This game was supposed to be done with beanbags, we were going to toss them into the shapes… but a classic 3 year old breakdown about not being able to do it perfectly lead to me adapting it. I didn’t give up right away, but when he calmed down tried again, did a fine job and STILL broke down into sobs I couldn’t decipher, I decided to change it. So instead I threw on some music , and went for it. If you have a child who likes to throw and isn’t in the perfectionist stage mine is very painfully in at the moment grab some beanbags and take turns tossing them in for a fun variation.
- Gather your materials. You will need some blue painters tape, a marker and paper. If you want add in some bean bags and music.
- Start by making shapes on the floor with the tape. We did square, diamond, pentagon, rectangle and triangle. Involve your child in this step by asking them to predict what the shape will be , asking them to count how many pieces or sides each shape has and to trace it with their feet by walking on it and pressing down the tape.
- Here is where you can start tossing bean bags in – simply call out the shape and have your little pitcher throw it in.
- Or you can do what we did and turn on the music , and have them find different ways to move while the music is on, and when it stops call out a shape for them to jump into.
- To make a more challenging variation write out some numbers . My son is big into speed limits right now so we went for big numbers, I suggested smaller numbers ( 10-20) but he insisted so I took him up on the challenge. You could also use letters or sight words too, for beginners try colors! As you will see in the video he needed help for these big numbers, which isn’t a bad thing at all but if you are playing this with many kids you will want the game to keep moving to keep them all interested and the inertia going so use numbers they are more familiar with.
- Pop the numbers into the shapes and play again. My intention was to have one number in each but my son wanted to put a whole bunch in the pentagon. Today was not the day to put my foot down . I wanted to play more than I wanted to force my specific rules on him.
Have fun remember that our best laid plans are often thwarted by our best loved little ones. I am glad i didn’t give into my growing frustration at his inexplicable meltdown and instead adapted the game. We had fun playing before and after nap .
Shape Books !
So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban is a picture book that is all about shapes in our environment. There is page after page of pictures of daily life, food, signs etc…with the simple question of finding the shapes in the photos. It’s a great book to use as a launchpad into a shape hunt in your own home or around town and worth a few looks because you will be surprised at the shapes you missed the first time.
There’s a Square: A Book About Shapes by Mary Serfozo is a good shape book for preschoolers. Almost every illustration is made up of recognizable shapes and the text is made up of entertaining rhymes about the shapes on each page. My son thinks it’s funny that the shapes “Are sorta like people.” referring to the fact that the shapes are made into characters .
Dinosaur Shapesby Paul Stickland will delight you and your dinosaur fan. The book is geared towards toddlers and young preschoolers who are still mastering finding basic shapes. A shape is displayed on one side of the page and then those silly dinosaurs are playing with it on the other. My son loves dinosaurs so even though he’s known these shapes for ages it’s an enjoyable book with fun text and adorable illustrations by Henrietta Stickland.
We did a similar activity a few months ago and my 2-year old loved it. http://toddlerapproved.blogspot.com/2010/01/tape-shape-fun.html
I like the idea of putting numbers into the shapes. We make tape letters instead, but my son would like the numbers too. We’ll also have to try it with beanbags since we are fans of throwing things at targets over here. Thanks for the fun ideas!
What a great learning activity!
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This was so much fun! My 2yr old son doesn’t really last long with the sitting still activities & arts & crafts, but this one kept his interest for ages. And he’s finally learning some shapes too!! We haven’t adapted it yet by adding letters or colours, but we will do that in the future. Thanks for a great idea!
What a great idea! Love the video. I love how it is the natural way things go instead of him getting it perfectly. You are such a talented and patient mom! Thanks for the ideas!
Felicia Arreola says
What a great post. I just love the website! Keep up the great job 🙂
I love the pride he showed in that second video when he got it right, a good result from positive reinforcement! Brilliant!