Maths Club Ideas - Paper and Scissors

I used to run a fun maths club at my last school but I never really had much in the way of budget or resources. I used to have to make do with what we had lying around. I have gathered a few of my favourite mathematical activities activities to do with just paper and scissors.

Puzzling with paper is an NRICH collection that only requires A sized, coloured paper. They are aimed at primary students however the maths behind some of the folds is really interesting to investigate. Also, if you have some inexperienced paper folders you could use these as a really nice introduction as the creation of some of the patterns encourages repetition so they would get the opportunity to practice their techniques.

Geometry Journeys from the WIld Maths website has some excellent fold and cut activities, perfect if you can find some scissors in the store cupboard! It includes the traditional snowflakes but also has other activities such as folding a piece of paper so that with one cut you can make different shapes or create a letter from your name.

Tangrams are another of my favourite paper and scissors activities, there are fraction links and shape names to discuss alongside various challenges. You might also like to investigate other versions of tangrams.  You can create them without squared paper too.

If you have some keen paper folders but you don't have access to fancy paper you could try making this modular tetrahedral. It only requires two pieces of A4 paper and results in a beautiful mathematical creation.

If you have a modest budget or some origami paper I would thoroughly recommend trying out some modular origami. Here is a skeletal octahedron, and a simple jackson cube. If you would like something a bit more challenging you might like to try making some plaited polyhedra. You can also make a very pleasing dodecahedron using post-it notes, you will need 30 pieces for each model. If you get really into modular origami the instructables website has some fab projects but they can be really tricky!! Here is a beautiful cube that looks a bit like it's woven.

Another lovely activity, I have recently discovered is this spiralling ornament from Paula Beardell Krieg. The symmetries are fascinating and if you get students to create their own modules using a compass then I think it could really be a fabulous maths club activity.

If you have any other favourite maths club activities that use just paper and scissors please comment below!

EDIT: If you have access to a printer, check out my new blog post which has even more maths club ideas!