Jan 29, 2010

Giant homemade Geoboard

I didn't know what a geoboard was until a year or so ago, when I saw a plastic one in a shop. Here's the wikipedia entry for it here, in case you've never heard of them either.

I wasn't in any hurry to make one for my kids because they were still quite young. Then some time last year I saw a post on the "Crafty Crow", showing how "Mamma Jenn" had made one using cork board pins. My kids would be trying to pull the pins out even if I glued them in, so I wasn't sure about trying that.
Around this time my friend Jennifer found a large bit of board in the garbage room of her apartment block and brought it over for me, knowing that I like to make stuff out of other people's trash (thank you Jennifer!). This is the sort of board with holes drilled in, that you mount on the wall to put fixtures in to hang tools etc. I thought it would be perfect for a geoboard if we used some nuts and bolts to make the pegs.

We got a nice big box of 100 bolts and nuts and screwed them all in. The kids then got a rubber band ball each to take apart and use on the board.

We haven't done any specific learning excersizes with it yet. The kids are just exploring and playing with it making shapes. Interestingly they decided to use it to make mazes for their little toys.

Of course if you have the imagination of a three year old, all you need is a single rubber band.

At some point in the future the board will become more useful to teach geometry concepts, especially as we can remove the pegs and put them back in using different formations, but right now it's just cool that they are into imagining and exploring with it and it's no longer destined for landfill. Also, it's nice that it's big enough that four kids can crowd round and play with it at once, seeing as we often have extra kids about the house.

It's also fun for mum to play with ;) Doesn't take much to amuse me.

35 comments:

LiEr said...

I'd never heard of it till now, either. And I love it already! I can just see the girls really getting into it- especially your ginormous version. Will definitely bookmark this and see if I can get the bits and pieces on our next trip to Home Depot. Thank you, KM!

pink and green mama said...

A Giant Geoboard -- Genius!
My girls would love this!

We made 2 little ones with pieces of wood and clear plastic push pins this fall. (http://pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com/2009/10/preschool-at-home-peg-board.html) The kids use ponytail holders on it to make patterns and pictures (butterflies, snails, etc) The extra large size is nice for multiple kids to play with at once. This would be fantastic in a classroom!

: )
Fondly,
pink and green mama
marylea

Karin Katherine said...

That is awesome! We have a couple but they are small and I can see a giant one like this would be a lot of fun. What a great way to recycle too!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Wow, my daughters would flip! How cool! Thanks for sharing!

vanessa said...

I really love this idea. And the fact that a bunch of kids can play with it at once is amazing!

Mommylion said...

You have such amazing ideas! I love this giant geoboard, so much more satisfying than the little plastic one we have.

Wonder Mom said...

This is WAY cooler than the plastic Geoboards I have at home- genius!

School for Us said...

Oh!!! That's wonderful!!! (You are so amazing.) :-)

Thanks for sharing your photos - and your ideas. I always am in awe of what you come up with! This would be SO much FUN!!!

Kami said...

I love it!

Beth- the mama bee said...

that's fun! I always used the geoboard when teaching (2nd -3rd grade) math. The kids loved them.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This has to be the coolest geoboard I have ever seen! I've been meaning to make one for my kids, and now I think I'll go for a giant one like you've done.

Sam said...

That is really fantastic! I must make one too. Thank you for sharing this great idea. Your blog is so inspiring.

Marie {Make and Takes} said...

So fun. Love the idea for the pegs, nuts and bolts! I actually have one of these boards in my garage!

squashedtomatoes said...

Gosh you are just amazing! My kids would LOVE this!!!!

Mary Churchill said...

I love this! My son would be thrilled to have one...guess we'll have to make one!

Mom with the best job in the world! said...

Okay. Your blog ROCKS! You come up with the most creative ideas! I marvel at what I see here. I often find myself coming back to try some of these creative experiences.
This is what I recommend for your blog. Make it easier on us by adding a search widget. I would love to search your blog for things I've seen here but end up spending literally an hour or longer drooling over more and more activities and crafts I want to do.
Right now I am on the hunt for the cardboard box robots you have made in the past. Can you send me to that post?

Kitten Muffin said...

Ah, good idea! Thank you. Done right away! I have kept meaning to update the blog with a bunch more useful labels, because the ones I have are from when I started the blog and are kind of minimal, lame and useless now that the number of posts is so large. Hope the search ability helps a bit with that!

stumble-tripping feet said...

I can see my kids LOVING this! Thank you so much for sharing!

