My kids, and everyone else who has come over lately, have been LOVING these geoboards. They use the rubber bands to create shapes, lines, pictures, scenes, ART.
They like them because they are fun. Because the options are endless. Because creating with them is a challenge. And maybe because they had never created art with rubber bands before.
Maia holding a geoboard for Daphne and helping her get started
What is a geoboard?
I'm so glad you asked! Wikipedia defines a geoboard as:
A mathematical manipulative used to explore basic concepts in plane geometry such as perimeter, area and the characteristics of triangles and other polygons.
But don't let that limit you!
While Maia explored hexagons and parallelograms and Daphne explored triangles and lines, they also went beyond the basic math to explore the geoboards in a very creative way. Maia made flowers, trees, a cat, a table, a person, a lion, a house, and more. Daphne, at 2 1/2, stuck to the lines and triangles, but really enjoyed making them (I wasn't expecting her to use these at all).
I thought the flowers (stars, snowflakes?) that Maia made with the white rubber bands were pretty incredible.
I bought the geoboards about a month ago from Discount School Supply and they have seen use almost every day since. They're actually called geometric boards on the site (in case you try searching for them by name) and come in a six pack for $19.99. I wanted the boards, but didn't want to spend twenty bucks, so split an order of them with a friend. If you have four or more kids (or a classroom full of them!), you might want to get the whole set for yourself. Otherwise, talk a friend into going in on an order with you. Or save some to give as a gift.
Because they are so worth having!
A Tree with Grass made by Maia
I wasn't expecting them to be quite so popular (it was actually my friend who talked ME into splitting an order with her). I mostly thought they'd be, you know, educational. Good for Maia, but not my toddler. Good for learning about shapes and patterns and math, maybe, but not necessarily all that fun.
But I have been pleasantly surprised. Very much so.
I don't think I would ever have bought the geoboards if it weren't for my friend, but I am so glad we have them now.
Apparently you can also make them, by the way, if you don't want to spend the money and are feeling handy with a hammer and nails. Deborah Stewart has a tutorial for geoboards at Teach Preschool. You could even make one with triangular-spaced pegs and one with square-spaced pegs (the DSS boards are double-sided with triangles on one side and squares on the other). Or, heck, make them random and then just have fun with the rubber bands.
What do you think? Have you tried these?
By the way, I just linked up to a Making Math Meaningful blog hop at Rainbows Within Reach. So many good learning ideas in that post!
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