Magical Möbius

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In this tabletop activity (on pages 32-40), learners make Möbius strips -- 3D surfaces with only one side. They compare and contrast regular paper loops with Möbius strips, tracing the sides with pens and cutting them in halves and thirds with scissors. The activity suggests two extensions where you make 3 linked paper rings with paper trickery. Some of the tricks use Möbius topology, while others are simpler shapes.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue stick
  • Lengths of paper cut about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. Adding machine tape, butcher paper, and 11”x17” copy paper would all be good choices. Other lengths and widths are fun to play with, like really huge lengths of butcher paper.
  • Markers, crayons, pens, or pencils (it is useful to have at least two colors for the demonstration).


  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access