Time: 20 minutes (plus time to let the paint dry)
An Icosahedron is a 3D shape with twenty faces. A regular Icosahedron consists of twenty equilateral triangles, and has a total of thirty sides. This is a fantastic activity for children to develop their understanding of the differences between 2D and 3D shapes.
Key Words: Icosahedron, equilateral triangle, pentagon, sides, face, corners, chain, fold, staple
You Will Need:
20 paper plates
Poster paint (two different colours)
What To Do:
Paint the front of ten paper plates the same colour. Then paint the remaining ten plates in a different colour. Leave them to dry.
Pick a plate. Make three folds so the circular plate looks more like a triangle. Do this to every plate.
Take two different coloured plates. Place two of the folded sides together and staple them so they are secure. Add another plate to either end in the same way. You should be able to then add a fifth plate to create a complete dome of folded paper plates. It should look like a pentagon (a five-sided shape).
Create another pentagon dome, using five more plates.
With the remaining ten plates, create a chain. To do this, you will have to look at the triangle shapes on each paper plate. Turn one of the triangles upside down, and place it next to a triangle that is the right way up. Push the edges of the plate together and staple them. Then add another upside down triangle. Then one that is the right way up. Keep doing this until you have used all ten plates.
Now you should have two pentagonal shapes and a chain of plates. Take the chain and bend it around so the ends meet. Staple them together to form a ring.
The pentagons will be the top and bottom of the icosahedron. Place one pentagon on the top of the ring and staple it down. Then turn the shape upside down and staple the other pentagon to the bottom.
Well done, you’ve made an icosahedron! Can you count how many corners it has?
There are lots of brilliant things you can do with your icosahedron – you could hang it from the ceiling with a piece of wool, or even draw numbers on each face to create a twenty-sided die!