10 – 12

Shapes of nature


Shapes of nature

What to do with this activity?

The shapes and patterns of nature are beautiful, complex and often geometrical. Think of five sided star fish, six sided honeycomb cells and snowflakes, circular fruit, bubbles and moons, the spirals of shells and weather systems, tree rings, and so much more. Humans have always been inspired by natural design - as something beautiful, but also to learn from their structure in order to build strong. 

Did you know that many of nature's shapes can be expressed as maths formulae? One of the most beautiful is the Fibonacci spiral, a maths formula that describes the shell in the picture above. Find out about the Fibonacci spiral on this Maths is Fun link. Have a look at how hurricane's follows the same shape. See if your child can draw a spiral based on Fibonacci's formula. 

Get inspired by looking at these images of patterns in nature

  • Why am I doing this?

    Maths makes sense to children when they use it in everyday life - like measuring things, working out distances, estimating food for dinner or money for groceries. The more opportunities you give your child to use the maths they learn at school through everyday activities the more they will understand and enjoy working with numbers.

  • How can I do more?

    Discuss maths that you see around you. For example, talk about sales in shops – half price, 25% off, what is good value? Or how much will the item cost after the discount?

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