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Today we are exploring line symmetry!


In Reception we teach children symmetry in that if you cut it in half, equally in the middle, then the shape looks the same on both sides. We look at different shapes such as triangles, squares, circles to begin with. We talk about how if you put a middle down the middle it should reflect the shape as it does when the shape is whole perfectly!


If you find it tricky to explain then this bitesize clip can help...

It can be a tricky subject and for some children they understand it almost instantaneously, whereas many take time to grasp this concept.  To get us started with symmetry we have two activities...


Activity One - Symmetrical cape making...

1) Using a piece of A4 or larger paper, fold it in half and press hard down the seam. Then re-open it. Explain to your child that this is going to be their line of symmetry.

2) On one side of the paper your child needs to paint a design - remembering that this is only covering one half of the cape - not all of it. You could use paint brushes, stampers or whatever you have to make their cape pattern. For this activity to work remember to use a decent amount of paint so there is enough to transfer onto the other side of the paper but not too much that you form giant blobs and your pattern swims in paint!

3) When they have finished ask them to fold over the plain side and gently press down so the paint can transfer onto the other side of the paper.

4) Then together (sometimes it can need adult support to open without disaster of the paper tearing or the pattern being jumbled) open the paper. You should then see that the pattern is the same both sides. They you have symmetrical superhero cape. 


You can do this with other shapes or objects. Traditionally schools tend to make butterflies with this technique. If your child has enjoyed doing this then you could leave them to create independently other symmetrical patterns. 


Activity Two - Purple Mash Symmetry...

There are a range of different apps you can use on Purple Mash to explore making symmetrical pictures. Children really enjoy doing this as they can clearly see how symmetry is formed. 

Type into the search bar on the home page 'symmetry' and you will see a range of different apps you can explore to create symmetrical pictures. We recommend 'butterfly' as a great place to start. Your child can also build on the Rangoli patterns that we made last term by creating symmetrical ones under 'Rangoli' too. 



Need a stepping stone?

Have a try at using a mirror on symmetrical objects and pictures. There is a sheet of 2D shapes with lines of symmetry drawn on for you to try below this text. You can use different objects to see if they look the same when placed in the middle or different to work out if they are symmetrical or not. 


Need a further challenge?

Please find below an activity where your child has to draw in and complete the symmetry in the picture, we suggest you begin with the second page with colouring dots. If they get stuck they can use a mirror to check if they are on track. Your child will need support to use the mirror and check as this is a more mature strategy. 



Interactive games online your child can use to develop their knowledge of symmetry...