Make a Geoboard!
When it comes to learning, sometimes it's the simplest things that can be the most effective. You and your child can make your very own geoboard with a few simple supplies from your local hardware store. This is a fun and inexpensive project and it's a great way for your child to build basic geometry skills, like shape recognition and pattern and angle familiarity. Moreover, a geoboard is a wonderful way for children to develop their spatial awareness and figure/ground perception. Plus it's loads of fun!
What You Need:
- 12" x 12" sheet of pegboard (if you can't find a 12" x 12" sheet, then buy a larger sheet to be cut later)
- Box of small nuts and bolts (about 150 of each) - make sure the bolts fit inside the holes on your pegboard
- Colored rubber bands
- Small recycled margarine tub
What to Do:
- Before your start to make your own geoboard, you'll need to purchase pegboard sheets and bolts and nuts (make sure the bolts fit the holes in the pegboard). These items can be purchased at most hardware stores. You'll also need to purchase colored rubber bands of different sizes and you can store them in a recycled small margarine tub.
- When you've got your supplies, you're ready to begin! If you're pegboard measures larger than 12" x 12" you can either ask someone at the hardware store to cut it to size for you (most places will do this) or you can cut it yourself. If you cut it yourself, use a fine blade saw to cut the pegboard into a 12” x 12” square. (This part is for adults only!) This will be the base of your geoboard.
- This next part, you and your child can do together: push the bolts through all of the holes in the pegboard. Secure each of them to the board with the nuts. The top of the geoboard is the side with protruding bolt ends and nuts showing.
- Now your geoboard is ready! Simply give your child the tub of colored rubber bands and let her go to town! She'll use the rubber bands to create designs by stretching the rubber bands around the bolts. She can pull the rubber bands in different directions, making different shapes, and overlap them to create a multi-layered design.
- When she's finished, she can clear off her geoboard and start all over!
Extension: If your child wants to practice making specific designs, you can make geoboard pattern cards together. They can make triangles, squares, hexagons and other shapes. Make some copies of the geoboard top on a copier. Then you and your child can use a marker to draw different designs on each of the blank geoboard sheets. When your child is looking for some inspiration the next time she whips out her geoboard, she can use the cards as a guide for her design!