Both my boys enjoy math, but they often balk when I suggest, “let’s do an art project!” It’s sort of depressing for me, since I’d much rather get out the paints than perform calculations. My solution has been to make math learning creative with math art projects.
I need to get better about taking photos of our math art sessions. Perhaps now that I have a new camera I can get some decent pictures. But I digress. Anyway… I thought it would be fun to round up some math art ideas that we’ve tried, plus a few I’ve found on the internet that are in my virtual “to try” pile.
The best thing about all of these projects is that they will get math kids thinking about art and art kids thinking about math!
Tessellations. We’ve done this several times, and somehow it never gets boring.
- See our how to make tessellations post.
- Check out this fish tessellation idea at Art Projects for Kids.
- This is great for younger kids. You’re probably familiar with the ol’ fold the paper in half and smoosh trick. You can do this free style, like we did; or
- create gorgeous objects like these butterflies from Buggy and Buddy.
- These symmetry art aliens make me smile.
Turn number sequences into art.
- We did this when we turned pi into a cityscape, and I have plans to try similar projects with the Fibonacci sequence.
- This Fibonacci valentine from Math Four could be adapted for any time of the year.
Use math tools to create art. This is one of my favorite ideas!
- It can be really simple, like simply giving your kids a ruler, compass and protractor and see what they come up with. If using a compass is tricky, see my tip for drawing with a compass.
- I love this protractor art project that evokes Frank Stella’s artwork.
- Use a ruler to create sunburst paintings, like these at Art Bar.
Explore math art with shapes.
- The boys love to play around with our homemade Montessori triangles. They don’t even think about the fact that they are creating artistic designs!
- We also had a great time with these Hexi cards to print out from Picklebums.
- E is for Explore has a few ways kids can use Kandinsky inspired art to think about about circles and relative size.
- Make mandalas. like this idea at NurtureStore. I’ve always wanted to do this.
- Paint a Mondrian window.
- Use a geoboard. We were gifted a cheesy plastic geoboard, but Crayon Box Chronicles has instructions so you can make your own.
- Explore Möbius strips.
What do your kids prefer, math or art? Need more ideas? Visit –> 25 Playful and Creative Math Ideas.