all the way across your felt— we need this piece to decorate our pies! Teachers, make sure to help your little learners as they cut out their circles using scissors. Consider cutting the felt ahead of time to avoid accidents.
2Build Your Pie
Using another sheet of felt, cut out several strips. Encourage children to weave these pieces in and out of the slits you created earlier to make a beautiful woven pattern on your pie crust. Once children are done weaving, add your other felt circle to the bottom of your pie pan and begin building your pie!
3Add Your Filling
Fill your pie with pom poms! Encourage children to use tweezers to grab, count, and sort pom poms into their pies. They'll love making a delicious pretend filling while exercising their math skills. Place your woven pie crust on top of your filling and your pie is complete!
Spring into math learning with fun activities and explorations! Browse our selection of related resources to encourage early math explorations and incorporate engaging activities into your classroom.