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Free App: Learn Hexagonal Symmetry with Snowflakes

My Flake

My Flake is a very simple free app. While having fun designing their own snowflakes and see how the designs turn out, kids will learn about symmetry, especially hexagonal symmetry. Hexagonal symmetry is very different from the typical symmetry kids see everyday, and there is no better opportunity than learning hexagonal symmetry with snowflakes

Before you start the app, you might want to go over some basics with the kids. First, if possible, help them observe some real snowflakes. Ask kids to describe what the snowflakes look like. You can even ask them draw some snowflakes based on what they have seen. Learn hexagonal symmetry with snowflakes

While you are talking with kids about the snowflakes, here are some points might make the talk interesting:

  1. No two snowflakes are the same
  2. All snowflakes are Hexagonal, ie. all snowflakes have 6 points.
  3. Snowflakes are made of ice crystals, which often have hexagonal symmetry. This explains why the snowflakes are hexagonal.

If you live at a place that has no real snow, you can check out snowflake shapes online.

After observing some real snowflake, there is one more thing you can do with the kids to help them have better learning experience with the app.  It will be helpful to show kids how to fold the paper to the shape that you can start the cutting process. Here is a wonderful instruction. There are even some paper cut snowflake examples in this instruction.

The app start with the paper that is already folded into the shape that is ready to cut. If you follow the paper cutting instructions above, it is Step 6.

If this is the first time for the child to do this, it might be helpful, after you get to Step 6, to have the child cut a snowflake and see it unfold into a real snowflake shape. It will help the kid come up better design with the app.

What is good about the app is kids can design virtual snowflakes without all the mess of shredded paper. Kids can design the cuts on the folded paper on the screen. They can see their design unfold into different shapes. They can change their design anytime.

Once they feel they have a design they like, they can preview the snowflake unfold with a  nice background, and they can save it within the app or save it into the photo album on the device.

Since hexagonal symmetry is more complicated than typical symmetry kids are used to see, it helps to repeat several times with different designs. It also helps to try at least a couple on real paper, starting with simple designs. Of course, the app is a great virtual tool to help kids visualize their design.

My Flake works on iPhone, iPod and iPAD. It is Free on App Store.

If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Emma (My Little 3 and Me)

    Snowflakes are just perfect for exploring symmetry aren’t they. Thanks for the app info.

    • Yes, they are. I realized hexagonal symmetry is a little different, definitely need some more explanation to the kids, especially with the little ones.

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