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Rainbow Icosahedron Ball

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What is an Icosahedron you ask?  It is a shape made up of equilateral triangles with 20 sides. There are a lot of different kinds of icosahedrons. They are not all equal sided.  We made one called a regular convex icosahedron. What to learn how to make a paper ball icosahedron?  (The hardest part is actually learning how to spell it…)

How to make a paper icosahedron

You start with 20 circles of paper.  I printed out 10 sheets of paper with 2 equal circles on it. You are welcome to use my simple template.

colored paper circles

Once you print and cut all of the circles, then you have to start folding. You will fold the circle into an equilateral triangle.

fold circle into triangle

After all of the circles are folded, you will glue five of them into a round formation. Connect the folded flaps. We use used a glue stick to stick ours together. I had my 8-year-old do all of the gluing and she did it with no trouble at all! Your kids will love definitely helping with this!  After you finish the first set of five, you will repeat that step with five more pieces.

making a paper icosahedron

Then you will take the 10 remaining pieces and glue them into one long strip or belt. Do this by alternating the triangles pointing up and down.

long strip for icosahedron

This strip, once finished, will be glued into a circle.connect strip into circle

Then the first two round pieces you made will be glued to the top and bottom of the circle you just finished.

rainbow icosahedron

That last section is the trickiest to stick on, so your kids may need a little help.

rainbow icosahedron paper ball

And all done!

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  1. That is great! I just taught a similar lesson to my grade 7 students albeit with only a straight edge and a ruler! They start with tetrahedrons and move up from there! It is also a great time to integrate the Greek roots. I teach them the alphabet and numbers 1-20, they are just everywhere!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this idea with coloured paper! I made one with my class last year out of pipe cleaners and very long straws and the kids loved it. I think the will love this even more!

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