Hi everyone, I tutor a fifth grade student (will be moving up to 6th) over the summer. He rarely goes outside because he spends all of his time inside playing video games. I'd really like to introduce him to the air outside, but I need some fun games/activities that we can play outdoors that will also help to strengthen his math skills. He has been working on fractions, multiplication, division, etc. Thanks for any help.

I have used sidewalk chalk outside to do all kinds of math activities. I have a book called Hopscotch Math that uses hopscotch grids to teach the multiplication facts. You could use it to make graphs, work problems, etc. It's a lot more fun than pencil and paper.

Also, for facts review, use the basketball hoop - to get a point you must answer the question correctly and make a basket. Measure distances across a field or yard in various units of measurement and convert them. You could have lots of fun if you use a hose and various containers set out on a fence or on pails or something. You get a chance to "shoot" after you answer a question correctly. You play against the student for more fun. Toss a ball and spell words letter by letter, or count by multiples of 12 or 15 or 25 with each throw. Use the chalk mentioned above to review geometric shapes on the driveway or sidewalk. Estimate the measure of angles created by a swing set or other objects outside. Take photos of angles created by nature.

I thought of something that the 5th grade teacher at my school does every year with her students. To culminate a unit on word problems, they take a walk in the area around the school and create their own "real-world" word problems. She gives them a list of skills (such as division, geometric shapes, money, fractions, place value, etc.) and they must create a word problem for each skill. For example, we have a convenience store just a block from the school. One group wrote a word problem that said something like, "Jimmy has $20.00. He stops at the gas station to fill up. One gallon of gas costs $2.09. Jimmy needs 10 gallons of gas. Will he have enough money?" Another group wrote an estimation problem about how many steps it took to walk from the base of the slide to the teeter-totter on the playground. Students had to include 4 answer choices. They had a lot of fun with this!