Today I have a fun little activity using the beauty of snowflake symmetry to teach this important mathematical concept.
Here’s what I used:
- One sheet of white paper
- Four 6.5 x 4.5″ cardstock sheets, the same color blue (You could obviously use any background. I just happened to have these on hand.)
- Glue stick
I first quarters the white paper to get four same-sized sheets. With each sheet, I folded and cut to make a snowflake. Then, I glued it onto the card. The last step is to cut it in half. I used the pencil and ruler to draw a line down the middle as a guide. That’s it!
This is a basic activity that you can adjust according to your child’s level. My son is still young, so I made the cards myself and then presented him with the cards to make the matches. (More detail on that below.) Of course with older children, you could make the snowflakes along with them or challenge them to make more difficult sets. You could also cut the snowflakes into fourths to make the puzzle more difficult. Lots of options!
I enjoyed picking up paper and scissors to make this simple craft. I don’t remember the last time I cut a snowflake! It immediately brought back memories of elementary school. Central heat blasting. Enthusiastically cutting a paper to smithereens and learning that sometimes less is more when it comes to design. It’s amazing what a tactile experience brings back!
The lesson part of this activity looked like this: I gave my son just two to start with and asked him to find their match. I tried to slide the word “symmetry” in, but he started talking about trees so I let it go. I explained to him how each snowflake had two sides that were the same and when we put them together it made a whole. I did some and he did some. The concept was a little difficult for him. That actually makes it a great activity to do together. I didn’t push or insist on him making the right matches. Right now he’s brand-new to this concept so exploration is just fine.
We will definitely keep this activity out for him to experiment with in the coming weeks.
And if you are looking to show your child real images of snowflakes, check these out!