Need a super simple hands on activity for symmetry? I love doing various art projects for kids. This activity requires very little prep, but it is always a favourite and one that my children love to do. I am always surprised by how long they will happily sit doing this activity making picture after picture. While at the same time learning about symmetry!
I find children will usually start with just a few dots of paint and see what happens when they fold it in half. After they see their results, their pictures progress to more and more elaborate. For younger kids I like to paint half of a picture for them (or with them) and challenge them to guess what the full picture will be once the page is folded. There is always excitement each time the paper is unfolded to reveal a new picture. Children also discover what happens when colours are mixed!
I find that q-tips work well for an activity like this because they limit how much paint is being used. For older kids, squeeze bottles of paint work well to be able to make a bunch of dots, but I find too much paint ends up being wasted. Q-tips also make for easy clean up! In a classroom setting, the q-tips also work well instead of using a class set of paint brushes.