Wooden blocks are one of the most versatile toys around, to be used in open ended play or in tonnes of directed learning activities. We’ve previously gathered up more than 18 ways to play with wooden blocks, and today I’m sharing another super simple idea – exploring symmetry with wooden blocks.
Exploring Symmetry with Wooden Building Blocks

For this activity we used a variety of blocks from our playroom, including coloured and natural blocks. I like the natural blocks for this activity because it encourages a focus on the shape of each block, but coloured do work well too.

The shaped set in the top picture is a wooden city blocks set similar to these although we bought it in Regents Park mosque shop for slightly cheaper. The wooden men are flockmen which we have recently been playing around with (you might have spotted them on our Instagram account) and I thought they would be interesting to include in this activity too – they’re great for exploring balance as well as symmetry.

While playing with the blocks, I reminded the kids about the concept of symmetry and we began naturally exploring it in the block play – making structures and discussing whether each one is symmetrical or un-symmetrical, and what changes we could make to each one to change that.

Exploring Symmetry with Wooden Building Blocks

The boys mostly made lots of smaller symmetrical structures, rather than focusing on making one large one. The easiest way for them to remember what symmetrical means is that, if it’s symmetrical then you can draw a line right down the middle and each side will be the same. You could also include a play mirror along with the blocks to help explore this concept further.

Exploring Symmetry with Wooden Building Blocks

Exploring Symmetry with Wooden Building Blocks and flockmen

To extend the activity, you could also offer paper and have the kids draw pictures of their structures to help them see the symmetry in their drawings too.

After playing with the blocks, my boys made up an active “symmetry” game which I’ll share another day!

More Learning with Blocks

learning with building blocks