Geoboards

Geoboards aren’t that different in look and size from Peg Boards, but their purpose and use is completely different.  At the last preschool where I worked, we had homemade geoboards, which were fantastic.  They were solidly made and kids could really work to cover them with loads and loads of rubber bands.

Usually, the boards are about 12″ X 12″, made of wood or plastic.  Some people use push pins to create the grid, but I prefer heavy nails, pounded deeply into the wood so that the rubber bands can’t pull the pins out.  This picture shows a really well-made geoboard.Once you have your piece of wood, you can lay out a grid with an even number of spaces on each side.  Place the nails about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart evenly, and pound them in securely.  Here is another “recipe” for making a geoboard.

What is the purpose of the geoboard? Geoboards support early math concepts such as geometry and number concepts.  As children use the rubber bands, they create shapes on their boards.  They can make squares, rectangles, triangles and other “sided” shapes.  Be sure to talk to the children about rubber band safety as those colorful missiles are going to be pretty attractive.

Here is a picture of a very simple geoboard.

Children will also explore number concepts as they try and put the rubber bands around a certain “number” of pegs.  They may try and pull it around 3 or 4 pegs or “all” of the pegs.  Initially, expect them to simply play with the boards as they are pretty enticing (especially if you have provided plenty of colorful rubber bands) and later, you can give them directions by asking them to create  a “square” or a “triangle.”  Of course, as children approach school age, they can create shaped that have specific dimensions, i.e,  4 X 4 square or a 3 X 5 rectangle.  The possibilities are endless.

6 Replies to “Geoboards”

  1. I have made homemade geoboards and have some that are store bought. Instead of buying rubber bands (since I have a Family Child Care and work with many ages) I buy elastic hairbands (they almost look like terry cloth and you can purchase them at the dollar store for a buck for like 100 of them). They are not as painful if the kids fingers get snapped by the band. And they are cheap and easy to replace. They also come in a variety of colors.

  2. I am a family childcare provider and would love to make some homemade geoboards and get the supplies and make different color geoboards so the children do not argue about I want that color and I had it first. I need some new items in the science area.

  3. I will try and find some easy -to-use templates for casting your own geoboards. I will post them her later today.

    I love e idea of the hair bands. I \’ m glad you brought up the issue of safety as well, since I know from personal experience that rubber band snapping is painful. Another shout out for the Dollar Store.

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