Easter egg symmetry painting

We have done quite a few mirror symmetry activities, including making symmetrical sticker hearts in February and - more recently - a Skittle Easter egg shape diffusion experiment. I try to find opportunities to engage my son in mark making/drawing as he's not keen on it and it's a skill he will eventually need.  I therefore tried to turn a maths-based symmetry activity into something others might think of as a craft activity.  It's quick and easy, and barely merits a blog post, but as there are lots of people looking for ideas at the moment due to Covid-19 lockdowns I thought I'd write about it.

One side of the Easter egg shape with a striped pattern

I bought a few new things for the boys prior to lockdown and put them in the cupboard, including some paint sticks.  I'd been getting a bit frustrated about spending far longer setting up paint and then clearing it up afterwards for my son to spend literally 30 seconds poking a brush in the paint and refusing to do anything much with it, but these are like glue sticks with paint inside so a lot quicker.  Anyway, I thought we'd give them a go, and I made an Easter egg shape from thin white card by folding it in half and then cutting. The fold line forms the line of mirror symmetry when it is opened out. I drew some stripes on one side of the line of mirror symmetry using the paint sticks.

Colouring in

He liked the idea of a symmetry activity that he knew how to do, and some intriguing new paint sticks, and he set to work. Whilst the egg shape didn't end up symmetrical, he did at least try quite hard to colour the stripes in the right place.

Getting more accurate

I'm sure that lots of children his age could be neater, and his grip on the paint stick could do with improving, but it was a really good attempt, and he got more accurate as he progressed through the colours. More satisfying for me was that he actually enjoyed doing some colouring for once!

After he'd done the egg, I suggested writing his name with the new paint sticks. He's been able to spell, and indeed type, his name for a while, but I wrote the letters in pencil for him to trace. He was happy to have a go with his nice new paint sticks and he did a remarkably good job of it which he was rightly proud of.

Finished egg, not quite symmetrical but he tried!

Maybe next time I won't disguise drawing with the paint sticks as a symmetry activity and just try some more conventional art.  However, other people might like to use this activity the opposite way, to introduce children who like drawing to the concept of mirror symmetry! If you've got a mirror that you can place down the line of symmetry, you can show your child what they need to colour to make it symmetrical, and then let them compare their colouring at the end with the reflection they see in the mirror - we did this in the heart shape activity linked to at the top of this page.