Have you ever noticed all of the brightly-colored, fun tubes at pet stores for hamsters to run and play in? Of course you have! But have you noticed the tubes and tunnels for guinea pigs to play in? Nope, me neither!
My kiddos were disappointed that “hamsters get to have all the fun,” so they turned this problem into a solution (teachable moment here folks!). It started with this simple question, “Mommy, can we make a pet playground for Oreo (our guinea pig)?” My response, “Yes. You need to work together to design it and figure out what materials are needed.” So off they went, determined to figure out the correct materials and sizes needed for a guinea pig playground.
What I was not expecting was that they would take this project so seriously. They immediately got notebooks, pencils, and a measuring tape. I peeked into their room to find my 5 year old holding Oreo, while my 7 year old was measuring his girth. After quietly chuckling to myself, I was elated to know that 1) my kiddos were turning a problem into a solution and 2) they were using math to solve real-world problems (we all know that the lack of guinea pig play toys is a real-world problem lol). So after they had Oreo’s precise measurements, off we went to the local hardware store.
I told my kiddos that they needed to find the plumbing aisle and that’s all the direction they needed…they were off. They started comparing 3 inch vs. 4 inch pipes, connectors, and caps. And there in the middle of the store, they built Oreo’s new playground…all by themselves. I couldn’t have been more proud of my kiddos for taking the initiative, during the work, and following through with the completion of the project. Needless to say, my kiddos got an excellent math lesson and Oreo got his very own Pet Playground!
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