Let's learn about shapes!
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Early childhood mathematics education is something I feel quite strongly about. Before I was a mommy, I was working on my doctorate degree in education. Although I never finished writing my dissertation (for reasons that you can about here), I did spend many years observing and studying how preschool children learn mathematics. I also had the wonderful opportunity to work on a research-based preschool math curriculum called Big Math For Little Kids.
This Touch and Find Shape game is one of my favorites from that curriculum. It's a great activity because it helps young children to learn the number of sides and corners in shapes in a really fun and interactive way.
Let's play the touch and find shape game!
Let's Learn about Shapes!
Cut out two (or more if you have more players) sets of shapes. I cut out some ovals, rectangles, triangles, squares, circles, pentagons from cardboard. Then, Chuck and I painted them. Then, I drew faces on them. (Why? Because they just looked cuter that way.)
If you don't have cardboard lying around, you could always make yours out of foam sheets. (You just want your shapes to be slightly 3D so your child can really touch and feel the sides and corners. Construction paper wouldn't be a great idea because you'll get a ton of paper cuts. Ouch!)
Grab two brown paper bags and you're ready to play the game!
1. First you'll teach your child about each shape. Show your child a set of the shapes. Together, identify
- each shape's name
- the number sides
- and the number of corners
3. Shake up the paper bags and pull out a shape from your bag. Identify the shape's name and the numbers of sides/ and or corners. Now tell your child to reach into his or her bag and pull out the same shape from his/her bag without looking.
Yup. They have to feel the sides and corners of the shapes in their bag to choose the right one.
4. Once they pull out a shape, check their work by verifying that their shape has the correct number of sides and corners.
Is it a triangle? Let's count the corners!
Yup! He's got a triangle too.
5. Place your two matching shapes aside. Then, keep going! Take turns choosing shapes and finding matching ones from your bags.
And that's it! The game is only a couple of minutes tops, but it does a good job of showing children what's important when identifying shapes.
We've played this game 3x this week and Chuck's getting better and better at it. At first it was really hard for him to not peek into the bag. Now he's getting much better at knowing what to do. He still doesn't know all of the shapes yet, but I feel happy that he's having fun and learning some mathematics at the same time.
Now if you want to see some other easy ways you can teach young children science, math, or engineering ideas, check the links below:
- Exploring art materials like scientists
- Why is corrugated cardboard so strong? (Kid Engineering activity)
- DIY Felt Shape Activity
- Use everyday objects to build boats (Kid engineering activity)
- Make Magic Fizzy "Sand"
And you can always find other fun ideas on my Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts!
Have a great weekend and happy learning!