Easiest Ever DIY Geoboards

Aug 5, 2016

Have you ever used a geoboard? For many of us, they are an elementary school classic, but if you’re not familiar with them, geoboards are learning toys that involve a grid of pegs that you can wrap rubber bands around. They’re available for purchase online and in teacher stores, but their simple design makes them a perfect DIY project too! There are all sorts of ways to make your own, but we love making them with cork hot mats and push pins because they can be made in an instant and only require three items — all of which are available at our local dollar store.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

Supplies for this activity: a bucket of rainbow-coloured rubber bands, a bowl of clear push pins and two round cork hot mats.

  • cork hot mats (round or square)
  • push pins
  • rubber bands
  • a tray (or something else to protect your work surface)

Now to assemble your geoboards…  Are you ready for this? First, place your cork mat onto the tray to protect your work surface. (If your cork mats are particularly thin, you can use two mats stacked on top of one another.) Second, simply push several thumbtacks into the surface of your cork mat in a pattern of your choice. That’s it! It really couldn’t get any easier, could it? We usually create two different geoboards — one in the traditional grid fashion and one that’s more unique.

Two corkboards with pins laid out in different patterns: one is a standard 4 by 4 grid, and another has two different-sized circles—one around the perimeter and one at the centre.

Now invite your child to play! While geoboards are traditionally used in classroom settings to explore math concepts such as measurement, area, perimeter and shapes, they’re also fantastic for developing fine motor skills and experimenting with lines and shapes in a more artistic sense.

A child making a rainbow flower pattern with colourful elastics.

Of course push pins are sharp and they can poke through the bottom of the cork boards a tiny bit, so do remind your child to keep the geoboard firmly on the tray as he or she plays. 

A child playing with elastic bands in a grid, laying them out like a tic-tac-toe board.

Now if your child is a little bit older and you feel comfortable letting him or her use the push pins, creating custom layouts like the one below can take this activity in a whole new direction. 

Elastics laid out in a heart-shaped pattern on a cork geoboard.

Either way, have fun with your new geoboards and get creative!

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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