Math art projects are a unique way to combine right and left brain learning. 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 and activities.
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 math art projects is that they will get math kids thinking about art and art kids thinking about math!
Math Art Projects and Ideas
Tessellations. We've done this several times, and somehow it never gets boring.
- See our how to make tessellations post.
- Three ways to make heart tessellations.
- Easy cat tessellations
- Star tessellations - great for holiday art
- This is great for younger kids. You're probably familiar with the ol' fold the paper in half and smoosh trick. You can make symmetry art free style, like we did.
- Create gorgeous math art with parabolic curves. My son designed his own eyeball!!
- 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
- Spirolaterals will help your kids practice their multiplication tables.
- Create Fibonacci art with circles.
- 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 mandalas 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!
- Explore Möbius strips, or make Möbius hearts
- Make your own peek-a-boo shape book - free printable template.
- Paint a Mondrian window.
- Build a fractal Christmas tree
- Explore triangle math with a heart geometry puzzle
- E is for Explore has a few ways kids can use Kandinsky inspired art to think about about circles and relative size.
- Use a geoboard. We were gifted a cheesy plastic geoboard, but Crayon Box Chronicles has instructions so you can make your own.
What do your kids prefer, math or art? Do you ever do math art projects with the kids?