25 Math Activities Using Natural Materials

Erin Dean

Math activities using natural materials just feel nicer! I really don’t like cutesy plastic bear pieces and similar items as manipulatives, they just don’t offer the same tactile experiences that reinforce math for hands-on learners, in my opinion. If you feel the same, then you’re going to love this collection of ideas.

There are so many great ways to use materials found in nature that I could do a post that went on for hundreds of choices but instead, I have narrowed it down to the 25 math activities using natural materials that I thought were the best of the best.

  1. Finding Symmetry in Nature at Buggy and Buddy
  2. Nature Numbers Made by Children at Everyday Smilestones
  3. Pine Cone Math Station at Nurturestore
  4. Autumn Estimating Jars at Science Spark
  5. Rock Number Sums at Creative Family Fun
  6. Skip Counting Number Wheel – Waldorf Math at How The Sun Rose
  7. Counting and Grouping with Sticks at Learn With Play at Home
  8. Outdoor Maths: Creating 3D Shapes from Sticks at Creative Star Learning
  9. Symmetrical Pattern Making with Natural Materials at The Imagination Tree
  10. Telling Time: Make an Outdoor Clock with Natural Materials at Sunhats and Wellie Boots
  11. Acorn Math Activities at JDaniel4’s Mom
  12. Boost Your Child’s Math Skills with Nature Patterns at One Time Through
  13. Leaf Math Games for Preschool at Nurturestore
  14. Fine Motor Counting Activity [using leaves] at The Mud Kitchen
  15. Sunflower Seed Counting Activity from 123Homeschool4Me
  16. Mini Pumpkin Math at PreKinders
  17. Hands-on Pumpkin Math: The Geo Pumpkin! from Fun-A-Day
  18. How Old is That Tree? Activity at Education.com
  19. Reggio-Inspired Math at Fairy Dust Teaching
  20. Leaf Pile Number Challenge at I Can Teach My Child
  21. Make a simple sundial at Otherwise Educating
  22. Seed and Spice Mandala at Twig and Toadstool
  23. Sticks and Stones Math Game at NCTM
  24. Rock Shapes and Other Shape Games at Mamas Like Me
  25. Outdoor Challenge Cards freebie at The Usual Mayhem


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Fall is a great time of year to get outside and gather natural materials. Here are some easy ways to use them for math activities!

Erin is a mother of three, a homesteader, and a homeschooler. She has many projects on the go but is easily distracted by shiny things. Her home may reflect this trait! Visit her blog, The Usual Mayhem, to see posts about nature study, homeschooling, family, small farming and all the chaos that go along with them.