This week, we started a series of activities on teaching shapes! I concocted this idea from the many ice-cream sticks I have. My girl, already recognised the shapes and I wanted to teach word recognition of the shape names. So I created this matching game using ice-cream sticks!
1. Ice-cream sticks
2. Shapes cut-outs
3. Shape Name word cards
4. Ice-cube Tray with cover
6. Paper Cup
I presented the activity for my girl on the learning tray below:
For preparation, you can stick the shapes and their names on separate ice-cream sticks and place them in a paper cup.
To start the activity, you can ask your child to put a little playdoh into each compartment of the ice-cube tray! Young children will love this tactile experience of kneading and manipulating the playdoh to fit into the compartment. It also helps them to learn how to estimate the quantity that is needed for each compartment.
First, model the activity for your child. Place the ice-cream sticks with the shape names firmly into the playdoh in each compartment. Introduce 3-4 shapes for a start. Read out the names of the shapes as you put them one by one. Then match the shape to the names by placing them in front. After you have finished matching, repeat the naming of the shapes as you point to each set, for reinforcement.
Let your child try the activity out! You can place the shapes in front of the ice-cube tray, and let your child choose the shape to match.
My girl loves this hands-on learning experience of matching the ice-cream sticks to the names of the shapes! I helped out sound out the first letter of the shape name, and it helped her tremendously to recognise the names of the shapes. After finishing one round of matching, she wanted to repeat the matching game again!
She was also mastering the skill of making the sticks stand upright, and discovered the solution of using more playdoh as the base. Talk about incidental learning!
The next day, we played the matching game, only this time, I stuck the shapes first, and she has to match differently with the names of the shapes instead. Using a game creatively and differently is often a sure way to sustain their interest in an activity. It also helps them to apply the concepts in different contexts, and thus helps them to transfer the learning.
If you worry about the playdoh drying up if you can leave them in the ice-cube tray, it won’t happen if you get those that comes with a cover!
You can also use this activity to introduce other new words such as animals, numbers, anything!
This is going to be a week of learning about shapes for us! Watch out for our next posts!