Monday, August 16, 2010

Symmetrical Snowflake Game - Math for Young Children


We had a number of scientifically decorated, coffee filters, left after making our owls, and the little ones wanted to turn them into snowflakes.

It's a bit early for snowflakes, especially considering our forecast for the week is back into the 90's (hurray for summer!), but I had seen coffee filter snowflakes used in Margaret Kenda's Math Wizardry for Kids, for a lesson in symmetry.

So, we folded them in half (1/2)...

...and in half again (1/4)...


...and again (1/8).

Then, we snipped shapes out of them (my 4 year old needed some help, at this point, because the folded filters were pretty thick).

When we unfolded them to reveal the designs, I pointed out the symmetry in the shapes, and the asymmetry of their original drip-dye coloring.
To stretch the activity, and make the concept of symmetry clearer, I cut the snowflakes in half, mixed them up, scattered them across the floor, and had the girls rematch the symmetrical shapes.


This was an easier concept for E (age 5), than for C (age 4), but they both enjoyed the game quite a bit. And, they loved making snow cone colored, snowflakes.


For more math activities for children, check out the Math Monday link-up hosted by Joyful Learner.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

8 comments:

Debbie said...

I like the idea of cutting them in half and having the girls match them up. Pretty nice looking snowflakes there!

Joyful Learner said...

Thanks for sharing this! This is a great way to talk about symmetry! I love the idea of cutting them in half too and matching them up. It's these hands-on experiences that makes learning easy and fun (and they tend to remember it more!)

Christy said...

This is a great idea. My kids automatically ask to make snowflakes when they see coffee filters, and this will be a fun way to throw in a little math.

Phyllis said...

This is so sweet. A lovely post. It is nice to see how you incorporate the sense of math in the other activities you do. I have noticed that you blend art and math frequently.

Ticia said...

I like this idea. How much fun is that. And then cutting them up afterwards, how super fun!

Wonder Mom said...

Oh, I know you are still in a summer mood, but the idea of snowflakes sounds pretty lovely to me right now... :0)

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Beautitful!!! A great way to combine learning, art, math, and fun!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I like the snowflake idea. We tried something like this last winter, but Anna was clearly too young too appreciate them. Maybe more luck later this year when she turns 4.