Comparing Shapes with Snowballs

Math & 123s
Move & Learn
Kindergartners5 Comments

I set up a shape activity for comparing shapes, more specifically, the size of the shapes. And since its winter, I had to make a snowball activity!

In big math talk, we’re talking (very loosely) about the area of shapes.

With my trusty painter’s tape, I taped out four different shapes on the floor. A square, triangle, diamond and a rectangle. I wasn’t about to take the time to tape out a circle, I’ve done that before, and it takes awhile. But it would be a good one to include too.

Tape shapes on the floor and fill with 'snowballs' for comparing shapes and to measure the area

Then I grabbed a box of facial tissues and balled up several (probably 30 of them) of them to make into ‘snowballs’ (coffee filters, cotton balls, toilet paper would all work too).

Henry began filling the shapes with the snowballs.

Comparing shapes -- Count and compare the 'snowballs' that fit in a shape to measure the area.

It wasn’t nearly as complicated, or took any problem solving, like the block puzzles we did.

The point of this activity is to compare the size of the shapes.

We talked about the shapes, which one Henry thought was the biggest, and smallest and so on.

Once they were full, well, George and Henry wiped the slate clean and we had snowballs everywhere… so Henry filled the shapes again.

Snowball activity...

And that may have happened a couple more times too… all in good fun!

Then finally, he counted how many snowballs it took to fill each shape.

Counting and comparing shapes by size using 'snowballs'

Starting with the rectangle, then the diamond… which he found took more snowballs than the rectangle. Then I asked before he started counting the snowballs that filled the triangle.

What do you think, more or less snowballs than the diamond?


So he counted to see. Yep! He was right. And then again with the square, more or less?


Counting and comparing shapes by size using 'snowballs'

Yep! After counting all the snowballs in the square, he found out that the square was the largest shape.

Since our snowballs weren’t a very good measuring tool, this is only loosely comparing the areas of the shapes. But it gives the same idea and Henry a concept of what shape are a larger area and what the idea of area is in general.

And George could have done this activity as well, its just about the counting in their mind. He would have needed help counting that far with some of them though.

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  1. Shallon says

    Awesome, just saw this and did it right away with my kids. Used hexiblocks (flat toy pieces) as filler instead of tissues (going through enough with a cold, got to be conservative). It was lots of fun, now the tape is being pulled up and shaped into numbers, by my kids :-) Thanks

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