Q:

When I was in high school, we learned geometry. I was surprised to find out that my elementary school child is already learning geometry. Can you help me work with him on his geometry? - Help

A:

No longer do children wait until high school to study geometry. They learn about different types of polygons in elementary and middle school. You will need to use or draw a triangle grid paper for this activity. Make a rectangle with nine rows. In the first row, draw seven equilateral triangles. In the second, draw an upside-down triangle under each triangle. Repeat this pattern until every row is filled with triangles, then have your children find and outline in color the following polygons: parallelogram, equilateral triangle, right triangle, rectangle, hexagon, octagon, pentagon and heptagon. Older children can also find a scalene triangle, rhombus and trapezoid (isosceles and non-isosceles).

Here is an activity that really teaches solid geometry and also can make a very attractive display. It might take several days to build the completed models. Your children will build models of five regular solids: cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron and dodecahedron. They can find patterns for these figures online at mathworld.wolfram.com/PlatonicSolid.html and other Web sites. When they are done, have them use the models to determine the number of faces, vertices and edges for each solid. The vertices are the corners. The edge is where the two faces meet and connect the vertices.