*Materials:
several papers, scissors, safe mini mirror, pencils*

*****

1. Make
cuts in the paper:

If I make no folds, and 1 cut, how
many cuts will there be?

If I make 1 fold, and 1 cut, how
many cuts will there be?

If I make 2 folds, and 1 cut, how
many cuts will there be?

If I make no folds, and 2 cuts, how
many cuts will there be?

If I make 1 fold, and 2 cuts, how
many cuts will there be?

If I cut on the side, will the cuts
be in the middle when I unfold it, or will they be on the edge?

*Kids
liked this activity, even though it was a bit too hard for them. Even though these
little kids can’t imagine things in their head very well yet, it’s still a good
activity for them to do, so that they can improve their mental rotation, at an
early age.*

*****

2. How
can I fold a square piece of paper into a triangle? Is it possible?

*The
kids figured this out really fast. “Fold it in half diagonally!”*

*****

What about a triangle piece of
paper into a smaller triangle?

*This
one was a bit harder, but still, it took them almost no time. “Fold it in half
through the center again!”*

*****

3. Take
turns going around the table, and ask every person to draw a shape on a folded
snowflake. After everyone draws a shape, cut all the shapes out, and see what
snowflake comes out.

*This
doesn’t exactly improve kids’ mental rotation skills, but kids learn that just
from folding a piece of paper, and then cutting out pieces, can make a
beautiful design. The snowflakes end up very pretty, and it gets the kids to
pay attention more. It is a hands-on activity, and kids enjoyed it. **Put
the scraps from the snowflake into the recycling bin right away, because kids
start playing with the scraps, and it is very hard to stop them! Also, do not
give little kids sharp scissors! *

*****

4. Cut
a piece of paper into a circle. Will a circular snowflake work?

*The
kids were sure that a circular snowflake was impossible, (arguing that a snowflake has sharp corners, making it impossible to create from a smooth circle), until we actually made
one. It is interesting to see how kids respond to this question, and to see how
they react.*

*****

5. Divide
the page in half by vertical line; draw a shape on one side; ask the students
to draw a mirror reflection on the other side. Check your work with a mini-mirror.

*The
kids were very happy that they were allowed to draw. Let the kids draw their
own object also, and let them try drawing a mirror reflection over the line.*

*****

6. Easy
snowflake symmetrical designs – color symmetrically. (Snowflake designs below)

*For
this activity, to get more teamwork, pass the design around the table, and let
every child color one specific part of the design, and after everyone is done
coloring, to see if everyone made a symmetrical design together. Teamwork is
good for little kids.*

*****

7. Symmetrical
movement (I raise my right arm, you raise your left, etc.)– work in pairs.

*Wonderful!
Have one child act as a mirror, and one child to be a real person doing the
motions. When kids get to stand up and move around, they concentrate much
better.*

*****

8. Get
Othello (board game), and make symmetrical designs.

*The kids liked this activity, and they took turns making symmetrical designs with me, and other kids in the group. This
is very funny, but it is what I observed during the class: When I told the kids
that the problem they were solving was a game, *__even if it wasn’t__, the kids
started getting much more involved in it, because they __thought__ that it
was a game.*J*