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You can find geometric shapes everywhere! Practice observation skills and notice examples of geometric shapes in this scavenger hunt, and then sketch and write about each shape.
In this activity, you’ll walk the sides and interior angles of various polygons drawn on the playground.
Paved surfaces sometimes form cracks due to stress from objects embedded in the surface, or due to stress created by expansion or contraction. In this activity, you’ll observe and sketch cracking patterns.
What would your friend look like in “tiny pants”? Using a simple trick of perspective, you can dress your friends in tiny cutout clothing.
Get outside and explore geometry (and other math) all around you. A math trail is a walk with various stops where you look at math in the world around you, and ask questions about it.
These handson activities will help spark students’ interest in geometry. They're designed for classroom use but can also be done by families or other groups. ESPAÑOL indicates activities that are available in Spanish.
Grade level  Title  Description  
K–2 



K–2  String Shapes  Make manysided shapes with string.  
K–2  Exploring Pattern Blocks  See how polygons fit together.  
K–2  Exploring Tessellations  Repeating patterns in two and three dimensions.  
K–2  Reflections  The symmetry of mirror images.  
3–5  Making a Translation Tessellation  Slide a shape to create an unusual tiled pattern.  
3–5  CutFoldStaple  Rotate a flat shape into the third dimension.  
3–5  Experimenting with Symmetry  See how mirrors reflect the features of a shape.  
3–5 



3–5 



3–5  Rotating String Shapes  Make multisided shapes with string.  
6–8  Building ThreeDimensional (3D) Structures  Draw a 3D structure in two dimensions.  
6–8  Exploring a Complex SpaceFilling Shape  Build your own stellated rhombic dodecahedron.  
6–8  Exploring Tessellations  Design unique tiles and make repeating patterns.  
6–8  Scaling Cubes  What happens when a cube gets bigger and bigger?  
6–8  Soda Can Mirrors  Changing pictures in a curved mirror.  
6–8  Beyond Dominoes: Polyominoes  The more squares you add, the more interesting the shapes get. 
This set of activities is written for a class, after school, or other group to
do on a playground. They can easily be adapted to be done by families, however,
and they can be done at other outdoor locations. Physical exercise and the
gamelike nature of the activities make learning geometry fun.
ESPAÑOL indicates activities that are available in Spanish.
ESPAÑOL

What geometric shapes can you find on the playground? ¿Qué formas geométricas puedes encontrar en el parque de juegos? 
Stride Ruler  Use your own two feet to estimate distances. 
Measuring and Mapping the Playground  Use a scale factor to create an accurate map. 
Handy Measuring Ratio  Use your hand as a tool for indirect measurement. 
ESPAÑOL

Measure angles with a tool you can make yourself. Mide ángulos con una herramienta que puedes hacer tú mismo. 
ESPAÑOL

Are some angles more common than others? ¿Algunos ángulos son más comunes que otros? 
Angle Hunting  What angles can you find in playground equipment? 
Walking Polygons  Investigate the interior angles of polygons with your feet. 
Traveling Networks  What’s the rule that tells you whether or not a network can be “traveled’? 
Solving Playground Network Problems  Use cooperation and logical thinking to find solutions. 
Geometry Playground is made possible by the National Science Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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© 2010 Exploratorium  The
museum of science, art and human perception
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