Friday, September 16, 2011

Geometry (and Fractions) through Playful Patterns

This Playful Patterns set was passed down to me from my sister-in-law as her boys are now teenagers.  I think her set was ordered through one of those companies that has "parties" to sell their products, and this was an educational toy party.  It's put out by Discovery Toys.  I have seen many other versions of these on Amazon though, so they must be popular.

Elliott has been enjoying it for a few years now, and Emory is getting to where he can work the basic cards with a little help from me.  This is the first card in the set that he is working here.  The cards get progressively harder as you go.  The first group is shape on shape, with all the outlines provided.

This set also offers the child the opportunity to "do their own thing" so to speak.  Here, Emory had started sorting out all the small circles, without any prompting from me.  (Happy Mom smile!)

Elliott was making a tall house here.

Elliott made Mobot the Robot here, and added the two small circles and the small square on top of the large square, so the robot would have a face.

Later groups of cards have detailed pictures, with some parts having the shapes outlined, and some, like the arms, using several shapes to fill in the space.  By the end, the cards are more like mosaics to fill in, so there are many possibilities.

Elliott likes to know the technical names of everything, so these shapes have even opened up the opportunity to discuss basic fractions.  Here he was telling me that 2 quarter circles make a half circle, and two more will make a whole circle.

He corrected the purple piece, and showed me his finished circle.

This math also carries over into Play-Doh time, because he loves to use the rolling pin to make a pizza, and then cut it into quarter circles so everyone in the family has their own piece.

Based on our own experiences, I can highly recommend this or any other detailed shape/pattern set, because there are so many excellent math opportunities built right in, as well as the opportunity for your kids to create their own designs and experiment with spacial relationships.

When the boys are ready to move on, I have some advanced sets that I found at goodwill, which you can view at the bottom of this post.

1 comment:

  1. I love all these shape ideas. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and activities! We shall try to incorporate something similar down the line. Best, Glory