The boys ran off to wash their hands as soon as I started chopping fruit, so I knew this was going to be a hit from the start.


  • Plates
  • Bowls of fruit
  • Line of symmetry
  • Labels for ‘symmetry’ and ‘pattern’
  • Mirror (optional)


Step 1: Set out the plates, with the labels below. For older children you could leave the plates empty. For younger children you could demonstrate how to reflect a shape in a mirror and explaining that is what is meant by a line of symmetry. You could also start off the pattern that you would like them to repeat.

Step 2: Model the activity. Discuss food hygiene

Step 3: Have fun! The boys enjoyed setting up one plate each, then swapping to complete each other’s.


Once the concepts are understood, the designs and patterns can become more complex.

There was lots of counting. They spotted they needed twice as many fruit to have an image and a reflection, so we talked about ‘doubling’ and ‘halving’.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Physical development

ELG 05 – Health and self-care:

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

ELG12 – Shape, space and measures:

Children use everyday language to talk about size and position to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.