Geometry in a Bag

Materials: various 3-D geometrical figures, paper lunch bags, poster with pictures/names of figuresPlace one 3-D figure in each lunch bag. Fold over the tops. Have a child reach inside without looking and describe what they feel (“I feel twelve corners and six sides”). Have them guess the name of the figure by comparing what they feel to the pictures on the poster. Have them feel, describe and name each figure in each bag. For older children, introduce appropriate geometrical vocabulary (“I feel twelve vertices and eight faces”).

geometric solid figures

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Memory Match Up

Play Number Memory Match Up!

Play Number Memory Match Up!
See more activities in: Kindergarten, Counting & Numbers

Playing games allows your child to learn, practice and reinforce many useful skills such as following directions, taking turns, and making predictions. Try this new twist to the traditional memory game to help your kindergartner match number symbols to the correct quantity while sharpening her memory skills!

What You Need:

  • 20 index cards
  • Stickers
  • Colored markers

What You Do:

  1. You and your child can work together to make the game cards. First make the ten numeral cards. Using markers, write the numerals from 1 – 10 on each card.
  2. Next, have your child help make the ten quantity cards. You can use small stickers or draw pictures to show the quantities. For example, place 5 stickers on an index card. This is the quantity card to match the numeral card for the number 5.
  3. Once all of the game cards have been made it’s time to begin playing Number Memory! Mix up the cards thoroughly. Lay the cards on the floor or on a tabletop in rows. Make 4 rows with 5 cards in each row.
  4. Have your child turn over two cards. If the cards are a match (a card with the numeral 3 written on it and a card with a picture of 3 objects), she has a match and can keep the pair. If the cards are not a match, both cards must be turned over and returned to their original positions. Then the next player takes a turn.
  5. Keep playing until all of the matches have been found.

Your kindergartner will not only practice matching number symbols to quantities, but she will fine tune her memory skills as well. To challenge your child as she matures, change the memory game to a basic facts memory game. Instead of having numeral cards, make cards for basic addition facts such as 2 +3 =, 2 + 2 =, 1 + 3 =, etc. Your child will find the quantity that completes each addition fact!

 

Bubbles

Bubble Geometry

Q: -icon(9k) Have you ever seen a square bubble?

Experiment with bubbles. Create bubble wands out of found objects (straws, pipe cleaners, strawberry baskets and coathangers) and have your own bubble festival.

Bubble wand - cube (40k)

Q: -icon(9k) How can you catch a bubble?

The secret is the soap solution. Try catching a bubble with a dry hand versus a wet hand. Which lasts longer?

Bubble wand - pyramid (40k)Bubble wand - sphere (40k)

Kids playing with bubbles (55k)

Geodesic Gumdrops

 

Geodesic Gumdrops

3/4 Hour
What do I need?

  • A bag of gumdrops (If you can’t find gumdrops, try using bits of rolled-up clay, mini-marshmallows, or partly-cooked beans. Be creative!)
  • A box of round toothpicks
Girl with gumdrops & toothpicks
What do I do?Making squares & cubes

1Start with 4 toothpicks and 4 gumdrops. Poke the toothpicks into the gumdrops to make a square with a gumdrop at each corner.

2Poke another toothpick into the top of each gumdrop. Put a gumdrop on the top of each toothpick. Connect the gumdrops with toothpicks to make a cube. (A cube has a square on each side. It takes 8 gumdrops and 12 toothpicks.)

3Use more toothpicks and gumdrops to keep building squares onto the sides of the cube. When your structure is about 6 inches tall or wide, try wiggling it from side to side. Does it feel solid, or does it feel kind of shaky?

Squares & Cubes
Triangles & pyramids Making triangles & pyramids1Start with 3 gumdrops and 3 toothpicks. Poke the toothpicks into the gumdrops to make a triangle with a gumdrop at each point.

2Poke another toothpick into the top of each gumdrop. Bend those 3 toothpicks in toward the center. Poke all 3 toothpicks into one gumdrop to make a 3-sided pyramid. (A 3-sided pyramid has a triangle on each side. It takes 4 gumdrops and 6 toothpicks.)

3Use more toothpicks and gumdrops to keep building triangles onto the sides of your pyramid. When your structure is about 6 inches tall or wide, try wiggling it from side to side. Does it feel solid, or does it feel kind of shaky?

Making 4-sided pyramidsYou can make a very big structure out of squares and cubes, but it’ll be wiggly and will probably fall down. If you try to make a structure out of only triangles and pyramids, it won’t be wiggly, but you’ll probably run out of gumdrops and toothpicks before it gets very big. A 4-sided pyramid has a square on the bottom and triangles on all 4 sides. When you make a structure that uses both triangles and squares, you can make big structures that are less wiggly.
1Build a square, then poke a toothpick into the top of each corner. 2Bend all 4 toothpicks into the center and connect them with one gumdrop, to make a 4-sided pyramid.
4-sided pyramids

3What other ways can you use squares and triangles together? How big a structure can you make before you run out of gumdrops?

 

What's Going On?Stretching and squashing — some basic principles

Even though your gumdrop structures are standing absolutely still, their parts are always pulling and pushing on each other. Structures remain standing because some parts are being pulled or stretched and other parts are being pushed or squashed. The parts that are being pulled are in tension. The parts that are being squashed are in compression.

Sometimes you can figure out whether something is in tension or compression by imagining yourself in that object’s place. If you’re a brick and someone piles more bricks on you, you’ll feel squashedÑyou’re in compression. If you’re a long steel cable attached to a couple of towers and someone hangs a bridge from you, you’ll feel stretched — you’re in tension.

