Young Math: Moebius Noodles and Beginners Groups

We welcome children ages 5-6 with an accompanying adult to the Moebius Noodles math circle, and first through third graders to the Beginners math circle. Mathematics is enhanced by a variety of perspectives, and our goal is to encourage participation from diverse people. Please register and invite others to join!

Natural Math Paper Folding

When it comes to children and mathematics, what are your hopes and dreams? When we ask parents, they tell us that they want math to make sense, bring joy, and give powerful tools to solve life’s problems. Parents also worry that formal, dry experiences dull their children’s curiosity. As organizers of math circles, we dream about every child having at least one happy math memory. We want children to have a taste of math as a social activity in a supportive group. We hope that the math circle can become a foundation for confidence and creativity in mathematics.

We offer activities from the published and upcoming books by Natural Math (visit for samples), and from our colleagues at other math circles. Since 1996, Natural Math has been making advanced mathematics accessible to everyone in kind ways. You might have seen articles about our work on playful calculus for 5-year-olds, or explored our hands-on activities at math and science festivals.

Maria Droujkova and Young Calculus

What’s this all about?

  • Math is what you make it. Build and share your own math creations: pose problems, craft models, tell stories, ask questions, and make art.  
  • Grow your math eyes. See fractals, sequences, or graphs everywhere you go. Experience how accessible and friendly math can be.
  • Pretend-play to be a mathematician. Find brave, persistent, and curious role models in history, fiction, and our meetings.
  • Have an adventure! Try new ways to learn, collaborate, join the creative community.
  • Level up in math kindness. Learn about emotional support. Develop healthy habits and attitudes. Prevent math anxiety and heal math grief.
  • Enthusiastic “YES!” Discover math choices. What variables make math beautiful, useful, and fun – for you? Cultivate your math joy.

What’s this not about?

  • Not a competition. We don’t offer competitive activities. If participants spontaneously compete with one another, we gently redirect them to collaboration.
  • Not domineering. We are precise in our formulas, not strict with one another.
  • Not test prep. Our activities are extracurricular. The math circle is supportive of general mathematics development, not any particular school topic, standard, or test.

Natural Math Recursive Operations

Here’s our favorite part. After a good math circle, children feel like sharing the experience with others. They show their math art to their family, tell math jokes to their friends, or offer their favorite puzzles to classmates. Likewise, parents invite other families for math game nights, math movies, or origami parties. That’s how the math circle adventure continues.


Notes on SUPPLIES for families of students in the Beginners Group and the Mobius Noodles Group:

We will be doing a lot of hands-on modeling with everyday easy supplies. Let’s not spend half the time hunting for those pesky scissors! Please put together a Math Toolbox for your family. Have the supplies by the computer before our math circle starts. Assembling a treasure box can be a sweet math activity in itself, creating a joyful math memory.

We need:

  • plain, unlined paper (printer paper is perfect)
  • graph paper (the one thing I’d take to a desert island)
  • scissors (one per each person, including adults)
  • a good number of pencils or markers in different colors (to fit the current mood while making diagrams, and to doodle)
  • plain pens or pencils
  • Beautiful Stuff (TM), a little pile of cute small objects for grouping and counting: pebbles, shells, erasers, tiny figures, or blocks (some of you remember my sorting box with “Beautiful Stuff” written on it)
  • snacks and drinks for everyone (math burns calories surprisingly fast; many people get light-headed and then anxious if they don’t snack while doing math)
  • anything else you and your children want to take on a math journey: compass, ruler, stuffed bear, real cat, origami paper, yarn, Rubik’s cube, comfy pillow, fidget toy, playdough, stickers… (to customize your own personal box and your “math office space”)

Let’s make some math together!