LiEr said...

KM! We made ours yesterday! The kids used the rubber bands as pea (paper pellets, actually) shooters. Oh well, elastic potential energy lesson is better than no lesson. Will post on it later and tell everyone to come back here and see your big version, which I LOVE still. Ours was 1' x 1' - we got the Home Depot man to cut our big peg board for us - mostly because the kids wanted to watch the saw at work!

XOXO Jenna said...

We started making ours tonight with our upcycled pegboard. The local hardware only had 30 screws and we had to order a box of 100--of each but with the 30 we do have the kids are having a blast. We opted for thicker/larger hair ties that we found for 1.00 a bundle at Dollar General.. not as frugal as the rubber bands but a little safer on the fingers. Thanks for the inspiration.. always love your blog!

Charity Hardin said...

Ah, this is BRILLIANT! I teach preschool, and just today we were talking about the plastic geoboards and how quickly they disappear from the storeroom at school. Now I'm thinking about making a few of these humongous ones for the older classrooms. Thanks so much for the idea!

Beth and Abigail said...

What size nuts and bolts did you use? does it matter?

Ayn Colsh said...

I love this! I have several small ones we use regularly. The idea of a big one is fantastic! Looks like your little ones are having a fantastic time exploring!

Troy said...

I just started following your blog. Love it. The kids and I made the large geoboard this weekend. Only thing I did not anticipate was how tired little fingers and daddy fingers would get putting all of the nuts and bolts together. We ended up using a battery powered drill with a bolt attachment and it helped out (we made two boards). The whole project went over well and I am hoping to shoot a video about it for DadLabs. Would it be ok if we mention your blog in the piece as well as in the metadata. I think our viewers would love to know about your blog!

Kitten Muffin said...

Beth and Abigail: The bolts we used were inch long ones. We just got the cheapest we could find that fitted in the holes that were already in the board.

Troy: I'm really looking forward to seeing the ones you made! Glad you had a go at it! Would love to have you mention us on DadLabs. I hadn't heard of you until you posted here, so thank you for introducing me to what you do!

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten about these! I remember them from kindergarten.
The way you have made this and its size is just brilliant!
Your children must have the most amazing fine motor skills and creative minds. Your blog is awesome and I can't wait to make this for my kids!!!

Erin said...

I started following your blog a few months ago and I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing them with us!
This project ROCKS! We put one together this week and our kids have had so much fun with it! BETTER THAN TV!!! Great idea and lots of fun. Tried and tested by this mom!!

Anonymous said...

Made one for my son this week. Very easy and really fun. We love it!!! He almost goes into some kind of trance as he sits and "builds." Such great exercise for his hands and mind. Thank you for the inspiration!

Shan said...

This is perfect! We are having a "mad scientist" party for Jaina, and were looking for one other cool activity...this fits the bill very nicely! Thank you!

reesecoli said...

Oh my word!!! This is such an inspiration and exactly what I needed! Thank you soooo much for posting!

GianneCurry said...

I love it! I did something similar a while back with my little girl. I forgot all about it and didn't put it on my blog. I used a ROUND piece of wood and nails. Didn't think to use COLORED rubber bands. Too cute! In a few days, I will get around to putting it on my blog. cowsgomooandducksgoquack.blogspot.com Thanks for sharing your amazing ideas!

Denise said...

I vaguely remember playing with these when I was a kid and decided to give it try, building it with nails, as my four-year-old has been eager to do some hammering and woodworking. We haven't finished putting all 122 nails in but they've been playing for an hour now with rubber bands, Little People and the 6x6 square we have finished.

Denise said...

So, thanks to this post, my daughters and I made a big Geoboard with nails (my four-year-old has been anxious to do some hammering and woodworking).

The four-year-old and her two-year-old sister spent several hours playing with it this morning. The oldest started building a maze for toys but then introduced a marble. Then she discovered she could guide the marble through the maze by tilting the board in different directions.

The youngest was happy strumming the taut rubber bands and hearing the different sounds they make.

Kerry Ann said...

we just made this today, my husband is out buying rubber bands! thanks for your blog. It is a life saver!! I want to make the giant building blocks for the back yard too if I can salvage a big piece of wood. :)

Lucas Quinn said...

I just wanted to say that I loved the idea so much that I actually made a large geoboard for my son's day care center as a Christmas present and they absolutely loved it! I bought an 4by8 pegboard so I actually have enough to make one more square board for my son because he keeps wanting to take home the one in school :)