28 November 2008

Let's Twist Again

We had a look at some amazing patterns like these (wikipedia) yesterday.

They were made using a machine called a ‘Spirograph’.  A Spirograph works like this; you insert your sharp pencil point into a tiny hole in a round plastic cog, and carefully, oh-so-carefully, you move it round and round and round inside a plastic ring which also has cogs.  As you spiral round, so a pattern emerges.....

The trouble is that we only had one Spirograph machine - and lots of eager-for-a-challenge children.  What to do?

First take a piece of cardboard as your base.


Next, choose a cardboard shape to trace round and stab it with a sharp pin.....

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.....onto a piece of paper and into your cardboard base (and watch out; some of those pins might poke through the other side!)

With one hand, hold the shape still.....

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.....and with the other trace all the way round the shape with your pencil.

Then, moving the shape round just a little bit each time, trace the shape again and again.


As you progress, you will start to see a pattern emerging.


Finally, you will have made your way all the way round and back to where you started - phew!

Now, stand back and admire your very own Spirograph designs.

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Look closely at these two; you should be able to see one shape repeated lots of times
What shapes do you see?

1 comment:

Maria Pontoriero said...

We liked this idea so much that we decided to use it as a craft activity during our next party!!!
Thank you :-)