Some materials — like bricks — don’t squash easily; they are strong in compression. Others — like steel cables or rubber bands — don’t break when you stretch them; they are strong under tension. Still others — like steel bars or wooden toothpicks — are strong under both compression and tension.

What’s the big deal about triangles?

Squares collapse...As you’ve probably already discovered, squares collapse easily under compression. Four toothpicks joined in a square tend to collapse by giving way at their joints, their weakest points. A square can fold into a diamond, like this:

But if you make a toothpick triangle, the situation changes. The only way to change the angles of the triangle is by shortening one of the sides. So to make the triangle collapse you would have to push hard enough to break one of the toothpicks.

Triangular structureIf you want to, you can use your gumdrops and toothpicks to build some strong structures that are made by combining triangles and squares. The pattern on the left is one that’s similar to some used in modern bridge design.

Looking for other triangles in structures around you may give you ideas for other designs you can build with gumdrops and toothpicks.

 

 

 

 

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Science Explorer

Get messy with ExploraGoo and Outrageous Ooze! Get airborne with the Fabulous Foam Flyer! Get loud with the Water Gong or Straw Oboe!

From the archive: 1996

related topic:

Geometry Around the House

Shapes Around the House

CONCEPTS
Identify, sort, and characterize 3-dimensional shapes found around the house
MATERIALS
Items from around the house that represent 3-dimensional geometric figures (rectangular prisms, cubes, cones, cylinders, spheres)
ACTIVITY
Display 5-10 items found in the house
Have the child sort the items by geometric figure type (rectangular prisms, cubes, cones, cylinders, spheres)
Have the child describe why they sorted the items into these categories
Have the child compare and contrast the characteristics of the items
1st Grade TEKS

1.6(B) describe and identify 3-dimensional geometric figures including spheres, rectangular prisms (including cubes), cylinders and cones

1.6(C) describe and identify 3-dimensional geometric figures in order to sort them according to a given attribute using informal and formal language

Formas alrededor de la Casa

CONCEPTOS
Identificar, clasificar, y caracterizar las formas de 3 dimensiones encontradas alrededor de la casa.
MATERIALES
Artículos alrededor de la casa que representan las figuras geométricas de 3 dimensiones (prismas rectangulares, cubos, conos, cilindros, esferas)
ACTIVIDAD
Muestre 5 – 10 de los artículos encontrados en la casa
Haga que el niño clasifique los artículos usando la figura geométrica, por ejemplo, prismas rectangulares, cubos, conos, cilindros, esferas
Haga que el niño describa por qué clasificó los artículos en estas categorías
Haga que el niño compare y contraste las características de los artículos
TEKS Primer Grado

1.6(B) Describir e identificar figuras geométricas de 3 dimensiones incluyendo las esferas, prismas rectangulares (cubos incluyendo), los cilindros y los conos

1.6(C) Describir e identificar figuras geométricas de 3 dimensiones para clasificarlas según una cualidad dada usando lenguaje informal y formal.

Soma Cubes

Soma Cubes

Soma cubes include seven playing pieces that can be assembled to form a cube and other figures.Piet Hein, a Danish poet and scientist, conceived the SOMA cube in 1936. The name SOMA is after the addictive drug in Aldous Huxley’s novel A Brave New World. There are hundreds of figures that can be made using the Soma cube blocks. Visit this page and click on the number notations across the top to visit Thorleif’s pictures.

All figures by Thorleif Bundgaard

Shape Twister Game

Young kids love bright colors and shapes. Visit an elementary school playground some time and you’ll also see: they adore moving around. Here is a kindergarten activity that combines all three—shape, color, and motion— to review basic shape terms that will be especially useful in math later on, when kids move to studying three dimensional shapes and early geometry. More importantly, it gets kids writing and reading, by inspiring them to take an active role.

It’s a fun game that’s kind of like Twister...with a twist!

What You Need:

  • Construction paper- various colors
  • Child safety scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • 1 metal paper fastener
  • Scotch tape
  • Pencil
  • Lined paper

What to Do:

  1. Set the stage. Explain that this is a fun game using colors and shapes, while following a set of directions that can be a little tricky. Let your child know you consider this a challenge—but one that she can also do well.
  2. Make the game. Have your child use crayons or markers to draw 2 of each of the following shapes: square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, circle, & star.  Make them fairly large—at least 6-8” across, and use plenty of different colors of paper. Then lay them in rows on the floor.
  3. Make directions.  Ask your child to create a list of directions. Either you or he can write them on a sheet of lined paper. Examples: “Place your right hand on the ____ .” “Place your left hand on the _____ .” “Place your right foot on the ______ .” “Place your left foot on the ______ .” “Move your right hand and place it on the _____ .”
  4. Make a spinner. Help your child use crayons and construction paper to create a paper spinner showing each of the colored shapes they have created. Draw a circle on white paper, and divide it into sections using a pencil. Have your child color each section with one color crayon. Have your child draw a picture on each colored section to match the shapes they created. Then cut out an arrow from another piece of construction paper, cut it to fit the spinner circle, and fasten it at the center with the paper fastener.
  5. Play! Help your child play the game by reading a direction from their list. Then spin the spinner to determine which colored shape they will land on. Continue until they have identified all of the colors and shapes. This is a great game to play with older siblings as well. After all, you’re never too old to have fun…and learn math while you’re doing it.