Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Paper Cubes

I used to love making 3D shapes from one sheet of paper as a child. I've always like creating something which seems completely different from the original material. I had a book full of shapes to build with designs by M C Escher which entertained me for hours. So, after playing a game involving a die with colours I decided to make a cube with B. I had no idea how well the activity would turn out. It was a spur of the moment thing late in the evening as he was wide awake after a long long nap in the afternoon.

He was fascinated with the process: drawing the pattern, cutting it precisely and then gluing it in place. It was like magic as the flat, oddly-shaped pattern became a real cube! He loves numbers, but letters are the new thing right now, so I wrote a - f on the sides. It was a success. We played "Find something which starts with..." for a relatively long time. The most fun came from the fact that we had made it and before long he was asking for more. "Big one" he asked. "Make big one please". So I promised that we would search for a really big piece of paper in the morning and make the biggest die we possibly could.

I did wonder what he gained from this experience. A two year old can do little in the construction process, but the fascination was proof enough to me that it was a worth while activity.
These are my conclusions:
  • we worked and talked together
  • he saw how one thing can form entirely shapes
  • he watched me use scissors correctly
  • he saw me measure accurately to make a precise shape
  • maybe his mind was thinking about other things which might be possible
  • maybe he was wondering if we could make a bus in the same way
We enjoyed our evening activity and I was looking forward to building a really big cube with him. Perhaps there is a way to make a bus, with wipers and doors and all that. Maybe we can recreate Waterfall by Escher...

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