Experiment with making shapes out of paper by folding and cutting.

What You Need:

• Paper, cut into different-sized squares
• Blunt, child-sized scissors

What To Do:

1. Fold a piece of paper in half.
2. Using a pencil and ruler, draw a triangle pattern with the base of the triangle on the folded edge of the paper.
3. Have your child cut out the two sides of the triangle that are not folded.
4. After he cuts out the triangle, ask him what he thinks will happen when he unfolds the paper.
5. Ask him to open the triangle. Talk about what this new shape looks like and name it (diamond). Ask questions such as: “How many sides does the triangle have? How many sides does the diamond have? Which shape has more sides? How many triangles can you fit into the diamond?” Count the sides and corners of each shape. Talk about how they are similar and different.
6. Encourage your child to experiment with other shapes, always making sure that one part is against the folded edge of the paper so that he can open up it up to see what new shape he has created.

Make a snowflake: Fold a square sheet of paper in half (forming a rectangle). Fold it in half again (forming a small square). Fold it half one more time diagonally (forming a triangle with the folded edges together). Have your child cut a curved line across the unfolded edge. Show him how to cut out tiny triangles or other shapes along the folded edges, and then let him do it. Ask him to unfold the paper and to see what designs he has created.
! Safety Alert: Adult-size scissors are not safe for young preschoolers. Let your child practice cutting with blunt, child-sized scissors. Monitor your child as he uses the scissors. If you do not have appropriate scissors or the paper is too thick for your child to cut, do the cutting yourself. Discuss the dangers of moving around with a pair of scissors in hand.