Symmetry: Scavenger Hunt and Art Project

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One of the best ways for kids to learn is through exploration. And a Math Scavenger Hunt is a very fun, easy activity to pull-off!  I found that it was the perfect activity to introduce my kids to the terms: symmetry and assymetry.

First of all, I explained the definitions of symmetry:

and asymmetry:

Though it's easy to overlook and skip, it is actually very important for kids to understand the term asymmetrical. It will greatly help their confidence when identifying objects that are, in fact, symmetrical. 

After my kids understood the two terms, I explained to them that we were going for a nice walk around the neighborhood and along the river and would find as many symmetrical things that we could find.  They were excited!  We get to put down our math books for the day?  Great!

We grabbed our cameras and we were off!  Any time one of my kids found an object demonstrating symmetry, I took a picture of the object. Note:  the photos are not meant to be symmetrical, rather the objects portrayed in the photos. 

Leaves show amazing symmetry!

 

Though this would be truly symmetrical if we edited the addresses, the mailboxes are very balanced!

This park bench is symmetrical!

While this picture has some issues with it being truly symmetrical (the bush shapes, etc.), the idea was still there. My kids marveled at the neighbor's decision to landscape symmetrically! 

The back of a stop sign. 

 

My girl points to a leaf!

We'll call him Mr. Symmetry. 

When finished, you can print off the pictures and place in a small notebook, if you wish.  You can also give them a very challenging art activity to do.  I first folded a piece of drawing paper in half and glued a picture to the middle, making sure it was lined up to the fold.  You can use a magazine picture or a photograph.  Then, instruct your kids to draw the mirror image of the photo, making it symmetrical.