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Geometric Heart Puzzle for Valentines Day

Roses are red, violets are blue...but what better way to say 'I love you' than through the language of maths! In this post, we'll show you how to make a geometric heart puzzle out of squares and triangles. It's perfect for some maths fun at home or in the classroom. Watch the video below, then scroll down for further tips and suggestions.

[Description: The video shows 5 squares of coloured paper, which are first divided in to halves then in to quarters, creating twenty triangles. These triangles are then rearranged to form a big heart.]

For this activity, you will need five coloured squares of paper, a ruler, a pencil and a pair of scissors. Origami paper is perfect for this, as it already comes in squares. We've used 10cm x 10cm paper, but you can go bigger or smaller if you want to. You don't have to make each square a different colour, just use what you have available.

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Next, you're going to cut each square in to four triangles, by cutting the squares in half, and then cutting each half in half again. You will end up with four triangles per each square. Use the pencil and ruler to mark out the lines for cutting first, to make sure that all your triangles end up exactly the same size. Older children can do the cutting themselves. Younger children may need some help to get the triangles cut accurately, or you may prefer to prep the triangle pieces in advance and let them go straight on to putting the heart together.

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Once you have cut up all the squares, you should end up with 20 triangles!

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Now the fun part - assemble the 20 triangles to create a big heart! You can use the image below as guidance. Here are some extra challenges you can set your children:

  • Can you create a repeating pattern with the different triangle colours?
  • Can you piece the heart together so that no two triangles of the same colour are touching?
  • What other shapes can you create by piecing the triangles together?
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Fractions and Multiplication

You can also use this activity to talk about fractions and multiplication.

  • The whole squares are first cut in to two halves, and then cut in half again to make four quarters.
  • If you cut the squares one at a time, you can also go through the 4 Times Tables (1x4, 2x4, 3x4 all the way up to 5x4 = 20 triangles).
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Younger Learners

For younger learners, you can reduce the number of squares to three, to make a smaller heart. They may find this easier to assemble.

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Other Ideas

  • Use coloured card instead of paper, to make a more durable puzzle which you can use again and again.
  • Use smaller squares, and glue the assembled heart on to a folded pieced of card to create a Valentines card.

If you create your own geometric heart puzzle or card we would love to see some pictures - please feel free to share them on Facebook or Twitter and tag us in!

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