Fun and Delicious Ways to Celebrate Pi Day with Your Family

March 14th is Pi Day! Check out these fun and delicious ways to celebrate Pi Day with the whole family.

Prepare foods that start with pi

Encourage your child to brainstorm a list of all the foods they can think of that begin with the letters “pi” – then, have them select their favorite foods that are also round in shape (this will be important later). Here are some popular options!

  • Pie (no surprise there)
  • Pizza
  • Pineapple sections
  • Pistachios
  • Pickle slices
  • Pita bread

Now it’s off to the grocery store! Once you have your round foods picked up (or delivered by the pizza guy), it’s time to move on to the next step!

Turn food into a fun math lesson

As luck would have it, a fair amount of “pi” foods are round. In mathematics, pi (which has a value of approximately 3.14) is used to calculate the geometric properties of a circle or sphere. This means that students can actually use pi to find both the area and circumference of the foods they are eating!

Let’s take a pizza as an example.

  1. Have your student measure the diameter of the pizza. (In general, a medium pizza should be around 12 inches).
  2. Next, have your student calculate the circumference (distance all the way around) the pizza! The formula for this is πd, or 3.14 × 12. In this example, a 12” pizza should have a circumference of roughly 38 inches.
  3. Have your student use a measuring tape to check their work, going all the way around the crust’s edge. Kids are often surprised to see that the formula “actually works!”
  4. Next, have your student calculate the area of the pizza! For this, we use the formula πr2 – the radius (r) is determined by halving the diameter. So for a 12” pizza, the radius (half the diameter) would be 6” – and squaring that gives us 36 (62 or 6 × 6). Finally, we multiply 3.14 × 36 to achieve our final result: around 113 square inches of delicious pizza!
  5. As an added bonus, ask your student how many square inches of pizza are contained in each slice. (Hint: take the total area and divide it by the number of slices). With eight slices of pizza, this should be around 14 square inches per slice!
  6. Challenge round: calculate how many square inches remain after eating! (Hint: once you find the area per slice, multiply that by the number of slices eaten to find out how much pizza was consumed. Then, subtract that number from the original area you calculated for the full pizza! An even easier method is to find the area per slice as before, then simply multiply by the number of slices remaining. Both methods will provide the same answer.) The resulting area is the leftovers for tomorrow!

This is just one example, but you can do these calculations with pretty much any round food (although it tends to work better with bigger items, like pies and pizzas). You can even check your work using the Pizza Area Calculator!

Make Pi cookies

Baking cookies is always fun, but how about Pi-shaped cookies? That’s right! Pi cookie cutters are readily available, and they’re a great way to teach kids about this wonderful number. As an added bonus, baking provides a number of educational benefits for children. 

In addition, we also recommend decorating your cookies with edible numbers, similar to the ones you’d find on birthday cakes! This will help students to memorize the most important digits – 3.14.

From all of us here at Tutor Doctor – Happy Pi Day!

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