If your toddler has started to sing the alphabet and recite numbers, then identifying and writing them is not far away! But there’s one thing that they have to get comfortable with before the next step — shapes.
Shapes not only help a child identify and organise visual information, but also help them learn math, science, and language. Understanding shapes will help your child know how different alphabets and numbers look, help them learn the basics of geometry, and will even improve their vocabulary.
So this week, our Co Create activity focuses on helping your child learn shapes!
This activity is brought to you by Vidushi, a DIY blogger and mom to little Ira. Today, she will be showing us how to create and play with a Shapes Puzzle and Stencil.
Benefits of a Shapes Puzzle and Stencil
This simple cardboard-based activity can be used in various ways to teach your child about shapes. The benefits of playing with it are:
1. Learning shapes - Your child will learn the names of different shapes, how many sides and corners each have, and how to identify and differentiate between them.
2. Prewriting skills - Using the stencil to draw shapes will help them get comfortable with holding and manipulating a pencil, which is crucial to writing.
3. Visual skills - This shapes puzzle activity will help them hone their hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination, and midline crossing skills. These skills are necessary for daily activities such as reading, writing, and tying shoelaces.
4. Cognitive skills - Drawing and matching different shapes will help build your child’s concentration, memory, and visual perception.
5. Sensory skills - The different shapes and textures of the activity will hone their sensory skills.
6. Fine motor skills - Using their fingers to pick up and move the pieces of the activity will hone their fine motor skills.
7. Learning boundaries - Drawing and coloring within the stencil will help your child learn boundaries.
Creating the Puzzle and Stencil
This activity can be enjoyed by children between 2.5 to 5 years.
1. A few small pieces of cardboard (depending on how many shapes you want)
2. Paper cutter/scissors
Material for sensory puzzle:
1. Handful of chickpeas/beans
2. A few drops of food color
How to make the stencil:
1. Draw different shapes in the center of the pieces of cardboard.
2. Cut the shape with a cardboard cutter or scissor in a way that it keeps the shape slot intact.
3. Write numbers on the sides of shapes denoting the number of sides.
4. Write the name of each shape on the stencil.
5. Cut out small circles and write numbers from 1 to 10 on them.
6. To make colored chickpeas, put a few chickpeas in a zip lock plastic packet, add 3 to 4 drops of food color, close the bag and rub the packet with your hand. (Optional)
Playing with the Shapes Puzzle and Stencil
Shape puzzle - Remove the shapes you’ve cut out of the cardboard and mix all the cutouts together. Ask your child to match the right shape and slot!
Shape stencil - Use the cardboard pieces from which you have cut shapes as a stencil. You can place it against paper and let your child draw in them or colour within the boundaries.
Fill the shapes - Make it even more fun by getting them to fill in the space in each stencil with tiny objects. Using natural materials like the colored chickpeas will make it a great sensory activity!
Identify shapes - Teach your toddler the names of the shapes and point out the differences between each pair. Ask them to count the sides and corners of each shape and match the right number card with the shape or stencil card.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this activity. If you would like to share your experience playing with this puzzle, tag us at #CoCreatewithshumee. Stay home and stay safe!
Vidushi is a DIY blogger, storyteller, and an author. For more such activities, you can follow her @iracreativeengine on Instagram.