Geodesic Dome: Discovery at Home

What you need:

  • 30+ pieces of paper (index cards, construction, computer, newspaper).
  • Tape.


  • Make sure your papers are all the same size.
  • Roll and tape paper into cylinders that are all the same size.
  • Create triangles with the cylinders you created.
  • Tape all the edges so the triangles stay together.
  • Now it’s time to build a 3D structure with your triangles!
  • Tape edges of your triangles together and create.

Ways to expand:

  • This concept could be used during fort building. Do you have materials that are large enough to create a geodesic dome and then turn it into a fort? If you like building forts, you might enjoy our fort building 101 video!
  • Use the triangle concept and create triangles out of cardboard to make a life-size structure. Can you make structure that your whole family can enter?

What Kids Learn:

  • Basic engineering skills. They learn to solve problems by using the engineering design process: asking questions, coming up with solutions, building, testing and improving.
  • Spatial or visual thinking. Being able to imagine the positions of objects and how they interact is an important skill for learning to navigate the world and later, learn math and language.
  • Fine motor skills. Kids practice using the small muscles in their hands later used for writing.
  • Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!
  • Hand eye coordination. Young children can use activities like fishing to help improve communication between their minds and bodies.
  • Vocabulary:
    • Vertices: corner or point on a structure.
    • Convex structure: all of the shape’s vertices point outwards.
    • Geodesic dome: hemispherical structure that is thin and based on a convex structure made from triangles.
    • Hemispherical: half of a sphere
    • Constraint: a limitation or restriction. Materials, time, and space are common constraints. Real engineers have to work around constraints all the time!