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Paper doll math for kids

Mathematics of paper dolls


I love when math makes an activity more satisfying. For example:

With your child, make the paper doll chains as shown on the web site.

Then enjoy - because math is what makes these chains so cool:

Patterns: Figures alternate - for example, right arm up, left arm up, right arm up, left arm up.

Reflections: Kids love that every other doll is a flipped copy of the one next to it. Technically, that's called a reflection, one of three kinds of geometry transformations kids study in elementary school - the other two being rotation (spinning a figure around a point) and translation (moving it to the side).

Powers of two: Fold the paper twice - you get four figures. Fold the paper three times - you get eight figures. Fold four times - you get 16 figures. Every fold doubles the number of figures again.

Multiplying fractions: Every time you fold, the dolls become half as wide. That's a visual illustration of what it means to multiply by a fraction, in this case (width) x 1/2. Or, if the first fold divides the paper in half, and the second fold divides it in quarters, that's like saying 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4. The next fold could be expressed 1/4 x 1/2 = 1/8, and sure enough the next fold divides the paper into eighths.

More Fun Math for Kids




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