Making Maths: Snowflakes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Snowflake

One of the marvels of nature is that the tiny ice crystals in snowflakes form a shape with six lines of symmetry. It is actually quite hard to cut out a paper snowflake with six perfect lines of symmetry, but it's a lot of fun to try!

Here's one way to make a snowflake ...

You will need:
  • A sheet of paper (you could start with scrap paper until you create the kind of snowflake you want)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glitter (optional)
What to do:
1. Start with a circle of paper (trace around a lid or a bowl). Fold the circle in half, then half again - just to find the centre of the circle. Then open it back out to a half-circle.


Folded circles

2. Now you have to fold the half-circle into three parts, with a point at the centre of the circle. It's a little bit tricky to get the three parts the same size, so take care.


Folded circles

3. Now cut away pieces from the folded sides, and from the curved edge as well. Open it out - and there's a snowflake. Maybe you could add some glitter to make them sparkle. Have fun!

This activity features in our December 2008 Advent Calendar.