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Math on the Go! Holiday Fun

Some of our most common traditions, like drawing snowflakes or decorating a tree if we celebrate Christmas, can be the perfect tool to bring more math into your child's life, especially if you work together.

When it’s cold and dark out around this time of year, it’s the perfect time to entertain your child with fun math games and activities. 

This month's 'Math on the Go,' Holiday Edition, brings some of those activities and puzzles to you. These activities should be scalable for age and level, so anyone should be able to participate. We encourage parents to try a few of these with your children. There's nothing that sends a message as strongly as a parent taking a vested interest in a subject. Enjoy!

1. Draw a Snowflake
If you have more than one child, even better, since this activity is the most fun and rewarding with two or more children. To start, tell your kids that a snowflake has 6 lines of symmetry. Then:

 - Draw half of a snowflake on a piece of blue paper and ask your child to complete the drawing;
 - Next, draw a third of a snowflake and ask your child to complete the drawing;
 - Finally, draw a sixth of a snowflake and ask your child to complete it.

If you want inspiration for the snowflakes (and a little extra activity), walk in the falling snow with a camera or a smartphone and make a gallery of the snowflake portraits to have a variety of snowflake options.

2. Prepare a Snowflake
This next activity is part memory game, part math. Draw three complete snowflakes on a white piece of paper with your child. When you’re finished, fold the papers along the lines of symmetry and cut out the pieces of the snowflakes: one into two halves; one into three thirds; and the last into six sixths. You should now have three snowflakes in different-sized pieces.

Your child’s task is to find the matching parts and glue them onto blue paper, to put the snowflakes back into a blue sky.

3. Tree Triangles
Moving on from snowflakes, how about some fun with triangles? Use the image below to see how many triangles you can find in the picture. Are you sure you counted all of them?

4. Pascal's Christmas Tree
Pascal's Christmas Tree is pretty tricky! There is a definite pattern to these numbers, but what is it? See if you and your child can figure it out.

Whatever you do with your math kids during the holidays, remember to have fun and enjoy your time together. Happy holidays from RSM!

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