Monday, August 11, 2014

Preschool Symmetry Activity: Wooden Shapes in a Mirror Box

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Looking for some preschool math inspiration? Try this simple preschool symmetry activity using wooden shapes and a homemade mirror box.

Our homemade mirror box is such a fun thing to play and explore with. My boys really love to watch how materials transform in the box, no matter what objects we put inside. It's seriously one of the best accessories to have for any kind of loose parts play. And it makes for the best symmetry activities!

The mirror box is also a great way to explore simple math skills such as symmetry, shapes, and counting, as you'll see. It's also just really really cool.

I recently purchased some colored wooden shapes at the dollar store. They're similar to these wood shapes, but obviously colored, not plain. They are so vibrant that I just had to pair them with the mirror box and let the kids explore. That's how this preschool symmetry activity came to life!

So grab some wooden shapes, quickly whip up a mirror box, and give this fun math idea a try. Your kids are going to love it!

Explore symmetry with shapes in a mirror box with this simple preschool symmetry activity

What You'll Need for this Preschool Symmetry Activity

This math activity is a really simple way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore symmetry with shapes, whether at home or in the classroom. Here's what you'll need to recreate this activity at home:

  • Colored wooden shapes - I found these shapes at Dollarama, our local dollar store. They are similar to these wood shapes, but obviously dyed in bright primary colors. You could substitute foam shapes or pattern blocks instead. Feel free to use anything else that might be similar.

Once I gathered all the materials, I placed a few shapes inside the mirror box as a way to invite or entice my boys to explore symmetry. As soon as they saw the reflections in the mirror box, they were intrigued, especially my oldest son, and quickly went to work.

Preschool child exploring symmetry using wooden shapes in a mirror box

Simple Toddler & Preschool Math Activity for Exploring Symmetry

This symmetry activity is so inviting! And it's not just for kids either. I mean I loved playing with this myself, creating many stunning symmetry pictures in the mirrors.

The colored wooden shapes take on a life of their own in the mirror box and look absolutely lovely. Seriously, look at how cool the wooden shapes look in the mirror box. It's basically symmetry art!

Close up of colorful wooden shapes in a mirror box as part of a symmetry activity for kids

J, my oldest, loved to place one shape in the box and then count how many shapes would then appear in all the mirrors. That's hypernumeracy at its finest! He would repeat this over and over. Place a shape. Count. Place a shape. Count. Over and over. What can I say? The kid loves to count!

Placing colorful wooden shapes in a mirror box as part of a symmetry activity for kids

Wooden shapes in a mirror box as a part of a preschool symmetry activity

My youngest son K, on the other hand, didn't participate too much in the actual constructing part of this symmetry activity. Instead, he preferred to observe. From time to time, he would hand J a shape or two to put in the mirror. You can see his arms as leans over J. He also enjoyed emptying the contents of the mirror box each time, which is such a toddler thing to do, hey?

Child placing shapes in a mirror box to explore symmetry

This math activity kept the boys busy for quite some time. Most math activities do around here. But if you're looking for preschool symmetry activity in particular, then definitely give this idea a try!

More Symmetry Ideas for Kids You'll Love

Cotton Swab Snowflake Symmetry Activity for Kids

Great Preschool Symmetry Activity Using Magnetic Tiles

Preschool symmetry activity using wooden shapes in a mirror box