Learn about circles and explore Pi, diameter, and radius with watercolor compass art!
We love any reason to geek out and Pi Day is one of our favorite days to enjoy some math and art activities!
From coding Pi necklaces to creating Pi mosaic cityscapes, we try to do a range of projects in our house so that each of our kids can geek out with us! With a 10 year age different between my oldest and youngest, this is sometimes a challenge, but this watercolor compass art activity is adaptable for a wide range of learning levels!
The goal of this activity was to introduce my kids to circles and circle measurement as well as how to use a compass while creating math art.
Before we started our art activity, I explained what a compass is and how to use it. We dove into circle measurements and discussed diameter, radius, and the circumference of a circle and how to use a compass to measure and draw circles.
Finally, we discussed the number Pi. We do a lot of activities that involve Pi, so I wanted to keep it as simple as possible for my younger kids while also keeping my oldest engaged in the activity.
I explained that if you take the circumference of a circle and divide it by the diameter, it will equal the number Pi. No matter how small or big the circle is, you will always find the number Pi by solving this equation.
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Compass Circle Art Materials
Learn about Circles with Compass Circle Art
Compass Circle Art – Using a Compass to Explore Radius
For the first part of this activity, we discussed what the radius of a circle was and how we use a compass to draw a circle using the radius. We used a regular compass for this activity with a pencil. For the first activity, we measured the radii of our circles with our compass and practiced making circles.
We used the first 10 digits of Pi (3.141592653) for the radius of each of our 10 circles and we assigned a different color to each digit of Pi.
Figure out how many different colors you’ll need by looking at the first ten digits of Pi. There are three numbers that appear twice in the first ten digits (1, 3, 5), which means that you’ll need 7 different colors!
You can also use a crayon in your compass instead of a pencil, but we weren’t feeling bold just yet.
Next, measure 3cm to begin the Pi number sequence. Remember that the numbers on a compass represent the measurement of the radius.
To finish the piece, color in the even numbers beginning with the highest number. If have smaller circles within the larger circles, color around the smaller circles.
Watercolor Compass Art – Exploring Diameter
For our watercolor compass art, we reflected on what the radius of a circle was and how we use a compass to draw a circle using the radius. Then I explained how we multiply the radius by 2 to find the diameter of a circle.
We used a regular compass for this activity and replaced the pencil with a paintbrush. You might need to use a little bit of tape to attach the paintbrush securely to the compass.
We used the first 10 digits of Pi (3.141592653) for the diameter of each of our 10 circles and we assigned a different color to each digit of Pi.
Instead of using cm for this activity, we used inches. Next, measure 1.5-inch to begin the Pi number sequence. Remember that the numbers on a compass represent the measurement of the radius.
This part was challenging for my Kindergartener, but my 5th grader had a blast determining the radius of each circle and helping her sister draw circles.
To finish the piece, we painted in some of the circles and created our watercolor compass art! What I loved most about this activity was that all of my kids were able to learn something at their own learning level!
I hope you enjoy this great Pi Day activity! Please share photos with us on Instagram @Our_Family_Code!
PIN AN IMAGE TO SAVE THIS WATERCOLOR COMPASS ART ACTIVITY
Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code
Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!
When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.
I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!
You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!