Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Build a Geoboard for CHEAP! (What the HECK is a Geoboard?)

You might be asking yourself - "What the heck is a "geoboard", Bargain Becky?"  Well I'll tell you.  It's a mathematical manipulative used to explore basic concepts in plane geometry.  It consists of a wooden board with nails, half way driven in and rubber bands.  (I stole all of this off Wikipedia - my go to source to know EVERYTHING I need to know in life.)

The kids played with one at the Cape Cod Children's Museum over the weekend so I told my oldest I would make him one for his birthday party coming up.  We're doing some "science-y" things for the party in the backyard.  So today I made it - it's 3 feet by 3 feet (pretty darn huge) - and it cost me a whopping $4.22 out of pocket.  It will cost you more if you don't already have some of the materials.

How To Make a Geoboard?

(It took me about 2 hours in total and I had to drop $4.22 on paint and nails - already had the wood in my basement)

First, I started with a 3'x3' piece of wood I had in the basement.  This was scrap from some project we did way back when and I keep recycling it for birthday party things.  I think this is the 4th birthday party it's had use.  That's pretty good for a lonely piece of wood.

So I got my wood, the husband's drill, a pencil, and a level/ruler.  I marked every two inches on each sides and drew lines down the entire board.

You should have a huge grid.  Again, I measured 2".  

Then I drilled holes where every line intersected.  Since my board was really 35" by 37" (3'X3' is close enough) - I had 17 X 18 holes - or 306 of them.  I picked up this can of spray paint for .99 cents at Lowe's.  

I spray painted that sucker black.

I was originally going to use screws - but when I went to Lowe's - the cheapest ones they had in the size I needed were about $5.50 for 100.  I was NOT going to drop $22 on screws for this project.  So I went over to the nails and got a 1 lbs. box of Roofing Nails for $2.98.  I didn't have enough - but knew my husband had some in the basement.  There were probably about 260 nails in that 1 lbs. box.  So I nailed them in to all the holes (all 306 of them - by myself.  It was a great way to let out some aggression).

Then I got some rubber bands - and voila!  A fun and educational tool for the kids.  I'm going to pick up some misc. sizes/colors at Staples with my Staples Rewards for the son's birthday party.  

I know it sounds so simple and basic - but this thing can entertain kids like no tomorrow.  You don't have to be so extreme in making one - this one is pretty big but my motto is "Go Big or Go Home."  

Now you know what the heck a Geoboard is and you know how to make one.  Don't you feel all special now?  You can buy these too - but they are much smaller and cost a lot more.  

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