|Toddler - from 36 to 42 months old|
Fun with Shapes, Sizes, and Stickers
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| Developing Important Preschool Skills|
The following activities are designed to assist your child in developing an understanding of basic shapes, colors, numbers, and size proportions.|
Obtain five different colors of construction paper, and draw a different shape (square, triangle, rectangle, circle, and diamond) in the upper left-hand corner of each piece. Set those five pieces aside. These pieces will be referred to as work mats from this point forward. Grab extra pieces of construction paper that are the same colors as the work mats. Then draw and cut out a large shape and a small shape for each shape represented on the work mats; color doesn't matter. For example, if you initially drew a circle on a blue paper then draw and cut out a large red circle and a small yellow circle. They don't necessarily need to be red and yellow, just as long as they are a different color from the work mat. Also cut out at least two sizes of each shape.
- Color Sort - Lay out the work mats and place the cutout shapes in a pile in front of your child. Ask your child to sort the shapes by color. How many of each color?
- Shape Sort - Encourage your child to sort the cutout shapes by placing them on their corresponding work mat. How many of each shape?
- Size Sort - Place the work mats to the side. Encourage your child to make a pile of big shapes and a pile of small shapes. How many of each size?
- Counting - As an extension, number the work mats from one to five using a marker. Mix up the work mats and ask your child to put them in number order. Consider placing dots on each work mat that represent each number so your child can count the dots for addition support.
- More Counting with Stickers - When you are finished with the work mats, give your child a small package of sticker shapes. Sticker shapes can be purchased very inexpensively at your local craft store and/or dollar store. Write one number (six, seven, eight, nine, or ten) on each of the five work mats. If you have numbered your work mat, turn your work mat over, redraw the shape, and add a number. Encourage your child to fit and stick the appropriate number of sticker shapes to the work mat which represents that shape. If the mat shows a circle and the number eight, then he will find eight circles and stick them to the work mat. When your child is finished he, can line the work mats up in order from smallest to biggest.
| From a Parent's Perspective|
I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my daughter was able to move through these activities. The entire process took only about twenty minutes which was perfect for her attention span. She already knew the five shapes mentioned above, which is why she seemed to breeze through the shape sorting process. So next time I will plan on giving her shapes that might be a little tougher. I will try diamond, rhombus, oval, etc. She already understood the difference between the two words little and big. Next time I will also plan on cutting out shapes that are three different sizes: small, medium, and large. I'd like to give her three different shapes to see if she can relate little and big from this activity to the new terms small and large. Medium-size shapes might give her something additional to contemplate altogether.|
I like to end each learning activity with something that sticks with the overall concept but that she can do independently. This gives her a chance to continue to think about the concept, encourages independent play, allows me to sit and watch how she uses the information, and/or it gives me an out to sneak away to play with another kiddo. She continued to play with the sticker shapes for quite some time. Her creative mind spun up the idea to make puppets using the sticker shapes and extra Popsicle sticks she found in the craft box. She stuck the stickers to the tops of the sticks and glued on plastic eyes. She walked around the house, poking her puppets up from behind chairs, banisters, counter tops, and tables until her puppets had the ten-cent tour. Ten cents, ha! I'm thinking those dollar shape stickers were quite the investment. Aren't dollar stores grand? With a little imagination you'll really get a bang for your buck!
|Note: All information on edHelperBaby is of a general nature for educational purposes only.|
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