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Simply Symmetrical

Math at home

What you'll need:
Paper, pencil, marker or crayon, magazine pictures, scissors, and glue

What to do:

  1. Explore your house for symmetrical designs. See how many your child can find. Look at wallpaper, floor tiles, pictures, bedspreads, and appliances.
  2. Cut out a magazine picture that is symmetrical. Cut it along the line of symmetry. Paste one half of the picture on the paper. Have your child draw the missing half.
  3. Write your child's name in big block letters, then write your name. Which name has more letters with lines of symmetry? How many letters have one line of symmetry? How many of each letter have two? (a B has one line, an H has two). Does anyone have a name with all symmetrical letters? (BOB is one.) Can any letter be turned upside down and still look the same? (YesH, I, O, S, and X are symmetrical around a center point.) Go through the alphabet, making a list of the letters that look the same on both sides and those that look different.
  4. Fold a sheet of paper in half lengthwise. Have your child draw half of a circle, heart, or butterfly from top to bottom along the fold on each side of the paper. Help your child cut out the shapes that were drawn. Unfold the paper to see the symmetrical figure. Have your child color and glue the full figure on another sheet of paper to display the design.

Parent tip:
A shape can be symmetrical when two parts of it are exactly alike. This exercise helps young children develop an understanding of symmetry and a sense of geometric patterns.

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