Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Perler Beads, Minecraft, and Math




We were inspired by a post from Mama Smiles to pull our Perler beads back out.  MaryAnne actually has a couple of compelling Perler bead posts, the most recent featuring some very impressive "child made" doll furniture, and the other, the one that originally stirred us to action, on creating Perler bead play sets.  We decided to make play set of our own, with a Minecraft theme in mind.

Minecraft continues to be all the rage in our house.  The older girls (ages 13 and 15) are studying Python programming through Martin O'Hanlon and David Whale's Adventure's in Minecraft...


...while the younger children continue to play and build in the game, as usual.

D (age 11), was good enough to sketch out a Creeper on grid paper as a pattern...


...for E (age 10) to use to create...


...the first figure for our set.


And, taking a cue from Play Eat Grow we used D's pattern for a quick review...


...of perimeter and area.


It would be great to for studying fractions and percents too - asking children to figure out what percent of the squares are filled with the different shades of greens, or black.  And, I'd like to take a look at volume...but first, I think we're going to need some cookie dough...

It's great to be a homeschooler.

9 comments:

Ticia said...

Because it always comes back to the cookie dough :)

I need to dig out our Perler beads.

Phyllis Bergenholtz said...

Oh, please...no Minecraft! Seriously, that is a great way to add some math into the day.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Ticia - Naturally :)

Phyllis - If you can't beat 'em, use 'em for educational purposes!

Michelle said...

That is fantastic! LOVE IT!

Cristy said...

Totally awesome!

Ana Sha said...

Hiya, my class have been studying Blogs in ICT. As I am a fan of yours, I showed your blog to my class and they found it so entertaining (especially the deer), they nearly wished you were their teacher! Anyway, we just wanted to say 'hello' all the way from London! From Miss Shaikh and 5S :)

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Hooray for Perler beads! Thank you for introducing me to their pattern site!

I love that D created a pattern, and even more that you then used it to calculate perimeter and area.

raventhreads said...

My children love pearler beads and creating their own patterns. I never thought of using them for perimeter and area though. Thanks for the new idea :-)

Angelic Scalliwags said...

I just have no luck with Perler beads. They always (and I do mean ALWAYS fall apart) I'm not sure what we do wrong. Potentially they are such a great creative way to produce usable toys. But then they break. Maybe it is just me. Sigh.