Kids love learning summer symmetry

Insects and other bugs are all around us in summertime. Most children are fascinated with bugs and what they look like. This is an opportunity to make some funny looking bugs while talking about symmetry which means both sides are built exactly the same. You’ll need several eyedroppers, or straws to us as a pipette, colors of paint, markers, and sheets of paper. To make a pipette straw, dip a drinking straw in a liquid with your finger pressed tightly over the top hole. Take your finger off the top when you wish to empty the straw.

Making Symmetry

First help your children fold a paper exactly in half. Open the paper and let them use eyedroppers to drop several colors of paint onto the center of the crease. With help, young children can fold the paper over the paint. Now they can rub gently over the paper to blend the colors. Open the paper. Talk about the “blobby” shape that has appeared. Point out that what is on one side of the fold is also on the other side of the fold. Explain that this is symmetry.

Nature is full of symmetry. While the paint is drying, look for symmetry in leaves, flowers, bugs, and other objects in your own back yard. You can talk about what makes a bug an insect. Discuss what an insect does with its antennae, wings and six legs.

Once the paint is dry, encourage your children to use markers to add the antennae, wings, eyes and legs. Together you’ve created a new bug so it needs a new name. Help your children write the new name under the picture and then hang the picture where everyone can enjoy it!

Study Summer Bugs

Use a magnifying glass and study some bugs you find. Talk about what makes them the same and different. Together see how many different bugs you can find. Help our children make a list of these bugs. Together discover the scientific name for a person who studies bugs. Visit the library to pick out some interesting books about bugs and enjoy them together. Use the computer and visit the National Geographic site to investigate more about bugs.

Understanding symmetry helps children look very carefully at objects. You can also use the same technique to make more symmetries and use imagination to discover what else children see once the paper is unfolded. Children can use markers to add details to the picture. Together draw half a shape on the folded paper and then cut out shapes so that one side is the same as the other side. Talk about the characteristics of each shape. For more summer fun and learning, go to also Learning Through the Seasons live and pod casts, Facebook, Pinterest, and You Tube.