Recognizing basic shapes is an essential preschool skill, but like most aspects of preschooler life, it isn't as easy to learn as you might expect. If you've been in the situation where your preschooler has decided there's only one shape in the universe and it's circle, here's a creative and budget-friendly way to expand his horizons! Create cool shapes cards and play games to help your child correctly identify his basic circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, and stars.
What You Do:
- Grab your digital camera, capture your preschooler, and embark on a hunt for basic shapes. Start at home, and ask your preschooler to help you find various shapes in his everyday life. Point out some examples to get started. For instance, a coffee-table book might make a good rectangle, or a clock might make a good circle.
- Continue your journey outside, exploring the backyard, playground, and even the grocery store. Take a picture or have him take one of each basic shape that he finds along the way.
- Once you’ve taken the photos, download them and print them out on regular printer paper, or send them off to your favorite photo place to be printed.
- Next, take your pictures to your local copy center and have them laminated. Cut the laminated shapes up into cards for easy use.
- Optional: You can get your child to keep his cards organized by using a hole-punch to make a hole in each card and securing them with a ribbon when not in use.
Now your preschooler is ready to practice recognizing basic shapes. Take your personalized shape game to the waiting room at the doctor's office, or ask your older child to play the shape game with your him while you prepare dinner. Learning shapes has never been so easy!
Variation: As your child improves at recognizing shapes, you can advance this activity by making it a shape matching game. Make two copies of each color photo. Laminate, and cut them into cards. Have your child match and sort each shape as he sees fit, or play Concentration with the cards.
Extension: Going on a road trip? Add self-adhesive magnets to the back of each shape card, grab a cookie sheet, and now you now have a fun and simple car game! What could be more fun than playing a personalized matching game of shapes he's helped hunt for himself?