March 14th is the perfect time to break out all things pie…or pi. You see, 3.14 is both pi and March 14. Even if math isn’t your strong subject, you can still celebrate this infinite number and add a little bit of extra fun into an otherwise ordinary day.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Remember, you don’t have to do all of them to make your family feel extra special. I’m a big fan of taking something silly or different and finding easy ways to celebrate. Let’s get started!
Eat All the Pie
While you can certainly pick up a pie from your favorite store or bakery to enjoy for dessert, you can also get your child involved in making one from scratch. While I don’t make my own pie dough very often (holla for store bought crusts!), I do try to make my own filling. My 4 year old son loves helping Mama in the kitchen and pies are one of his specialities. When he is helping me make filling, he is learning how we use math to measure. He is also working on his excellent stirring skills.
Depending on what you are in the mood for, you can make this easy apple pie recipe or this chocolate meringue pie recipe. My little man loved making the meringue, but if that freaks you out or if you are running low on time, just pour some cooked chocolate pudding into the pie crust and add some whipped cream to the top once it has cooled. You will be a superstar and I will personally award you with the Mother Of the Year award.
And your Pi Day celebration does not just have to include dessert pie. Bake an egg casserole in a pie pan for breakfast pie, or make a shepherd’s pie for dinner. Listen, if you can put it in a pie pan, do it. It adds to the excitement and your kids will love watching you get creative in the kitchen.
Get out your finger paints or watercolors and show your children what the pi symbol looks like. My preschooler loved learning this new symbol; it was fun for him to paint, sculpt with playdoh, and draw. Try glueing dry beans or craft pompoms to a piece of paper in the shape of the pi symbol. For extra credit, glue the pompoms at the bottom of a foil pie tin.
Quantify the Numbers
While I wasn’t going to give my preschooler a full lesson on the quantity of pi and how it works, I did involve some fun activities that revolved around pi. First, I told him that pi had to do with circles. We took a walk and tried to point out and find as many circles on our walk as we could. Give this a try, and see if you can find more than 10, more than 20, or more than 30 circles on your walk or adventure.
Next, explain that the numbers in pi are 3, 1 and 4. Then, try to find clusters of things that have 3, 1 and 4 things in them. Four grapes on his plate at lunch, one cardinal on the bird feeder outside, three kids playing at the library. It is a fun game that you can play together throughout the day. Plus, it is great practice on quantifying numbers, which is a math readiness skill that he will use in elementary school.
Finally, with all this talk of circles, this might be a good time to introduce the Venn Diagram to your child. Try two intersecting circles and give your child an age and skill appropriate task. For us, we counted how many superhero toys in his books wore red, wore blue, and wore red/blue. I didn’t know if this would go over well or not, but it was a hit! We ended up doing more diagrams that involved color combinations of superheroes; it kept us busy for quite awhile before Daddy came home for the evening.
No matter how you decide to bring a little Pi(e) into your life this month, I think you will find yourself with a new family tradition on your hands.