Math in Our World: Everyday Snowflakes

Drawing of five snowflakes falling from the sky. Text reads: The branches grow and grow as the ice crystal tumbles through the clouds, picking up water vapor along the way.

What do you notice? What do you see in this picture? Share your ideas with a friend or family member.

Here’s a math puzzle for you: All these snowflakes start as small hexagons. Each snowflake grows 6 branches with different shapes. On each snowflake, the branches all look the same. Some snowflakes have long branches and some have short branches.

Use items from around your home to create snowflakes with 6 branches. Try to make a snowflake with short branches and one with long branches.

Look around your home. Can you find items that you could use to build snowflakes? Some ideas might include craft sticks, pencils, sticks, blocks or other toys.

  • Can you add more items to each snowflake to make longer branches? How could you make shorter branches?
  • Show someone how you’ve made snowflakes. Then ask them to show you how they can make snowflakes.