Math deserves its own day, don’t you think? Join the fun of Pi Day, celebrated on March 14 (3.14, get it?). Here are 31 Pi Day activities that you’ll circle back to year after year.
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1. Assemble a Pi Day paper chain.
Just like our ol’ mathematical friend pi, paper chains can be endless … in activity time, length, and fun! As a class or grade, create the Pi Day chain with loops of construction paper, using a different color for each of the 10 digits. Each colored chain link represents a decimal place or a digit. Schools around the country have gotten in on this Pi Day trend and have even attempted world records. How long will your class or school’s Pi Day chain be?
Source: Mostly Poetry
2. Memorize those digits.
Hold a contest to see who can recite the most digits of pi, and reward them with… pie!
3. Sing a (pi) song.
Get started on that memorization with this catchy song about the firsts 100 digits of pi. Play it in the background while your kids work on other projects, and they’ll know it by heart in no time.
4. Do the math.
Provide plenty of circular objects like coffee cans, soup cans, pie tins, paper plates, bowls, CDs, candles, and more. Then have kids measure the diameter and circumference, divide the circumference by the diameter, and watch their amazement as the number comes out to about 3.14 every single time. Then, maybe finish up by measuring some round treats (chocolate chip cookies, anyone?).
Source: Layers of Learning
5. Put together a pi puzzle.
Standards in Puzzles has created a series of puzzles that teach concepts from the Common Core. This one focuses on pi, and includes detailed lesson plan ideas and 5 station activities. It’s a Pi Day activity bundle, all in one box!
6. Play a game of cards.
In this simple card game, kids race to see who can get rid of all their cards as they lay out the digits of pi. You can print out the digits in advance for reference, or challenge older students to recall them from memory as they go. Get the full instructions at the link below.
Learn more: Math Geek Mama
7. Celebrate with a pizza pi party.
Pi means circles, and circles mean pizza, right? Have a pizza “pi” party for lunch. Have your students measure the diameter and circumference of the pizzas and do the math. Then, reinforce a lesson on fractions by cutting each pie into a different number of slices and discussing the ratio that one piece is to the whole pie. Make it extra fun by using a clever π-shaped pizza cutter!
Get it: Pi Pizza Cutter ($20, Amazon)
8. Make paper plate pies.
Little ones may not be ready to understand the concept of pi itself, but they can get in on the fun with this activity that introduces them to circles and ratios. All you need are some paper plates, construction paper, and a few other basic supplies. Kids mix and match the pieces to make a complete “pie,” learning more about circles along the way.
Source: Pieces by Polly
9. Host a Pi Day fundraiser.
Sell slices of pizza or pie to students, parents, and teachers for $3.14. Raise money for your favorite cause or to purchase school essentials.
10. Craft paper pie gift boxes.
Build these cutie pie paper gift boxes with your class, then fill them with circle-based treats of your choice! There’s plenty of math to be done along the way—students can use the length of one pie piece side (which is the radius of the circle) to calculate the area and circumference of a complete pie. Get a template and complete how-to at the link below.
Learn more: Tally’s Treasury
11. Introduce Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
An engaging read aloud about math? Yes, please! In Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure, Sir Circumference has been changed into a fire-breathing dragon. His son Radius and Lady Di of Ameter search for clues to the magic number that is the same for all circles in order to change him back! If you love Sir Cumference’s adventures, you’ll be glad to know this book is just part of a much larger series.
12. Tell a geeky math joke.
Okay, some of these are going to make your students groan, but we bet you’ll get a giggle or two as well. Grammarly has a list of 18 silly math puns and jokes—can your students come up with more?
13. Write pi-ku poems.
Have your students write their own pi-ku poems. Inspired by haiku, these quick poems have a different number of syllables in each line, based on the digits of pi.
First line: 3 syllables
Second line: 1 syllable
Third line: 4 syllables
For a fun challenge, have your kid write their poems about their favorite kinds of pie!
14. Bake some π cookies.
Use a π-shaped cookie cutter to bake these sweets the night before, then have students help you decorate them. You can sell them as part of a fund-raiser, or snack on them while you do some of the other Pi Day activities on this list.
Get it: Pi Cookie Cutter ($8, Amazon)
15. Conduct a pi symphony.
Turn pi into music! Start by experimenting with pi10k, which uses notes you choose to turn pi into music like you’ve never heard before. Then, create your own class symphony using pi to structure the composition. Assign each student or groups of students a number from one through nine and have each group come up with a musical sound associated with their number. The sounds can be claps, hums, whistles, knocks, beats on a drum or tambourine, or notes on a kazoo, recorder, triangle, or other available musical instrument. Write the first 20 digits of pi on the board and direct students to make their chosen sound when you point to their number. Zero can be a rest. Repeat the sequence several times until you get the hang of it and have a rhythmic tune to show for your effort!
