Monday, April 16, 2012

Geometry Jump!

It’s time to move beyond squares, rectangles, and triangles. With my son toting home worksheets about polygons, I decided to create a fun activity to work on some of the harder shapes – parallelogram, octagon, hexagon, pentagon, and trapezoid.

I took inspiration from a game we played often when my son was younger: Cranium Hullabaloo. If you’ve played this before, you’ll see the similarities.

I made 15 cards with numbers on them (three of each of the five different shapes). I printed them on 15 pages of cardstock in five different colors. (Download them here. Don't forget to shuffle the colored papers before printing!) Then I made a wacky die with things like walk like a chicken, hop, and dance on it. I printed the die on heavyweight cardstock, cut everything out, and glued the die together. Click the picture below to download the die template.

When my son came home from school, we read Shapes in Transportation. This book was perfect to remind my son about the names of the shapes we’d be working with and showed just how common they are.

Having read the book, it was time to get moving. I had my son help me spread the shapes out all over the floor. Then I set the timer on our microwave for three minutes. I told my son that he needed to move to the shape, number, or color I called out as quickly as possible in the way the die dictated.

Ideas for call-outs:
Give an addition and subtraction problem equal to the number on the shape.
Ask that the child move to a particular shape (e.g. hexagon or trapezoid).
Tell him/her to find an odd (or even) number.
Pick one of the colors and call it out.
Instruct the child to move to a shape with a certain number of sides.

When the timer went off, I named one of the above again and if my son was standing on that particular color, shape, or number he was a winner. We played over and over!

Oh, my word, did he have fun!?! This was great math practice that had my son dancing, hopping, crawling, and “swimming” across our living room.


  1. He looks SO happy! What a creative mom you are!

  2. I second what Phyllis said- YOU ROCK!!!

  3. That sounds like SO very much fun. A great rainy day activity, I think.

  4. I LOVE active learning games like this!

    Thank you for sharing with Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  5. What a wonderful game! We'll have to try it!

  6. I love it!! you incorporated some great physical activity with math education.
    keeping kids healthy and smart... kudos!!!!

  7. Oh this will be awesome to review math with the kiddos over the summer! Thanks for sharing the great idea!

    pinning :)

  8. Hi I just want to ask, your son goes to a regular school during the day? I am a hs mom, but my little girl doesn't working so well and I am considering sending to kindergarten on AUGUST. I am so worry about this, I believe in homeschooling like a life style. My oldest son, worked so well for 4 years. Now his on 11 grade. I appreciate your advise. Thanks!

    1. Yes, Anonymous, my son does attend public school. I honestly never considered homeschooling him. (I grew up with two parents as teachers that taught/administrated in the public school system.) We have been thrilled with my son's education and his teachers, but I know that the quality of public schools is not the same everywhere. I wish you luck in making a decision!

  9. Very well discussed and I am sharing a simple definition about polygon as -A polygon is a plane shape with straight sides.A simple polygon has only one boundary, and a complex polygon intersects itself.