## Second Grade Math Outdoor Learning Idea

There is nothing like learning in the great outdoors.  The breeze in your hair, the birds tweeting, and bugs getting involved in the outdoor classroom.  Learning outside with the kids is a fun twist on the everyday math homework!  We love to spend time outdoors.  And, I love to sneak learning activities into our play.  This Math Scavenger Hunt idea was a fun way to practice second grade math concepts like adding and subtracting two digit numbers.  Our math rocks made this move and learn activity extra fun.

We’ve shared quite a few outdoor learning activities on the blog before.  The favorite in our back yard was this pre-reading literacy activity.  We even used a few of the same hiding places for today’s math activity.

### Outdoor Math Activity for Kids

To start with, we used rocks to create math manipulatives.  These pebbles were collected from a trip to our camp this past summer and painting them was a fun way to recall summer memories.  You can use rocks of any size or shape for this activity.  Just be sure to use acrylic paint so that the color doesn’t flake off of the rock’s surface.  I love this brand of acrylic paints for it’s price! We painted both sides of the rocks in different colors.  You can paint your rocks all one color or mix it up a bit.  We went for the colorful approach.  For the numbers, I used a paint marker.  Be sure to allow the paint to dry before writing on the numbers.

When the paints have all dried, you are ready to take these math rocks outside for learning and play!

### Outdoor Learning Math Ideas

We played a few different games with our math rocks.

• I hid a bunch of the rocks in a small area of our yard.  I had my second grader search for two rocks at a time.  When she brought them back, I asked her to add or subtract the numbers.
• We used specific numbers in a small area of the yard.  I named a large number and had her find two rocks that added up to that number.  (We have enough rocks that we were able to number them 0-100 using both sides of the rocks, so this worked out easily.)
• Using smaller numbers, I showed her two numbers.  She had to go off and look for the missing number in a math subtraction equation.
How would you use these math rocks to play?

Looking for more outdoor learning ideas? Try some of these:

Nests Nature Hunt for Kids from Still Playing School

Outside Arrays for Multiplication Practice from Line Upon Line Learning

Sidewalk Chalk Outdoor Math Game from Look! We’re Learning!

Gardening For Math Time from Preschool Powol Packets

Tree Unit Study and Science Experiment from Schooling a Monkey

## Soap Play Dough Recipe

We signed up for another year of the 12 months of Sensory Dough series with a few other bloggers and have been having so much fun coming up with creative play dough recipes.  If you missed some of our other recent sensory dough recipes, you’ll want to catch up on the sensory fun: Proprioception Sensory DoughPaprika Natural Spice Dough, and Edible Pixy Stix Candy Dough  were tons of fun.

Today’s homemade play dough recipe is definitely not edible but it does use ingredients you probably have in your home: Soap Play Dough is very soft, smells great, and is fun to mix up!

### Homemade Soap Play Dough Recipe

You’ll need just a few ingredients to whip up a batch of soap dough:
1/2 cup Liquid Dish Soap (We used the blue type.  I’m not sure if other colors of liquid dish soap would work in this recipe.  If you try it, let us know!)
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (I LOVE this bulk container for making play dough.  The ingredient really makes most play dough recipes softer and longer lasting.  You can’t always find Cream of Tartar in stores so this bulk buy is awesome to have in the house!)

#### To make the Soap Play Dough Recipe

Grab a large glass mixing bowl and pour in the dish soap.  We used a glass measuring cup to measure out the soap and the grooved lip of the measuring cup made pouring the liquid soap so much easier.  My toddler was mesmerized by the falling dish soap!

Stir in the flour and cream of tartar.  Use spoons to get the mixture stirred at first, but then you’ll want to get your hands in there to really mix the ingredients.  Plop the play dough out onto a floured surface and knead, knead, knead!

Kneading play dough is a great way to incorporate proprioception into a play dough activity.  It really applies pressure through the arms and up into the shoulder girdle.  You can add more flour at this point if the dough is too sticky.  Just be aware that the nature of this dough allows for some stickiness. The soap adds a bit of stick to the play dough, but it sure does smell great!

Get the kids in on the play and have fun with your soap dough!

Store this play dough overnight in a sealed container.  It will be more sticky the next day, but you can knead in a bit of flour or just work the dough a little bit.  It will be softer the next day, too.

Try these soap dough recipes from our blogging friends:
Bath Time Play Dough | Sugar, Spice & Glitter
Super Squishy DIY Soap Dough | Natural Beach Living
Easy Soap Dough Play Recipe | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail

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If you liked this post, you will love to check out more of our favorite sensory dough recipes: