At the beginning of the year, kindergarteners spend lots of time on shape recognition. more often than not, kids are introduced to shapes in preschool, but in kindergarten, they’ll start learning more about the way our world is made up of all those shapes. Here's a great way for your child to get ready for the new challenges in a kindergarten classroom. Back in preschool there were lots of books to teach kids about shapes. Now’s a fun time to switch the roles. Help your child make her own shape book.
What You Do:
- Take a walk with your child around your home and look for shapes. You can help point out windows, or doors, or pictures, and trace your finger in the air around the object to help her visualize the shapes.
- Ask your child what shape she sees.
- Write the name of the object along with the a picture of the shape it represents on on an index card, and then tape it up.
- For example: “Door” would be an example of a rectangle.
- If your child knows the letter sounds, have her help you write the word. Have her sound it out phonetically.
- For example: Your child may only write "D-R" for door. Many kids do this—vowels are among the hardest letters to understand and use. Let your child misspell at this stage - there will be plenty of time later for corrections! If this is too challenging, however, don’t fret: let your child dictate and you can write the object’s name in clear block letters.
- Now take a photograph of your child next to each one of those shape locations, and make a book!
- Help your child make a cut-out of each shape, out of colored construction paper. Make sure to cut the shape no larger than 3x3 or so.
- Each page of the book will be a piece of white cardstock paper, oriented horizontally. Glue the cut-out shape onto the upper left hand side of the page. On the other side of the page, help your child glue down the photo of her standing next to that particular shape in your home. Do this for four or five shapes, and you’ve got a shape beautiful book!
- Take one extra piece of blank paper, and help your child make it into a cover. Write “Shapes in My House” on the front, and have your child add decoration—whatever she likes! Make sure she signs her name as the author, too!
- Bind your book by stapling the left hand margins. This is sure to make your teacher’s day!
When you and your child are finished with the book, before she gives it to her teacher, go over the book with her and she how well she can recognize and identify the shapes in her home. You can do this activity without making a book any time you like with your child, to help giver her a leg up on those important kindergarten skills.
Erin Zlatunich has a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a kindergarten teacher in Millbrae, California, and is also the mother of two small children.