In this activity, you'll be able to create a tetrahedron, hexahedron, dodecahedron, and polyhedron three-dimensional figures all from a simple sheet of paper. Though the names here might sound mythical, these aren't dinosaurs or dragons. They’re geometric shapes like the ones that create the structure of The Spheres at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle.

Inspired by the designs of conservatories and botanical gardens worldwide, The Spheres hold more than 400 different types of plants. You can take a virtual tour of The Spheres here. From the outside, The Spheres look a little like three bubbles stuck together. If you look closer, though, you might be able to see that the shape of a pentagon, which has five sides, repeats over and over throughout the bubbles. Within each pentagon, the architects who built The Spheres constructed a metal-framed pattern that looks a little bit like a starfish.

Each of the following geometric shape activities lets you be the architect of your own Spheres-like masterpiece. Using the online tool, you'll draw your design on a single geometric panel that will appear on each side of the structure you create. This design then becomes the pattern for all your multi-sided shapes that you will then cut out and assemble. What a really cool way to build your own architectural marvel! Try out all four geometric shape levels below, and see what interesting and unique three-dimensional structures you can create!

What you'll need:

  • A printout of the design you make at the links below
  • Something to color the printout with, like markers (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

Get the design: hexahedron (6 sides - easy)

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.