Kids can learn about symmetry with this free printable circle set that encourages creative learning.
Symmetry is one of my favorite mathematical concepts because I think symmetrical patterns are pleasing to look at–do you agree? The printable included with this activity has a blank circle, 2 section circle, 4 section circle, and an 8 section circle for kids to use as they build symmetrical patterns. We also added a computer game, song, and paper folding activity to complete our symmetry lesson. With all the hands on creativity it hardly feels like a math activity and more like and art project–I guarantee the kids wont mind.
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Sometimes I’m not sure if what I’m going to teach my kids is going to make sense so when I presented Little Tiger with our symmetry activity I was a little nervous. I found an awesome free computer game for her to learn and practice matching symmetrical sides. The nice thing about doing the game first is she could practice without feeling like I was correcting her all the time and it has different levels of difficulty: Symmetry Computer Game.
After she played her game we folded pieces of paper that were cut into shapes (square, triangle, and rectangle) and decided if the two sides were symmetrical and how many lines of symmetry we could fold for each shape.
Finally we started building our own symmetrical patterns using the symmetrical circles printable. Check out the patterns we made.
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Symmetry Circles Math Activity
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- Pattern Blocks (affiliate link) or small matching items
- Mirror with flat edge (here is a mirror specially designed for just this type of activity GeoReflector Mirror-affiliate link by Learning Resources)
- Symmetrical circles printable (available to download for free at the end of this post)
Have child build symmetrical patterns by creating the same pattern in each section of the circles.
To introduce building a symmetrical pattern we started with the two sided circle pattern and I put one tangram on one side of the circle, and placed a mirror on the line. Little Tiger looked in the mirror and noticed that both sides matched and then placed a matching tangram on the circle to complete the symmetrical pattern. The mirror was really fun to use and amazed the kids, but it wasn’t necessary because by now she well understood that each side needed to match.
She quickly wanted to move onto the circles with more sections and enjoyed the circle with 8 sections the most. Her patterns became more elaborate and artistic and it was fun to watch her enjoy her designs.
Another activity we did was a copycat pattern. I would make a pattern in one section and she would complete the symmetrical pattern by adding the tangrams in the other sections. This is also good for visual discrimination.
Video: Here is a song about symmetry to go along with this activity: Symmetry for Kids by Amy J
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Thanks for learning with us today. If you enjoyed this idea please pin & share it with others so they can enjoy it too! Love, Katie & the Kiddos