This activity we did with a group of kids ranging in age from 3 years old to 3rd graders. It was fun being able to do an activity together, that multiple ages can learn from and enjoy doing together.
Prior to our activity, I cut up a bunch of shapes. I cut strips of construction paper that were 1 and a half inches thick. I then made squares from those strips (1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″) and rectangles by cutting double-wide squares (1 1/2″ x 3″). From some of the squares, we cut them in half to make triangles, mini-rectangles and tiny squares.
He fit a variety of shapes into a space to create a castle scene. We took the same principles and gave the kids a sheet of paper. They had to completely fill their page with the shapes.
Older students had to use a variety of shapes, they had to have one or more of each shape in their picture.
Younger kiddos could use just squares or squares and rectangles to fill their sheet. The rule: No overlapping pieces (or try to not have overlapping) and “fill” all the white.
Without even realizing it, your kids are learning basic principles of geometry and how shapes and area interact.
If you want to add another learning element to the page for your older kids, ask them to explain in fractions how much a row or a particular shape or color takes up in the “space” of the image.
We have our math lessons hanging proudly on our wall.
Thanks Paul Klee for inspiring this art (and math) project.
Rachel is the founder of the blog, One Crazy House. She is the co-author of 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! and The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and six children.