We went to the Dollar Tree store a few months back looking for cheap Valentine’s critters for the Princess’ Valentine cards. We found them – and found a lot of other school stuff.
Surprisingly, Dollar Tree carries a great selection of teaching supplies and random educational stuff. It’s like a treasure hunt – we find different things every time we go: from plastic test tubes with stands, to magnifying sheets. From double stick tape to this: a pre-printed 3D shape.
They had 4 different ones – this one is the Rhombicuboctahedron that started the whole 3D shape craze here at our house. The Engineer wanted a smaller version – and more big versions, and it rather got out of hand!
The directions for this shape were a bit hard to follow, so I took some pictures to show you how we did it.
Because they’re blank, the Engineer and the Princess decided to decorate them. At first the panels were very detailed. Then the Engineer’s hands got tired, and he decided to write different numbers on the panels instead.
Another homeschooling mom suggested using these for story dice – a super cool idea! You could also do letters of the alphabet, or blended sounds for a phonics game.
Cutting them all out took time. More tired hands, but good practice cutting on the lines. Mom helped too, of course 🙂
Then folding the tabs. Whew! To make things go quickly, use a straight edge ruler and quickly flip the tab up along the ruler’s edge. At first we smoothed the tabs down for a crisp fold, but discovered that wasn’t necessary.
The instructions say glue or tape. I say double-sided tape is the only way to not lose your mind. If I had to keep fixing glue seams from slipping I would have tossed this thing in the recycle bin!
If you decide to use glue, paper clip the seams together and let them dry fully. You HAVE to have a good seal at the very edge of the fold or the shape is difficult to put together. Precision is your friend.
All finished with the components! The instructions state to line them up, then glue edge to edge. Because you’re using triangles, your neat little line of shapes starts to bend until you have this.
These shapes are a lot of fun, but slightly difficult to work with because of the coated paper. We used marker – a little smudging, but not too bad. You could also use stickers, crayons, and maybe acrylic paint. Watercolor and colored pencils probably would slide off.
Want the large and small versions I created for the Engineer? Go to my Teacher Pay Teacher store if you’re interested.