Learning with Etoys Imagine, Invent, Insprire

Geoboards and Puzzling Polygons

Imagine kids constructing their own games, not just for themselves, but for others. Invent different shapes and use them to create puzzles. Inspire yourself to come up with new ways to engage with computer generated geometric puzzles.

In this project we use:

Polygon, Gridded Playfield, color transparency (alpha), Halo - color icon (w/transparency)

The Project

A) Construct a Playfield with Gridding.
B) Create various shapes using an Etoys Polygon.
C) Use the Playfield and Polygons to build games and lessons. 

To begin this project: Open Etoys and click on the cloud that says "Make a Project"

A) Construct a Playfield with Gridding

  1. Get a playfield from the Supplies

  2. From the white menu icon in the Playfield Halo select <playfield options...> 

  3. From the playfield options menu check <grid visible when gridding> and <use gridding> 
  4. Your playfield will now show gridlines 
  5. Click on <set grid spacing> to specify the <grid origin> and <grid spacing>. 

  6. The first dialog box allows you to specify the location of the origin within the playfield, for now 0@0 (which is the center of the playfield) is fine, simply click <Accept(s)>

  7. The next dialog box allows you to specify the size of the grid in width (as measured along the X axis) and length (as measured along the y axis).  For now enter 40@40 (40 wide and 40 long) then click <Accept(s)>

  8. Your playfield should now look like this:

B) Create various shapes using an Etoys Polygon

  1. Get a Polygon from Supplies

  2. You can see the polygon's handles (aka vertices) by holding down the shift key while clicking on the polygon
  3. The circles ( or ) represent veritces you can drag to move.
    1. The blue circle () represents the "current vertex at cursor", don't worry about that for now, but if you want to play with it open the viewer and go to the polygon category.  Then change the x at cursory at cursor and vertex cursor. Watch what happens and see if you can figure it out.  This could be good for someone who finishes early.
  4. The green triangles ()allow you to create new vertices
  5. Play around by moving the vertices ( or ), click and drag to move the vertices. 
  6. Try to create a square.
  7. Can you create a rectangle?  What other shapes can you make?
  8. Now try creating a square by picking up the polygon and placing it inside a Gridded Playfield.  Is it easier to make a square?
  9. Try to create a triangle.  Notice what happens when you position one vertice almost exactly on top of another.
  10. Click to open the white menu icon in the Polygon's halo. Uncheck "closed" and see what happens 

C) Use the Playfield and Polygons you created to build games and lessons 

This section will describe how you can use the Playfields and Polygons to:

  1. Build your own Geoboard
  2. Build puzzles 

Build your own Geoboard

By placing your Polygons on a Gridded Playfield you have virtual Geoboard for exploring ideas about area and permiter. 

All you need to do is make your polygons transparent. This can be done by clicking on the Halo's "change color icon" () then changing the transparency (as shown below)

You can also change the transparency using the alpha tile in the color category of the Polygon viewer

More Inspiration

Using these two simple tools: polygon and gridded playfield you can:

Build your own puzzles:


Create your own "Broken Glass" Puzzles

Sample Broken Glass projects can be found at: 
http://etoysillinois.org/library?tags=Broken%20Glass (see project images below).

Tangram puzzles

Sample tangram projects created by kids can be found at: http://etoysillinois.org/search?q=tangram.  Like the ones below:


To learn more about certain objects or techniques used in this project check the folowing Quick Guides:

Halo -> Menu Tools

Object Catalog -> Polygon

Books -> (all items) Useful if you want to make a number of puzzles and put them in a book

Menus -> Grid and Snap to Grid