E. is into shapes to a great extent. About 2 months ago (when she was 16-17 months old) she already knew all the basic (and some not so basic) shape names. So it made me think what we can do to practise and play with the shapes in more varied ways.
When E. was quite small, around 6-8 months old, we watched and we’ve still been watching the following videos concerning shapes.
We have some new favourites. While we are watching some of them she bursts out with laughter, like in case of the following:
The next video might seem very monotonous and boring but my daughter loves it and sometimes wants to watch it 4 or 5 times.
There are a lot more videos on shapes but I do not want to bore you. You can search for them on youtube.
E. got a shape cube for her first birthday, but she was totally untouched by it after taking a first look.
|Birthday present with potentials|
Mostly, I was playing with it and she was watching, or was just playing away next to me. When she was about 14-15 months old, she started to name the shapes out of the blue, much to my surprise.We also use the shapes of the cube to match shapes in a little bit more different way. I took out a piece of paper and 9 shapes from the cube (I don’t know why 9… it could have been 5, 7 or 10. It was a sudden idea.). With the help of a brown crayon I drew them around (E. was watching closely and tried to help a bit too 🙂 )
Then I gave her the shapes and I didn’t even have to tell her what to do. She started to put the shapes on the paper.
To initiate more talking I always asked what she was doing, what shape it was she was holding etc. Plus, she sometimes said the colour of the shape, too, all by herself.Sometimes E. needs motivation to eat. At dinnertime I prepare some ‘soldiers’ and different shapes carved out of bread, ham, salmon or veggies. It is much more fun for her to eat a pentagon or a triangle than a slice of simple cucumber.
When she turned 16 months we found some books in the library on shapes. This picture dictionary contains two pages of colourful shapes (solids too).
Before taking the book back to the library I had these (and some more pages) photocopied and used the shapes to make flashcards as well.
And a famous favourite (alas, we’ve got it in Hungarian in the library but this unfortunate fact does not keep me back to use it for other language purposes):
Another Hungarian one: Kun Fruzsina: Formák
There are tons of books on amazon.com all about shapes. No matter which book you use, but it is another fun way to talk about shapes and see them in different contexts.
Baby’s Best Start (Helen Doron beginner baby course 3rd CD) has a song about shapes. We listen to it twice a day and E. knows it by heart. Also, the book contains pages of shapes and objects of a similar kind (circle-sun, triangle-sail, square-book).
Often E. identifies shapes by herself. On the table-cloth of our dining table there are some diamond shapes and whenever she walks past she points at them and says: – Little diamond. Here. Big diamond. There.
On the basis of this experience, sometimes we just walk around the house and identify shapes. (The mirror is a rectangle, the washing machine is a cube, the socket is a square and the hair bobble forms a circle etc.) It is also a good idea to collect smaller objects of different shapes in a light box that your child can walk around with. When you have like 10-15 things you can throw them all onto the floor and group them according to their shapes.
For E.’s first birthday I also bought a second-hand Froggy with shapes on his tummy. When you turn it on one of the shapes starts flashing. You need to push the flashing button and the Froggy starts singing a famous nursery rhyme/song (Star – Twinkle, Twinkle, Triangle – Mary had a little lamb, Circle – Pat a cake and so on). Unfortunately, the square does not work any more, so whenever E. tries to make the square work I sing the Helen Doron Shapes song.
As Christmas was here I was planning to do a little christmasy shape fun, but I did not have time to make it. You can find a lovely Christmas tree decoration game with shapes here (ketnyelvugyerek.hu). The description is in Hungarian, but the picture speaks for itself.
Or a similar activity from Super Simple Learning with a template.
Another simple 3D Christmas tree decoration fun:
Finally, let me show you a picture of shape chaos after an hour of playing: