Rotational Symmetry Game

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Updated on Aug 15, 2013

Learn to recognize symmetry in this fun card game! The more your child practices, the better he'll get at recognizing this special characteristic many playing cards have.

Symmetry is a balance that frequently occurs in nature and in many familiar places. There are three types of symmetry. For the purposes of this game, we'll focus on rotational or point symmetry. If a figure can be rotated less than 360o so that it coincides with itself, it has rotational symmetry. For example, the three of diamonds has rotational symmetry, but the five of hearts does not. (Notice that when you turn the five of hearts 180o, the center heart is turned upside down.)

What You Need:

  • Deck of cards
  • Paper
  • Pen or marker

What You Do:

  1. Help your child divide the paper in half with the black marker.
  2. Next, encourage him to write the word “Symmetrical” across the top left half of the paper.
  3. Have him write out the words “Non-Symmetrical” across the top right half of the paper.
  4. Let him shuffle the cards. Lend a hand if he's having trouble.
  5. He should then flip the top card over and lay it face up on a flat surface.
  6. Have him say the number and suit aloud.
  7. Ask him to turn the card 180 degrees.
  8. Challenge him to determine if the card is symmetrical after being turned. If he's struggling, join in to help him figure out if suit on the card is symmetrical or not.
  9. If the suit is symmetrical, have him record the number and the suit of the card in the “Symmetrical” column.
  10. If the suit is not symmetrical, have him write the number and suit of the card in the “Non-Symmetrical” column.
  11. Keep playing until he correctly identifies all the cards in the deck.

If you're playing with a group, have the players each create their own score sheet and take turns determining whether or not a card is symmetrical. Kids should be awarded a point when they correctly identify a card as being either symmmetrical or non-symmetrical. After you've gone through the deck, have the players add up their points to determine the winner!

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