Learn more: pi10K
16. Create your own pi puzzle.
This puzzle is simpler than the one above, but students will probably find it just as tricky to assemble properly. Print the puzzle at the link below on cardstock and let students color it in first, if you choose. Then, cut the pieces apart and see if they can put it back together by remember the digits of pi in order.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me
17. Graph a pi-line skyline.
Hand out graph paper and colored markers or crayons and have students graph the digits of pi using a bar graph format. Once their pi-line skyline is created, invite them to color in the “buildings” and sky, complete with pi-in-the-sky constellations.
Source: What We Do All Day
18. Plot out pi-inspired art.
Math and art have a lot more in common than your students might think. Show kids these pi-inspired art pieces, then hand out paper and markers and have them create their own. Hit the link below for two cool pi-inspired art projects to get you started.
Learn more: Pink Stripey Socks
19. Create punny pi-lentines.
Sure, Valentine’s Day was last month, but now it’s time for Pi-lentines instead! Break out the best pi puns you can find to make cards celebrating Pi Day. Get free printable templates at the link below, or have kids make their own.
Source: Math Geek Mama
20. Dress the part.
Every math teacher should be showing off their best geeky gear on Pi Day! We love these t-shirts celebrating everyone’s favorite irrational number. Feeling crafty? Cut your a pi shape out of iron-on vinyl using a die cut machine or by hand, then make your own perfect pi shirt.
21. Have a pi word challenge.
Instead of a pie-eating contest, hold a pi-writing contest in your classroom. Set a timer to three minutes and challenge your students to write as many words as they can that start with pi. Ready. Set. Go!
22. Plan a Pi Day run.
Did you know that a 5k is actually just a little bit short of 3.14 miles? That makes it perfect for a Pi Day run! Of course, the winners get some pie.
23. Pass out pi pencils.
Your class deserves special pencils for completing all these Pi Day activities. You can buy them pre-made, or check out our easy tutorial on printing on pencils to whip these up yourself.
Get it: 144 Pi Pencils ($33, Amazon)
24. Fashion a pretty “stained glass” pi plate.
We love easy crafts with lots of wow factor, and this one has it for sure! Use tissue paper circles to create the stained glass effect, and write the numbers of pi around the cut-out. How cool would these look hanging in your classroom window, or from the ceiling?
Learn more: JDaniel4’s Mom
25. Have some fun with a simple pi game.
This free printable game is great for introducing the kindergarten set to the numbers of pi, even if the concept is a little over their heads for now. They’ll have fun collecting the pieces of “pi” and laying them out in order to win.
Get the game: Royal, Baloo, and Logi-Bear Too
26. Watch a guy calculate pi with pies.
You probably can’t replicate this one in your classroom, but you’ll get a kick out of watching the Numberphiles do it!
27. Cuddle a plush pi.
Need a giveaway for Pi Day prizes? Or something for your younger kids to snuggle during story time with Sir Cumference? This silly plush pi is just the thing. We love the subtle addition of a tiny chef’s hat—of course plush pi bakes pies!
Get it: Plush Pi ($25, Amazon)
28. Go on a Pi Day scavenger hunt.
This scavenger hunt will send your class on a quest to find objects, facts, and other tidbits related to pi. Let them work in groups and see who can complete the list first, or which group gets the most items before the class period is over. Get the full list at the link below.
Source: Leslie Kane/Pinterest
29. String a pi bracelet.
There are two ways to make a bead bracelet on a pipe cleaner for Pi Day. Using the one shown here as a guide, have kids string 3 beads of one color, followed by 1 of another color, then 4, and so on. Or, assign each number a color, and string one bead for each digit.
30. Take a π photo.
Get the class, grade, or whole school involved in this one! Draw an outline of π on the ground with chalk, have kids fill it in, and take the photo from above. Or, have kids form the outlines of the digits themselves–you could even have third grade do the 3, first grade the 1, and fourth grade the 4.
31. Bake a Pi Pie.
You knew there had to be some actual pie on this list, right? If you’re going to bake a pi for pie day, why not do it in a pi pie pan! (Try saying that five times fast.) Of course, you could also make brownies or another delicious treat in this pan.
Get it: Pi Pie Pan (Amazon, $25)
What are your favorite pi day activities for the classroom? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, the best math websites for the classroom.