Maths Trail

“Do you know what my worst lesson is? It’s maths…but I really like doing maths when it’s outdoors!”

“My favourite bit this week was the maths trail because it’s outside and you get to do more things.”

This type of trail involves venturing out into the local environment close to the school. Pupils may be asked to look for maths, numbers, shapes and patterns in the world around them. Activities may include identifying shapes, counting quantities of leaves on a tree or other materials, measuring the distance between two points, finding an example of a fractal in nature, and many more. Use this downloadable worksheet designed by PDST for younger pupils to accompany a maths trail in the local environment.

Divide into smaller groups and elect one member of the group to be blindfolded. The other members of the group give the blindfolded child instructions, e.g.

  • Directions – move left, right, 5 steps, 1 metre (this can help with spatial awareness)
  • Identify shapes – can the child tell how many corners, straight edges, etc. are on a certain shape?
  • Use a picture to find information or a certain location
  • Take a picture of your answer using a phone or camera
  • Let children design a trail using pictures they take

Make it fun!

Ask pupils to take note of various elements they encounter every day. What shapes are they? How many of them do you see?

  • Road signs
  • Traffic lights (how long does it stay on green?)
  • Buildings or houses on their route home
  • Distance or time taken to get home

A world of information at their finger tips!

  • Finding information on certain websites
  • Using the keyboard – what happens when you press F1? Location of keys
  • Have different questions or brainteasers displayed in the playground (e.g. stuck on the inside of a window facing out)
  • Let children put their answers in a box
  • Announce a weekly winner
Junior & Senior Infants
1st Class
3rd & 4th Class
5th & 6th Class