Math for Kids- Geometric Spinners

Math for Kids- Geometric Spinners by JDaniel4's Mom

We were digging through JDaniel’s toy box and found an old top from a school fun fair. It made me wonderful what would happen if we made a spinner or top that wasn’t a circle. That thought lead to us doing a math for kids activity. I am calling geometric spinners.

Math for Kids- Geometric Spinners by JDaniel4's Mom

The first thing we needed to do was cut some shapes out of cardboard. I decided that it would be more of challenge if we made over-sized shapes to try to spin.  We then gathered objects from our kitchen that could be traced onto the cardboard.

Math for Kids- Geometric Spinners by JDaniel4's Mom
JDaniel did a great job tracing the shapes and we both worked on cutting them out. (I love how well he held his pencil!) We couldn’t find a triangle in our kitchen so, I traced half of the pot holder and added a base line.
When all the shapes were cut out, I tried to place a hole in the center of each of the shapes. I had a little trouble getting it centered. 
Math for Kids- Geometric Spinners by JDaniel4's Mom

When each shape had a hole in the center,  we added patterns onto the shapes. I thought it would be fun to watch the patterns blur when the shapes were spinning. It was fun to add circles, triangles and diagonal lines to the spinners.

Then we stuck a pencil into the hole into each shape one at a time and watch it turn and turn. Some shapes spun long and better than the others. The triangle actually spun well. It didn’t spin for long though. The circle as you would expect spun really well and spun longer than the triangle. The rectangle had trouble balancing and didn’t spin that well. The square did about as well as the triangle. We were both impressed that they all actually spun around on the table.

Exploring shapes and how they move was a wonderful math for kids activity. We may try making smaller shapes next time.

Do you want to try this a home or in your classroom? You will need the following:

  • cardboard cereal boxes 
  • shapes to trace
  • scissors
  • sharpened pencils
  • markers to decorate the shapes with
  • hole punch
Let me know if you try this and how it worked out for your children or students.


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