Inside: hands-on shape activity for toddlers and preschoolers
Looking for a way to add some excitement with shapes?
There is something about a sense of prediction and surprise that makes learning shapes a lot more fun than what may be drawn on a worksheet.
Truth is, setting activities like this one are even faster than pressing print and waiting for it to come out the printer! Join us every Sunday night at 7:30 on Instagram where we set up Monday’s Breakfast Invitation together. You can see how it looks in my home and many, many others that I then re-share in stories. It is about creating a community of hands-on learning that also provides you a hot cup of coffee. - #everyonewins
Why is learning about shapes important?
Sure, learning the names of shapes are important but what is even more important is paying attention to the amount of sides and corners a shape may have.
According to the Common Core, children in Kindergarten will be asked to analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/"corners") and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
We can begin the discussion of how many sides and corners now!
Children love to take a deeper look and count the amount of lines a shape may have. The trick is that we just have to ask!
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How long does this take to setup?
Faster than you can say shapes. Okay, not that fast but you get what I am alluding to. It is quick and easy. Just the way we like to keep kid activities here. I have three active little boys five and under. You know there is no time for cutting and pasting.
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Tape down your white paper roll.
Add your dot stickers to create the corners of each shape.
Place the matching markers to the left of the paper. Why the left? This will help begin their eyes tracking left to right just like we read and write.
Invite your preschooler to draw lines to connect the dots.
Did you know?
Using the term rhombus rather than diamond will be a valuable way to set your child up for success down the road!
Think about this: A diamond is a gem or stone. A rhombus is a geometric shape. Begin to use the term rhombus early on.
RELATED: Have you read Mouse Shapes? You will love this idea.
Which questions can I ask my child as we play?
I encourage you to allow your child to take the lead. With that said, you can prompt different thinking will help extend ideas along the way.
Notice in the photo above and how I helped tighten up his rectangle.
Here is how this redirecting looked:
Good work! Which shape did you make? A rectangle, you’re right! Let’s count the number of sides together. (Now I am dragging my marker from dot to dot as we count together.)
One, two, three, four! You’re right! A rectangle has four sides.
Notice how this shows by example. I didn’t tell my three-year-old that he did something wrong. Because he didn’t! He is creative and can sometimes fall into imaginary play. I encourage that.
I swooped in to reinforce the objective, and then we swiftly carried on to the next shape.
You can do this at home! Encourage your child to take the lead and passively help along the way when needed.
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