Exploring Symmetry with Snowflakes {Light & Reflections Series}

By on November 18, 2013
For this week's Light & Reflections post, the topic was math and science.  Since it already feels like winter here, I decided to focus on snowflakes and their symmetry.  And I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try making a DIY mirror box like the one Anna from The Imagination Tree made.

Creating snowflakes in a mirror box to explore symmetry from And Next Comes L

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The mirror box was super easy to make.  I used three square acrylic mirrors that I purchased at the dollar store for either $1.50 or $2.  I can't quite remember how much they were, but they were cheap.  Then I followed The Imagination Tree's instructions.

Since snowflakes are the inspiration for this activity, it only made sense to set up the mirror box on the ledge by our front window so that J could see the snow out front while he played.  I also set out a cup of cotton swabs.  Most of the cotton swabs were full length, but I had also cut some in half.

J started placing some of the cotton swabs on the mirror box, watching how they would transform as he placed them in the mirror box.

J exploring the homemade mirror box from And Next Comes L

J exploring the homemade mirror box from And Next Comes L


J kept adding more and more cotton swabs to the mirror box, eventually realizing that he was making symmetrical snowflakes.  He would stop every so often to count the number of points on his snowflakes too.

Creating snowflakes in a mirror box to explore symmetry from And Next Comes L

Here is J making a really intricate snowflake with the cotton swabs.

Creating snowflakes in a mirror box to explore symmetry from And Next Comes L

This activity was perfect for talking about reflections, symmetry, snowflakes, and so much more.  J was also engaging his creativity, happily making any kind of designs he wanted.  And then, of course, there was some shape identification and counting involved too.   

Be sure to read the other science and math posts in the Light & Reflections Series.  And then tune in next week for when we focus on literacy activities.

Bubbling Color Mixing on the Light Table from Where Imagination Grows

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Exploring symmetry using a mirror box by creating snowflakes from And Next Comes L