July 30, 2012

Made for Math: fiddle toy

At PCMI one evening activity was to make a rhombic dodecahedron flip cube. It looks as crazy as it sounds! I didn't make it to the event (can't remember if I was at soccer or letting my brain recuperate/catching up on twitter) but I got the materials and made my own last night/this afternoon.

The template is here.  Print on cardstock, attach contact paper and cut them all out.

Score the interior lines (only way to get crisp folds), fold up and tape (they gave me clear contact paper to use as tape, easier to cut to size).

Yes, those are lady bug scissors.  I've had them since I was learning to write my name
(it's very shakily there on the name tag in all caps).

My next steps were: tape together in ways that would lock it closed, stare at the design, ask my brother for help (who looked at me like I was crazy) and finally decide that after midnight was not the time to think about how to make this work.

By the time I got around to puzzling over this again, @roughlynormal had come to my rescue and posted these instructions (pdf) with pictures!

And the final result is:

I don't know yet if I will let my students play with this one all the time, but I do think that having some small flip cubes (made of 8 cubes, tape in the same spots) around is a great idea. I have a terrible time sitting still, I can't even watch tv without something to occupy my hands (there is silly putty on my coffee table for days I don't feel like crocheting). I would like to encourage students to find quiet ways to fiddle and use their extra energy so their brains are free to focus. Do you have a favorite fiddle toy for you or your students?


  1. How cool!!! When hubby and I were dating, his mom gave him a flip cube that she found in a happy meal that was for the re-released Star Wars movies. I remember playing with that cube for hours and hours until the stickers holding the cubes together finally fell apart a few years later :)

  2. I had a koosh ball for one of my ADHD students to play with and that helped him concentrate more...but then someone took it (not that kid...he was upset).

  3. Smart. I will try to find one, I loved them. Stress balls (even balloons filled with rice) might be good too.