Kids are natural learners. They learn from the world around them, and their ability to observe it is one of their most powerful skills. Parents need to take those tiny steps when teaching preschoolers; they need a way to introduce shapes that will make sense at this age level without overwhelming them with too much information all at once. There are many different objects and structures available today that children can explore to understand basic shape concepts better. But the key here is finding activities suitable for preschoolers and providing these kids with valuable learning experiences to utilize that knowledge later in life.
Why is it Important to Teach Kids about Shapes?
Children with an excellent ability to recognize shapes tend to perform better in school. It is because they have an easier time categorizing objects and sorting things according to their shape. In addition, they are more capable of analyzing the objects that appear in a picture as well. That is why it is crucial to teach shape recognition to preschoolers, since this will help them learn more about the world around them and how things work together. Other significant reasons why you need to teach children shapes include:
1. Children Learn how to Organize Visual Information
As children grow up and learn more about the world around them, they need to make sense of all the visual information they encounter. Shapes are a great way to illustrate and classify different elements in a picture. From identifying objects on the ground in images and looking at a plant or building on a walk, shapes help children determine what they see and effectively organize that information.
2. Help Your Child Identify Different Numbers and Alphabets
Since shapes come in different sizes, preschoolers can easily compare the sizes of various objects. When this happens, children will understand how letters and numbers are related in terms of size. This relationship will help your child learn more about the alphabet as well as numbers.
3. Help Your Child Learn about Signs and Symbols
The shape of any sign or symbol conveys a particular meaning. For example, a stop sign is shaped like a square to let people know to stop. And even though you don’t see the actual contents inside the box, you can tell if the package comes in an oval-shaped package because its shape implies an oval package. With constant practice, children can identify different symbols and signs by going through many activities using shapes. And since they are still learning how to read and write letters and numbers (usually between the ages of 3 and 4), shape activities will help them learn more about letters and numbers in relation to their appearance and meaning.
4. It Can Improve Their Problem Solving Skills
Encouraging your preschooler to explore the world around them is a great way to help them improve their problem-solving skills. Identifying and classifying different objects is a critical part of this, and it teaches kids that they can find solutions by paying more attention to what they see and how it works.
5. Mathematical Concepts
Although math isn’t a topic, most preschoolers are exposed to in school, accumulating and understanding basic shapes can help children learn about numbers. In addition, understanding the concept of shapes can help children perform better on math tests and make it easier to understand concepts such as patterns found in geometry. Thus, improving their math skills.
The Different Types of Shapes for Your Kids
You can introduce various types of shapes to your child, ranging from basic shapes to compound shapes.
1. Basic Shapes
Some shapes, such as squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles, are basic shapes. It’s important to teach kids about these shapes because they will encounter them in all aspects of life, everywhere from a football field or sports court to the windows of a building. Basic shapes are also beneficial for teaching kids about size relationships.
2. Compound Shapes
Placing various types of shapes together builds Compound shapes. They’re also known as complex, composite, or composite figures. An example of this type of shape is a house made of many different parts (windows, doors, walls). Teachers can easily make compound figures in school by taking things like wooden blocks and building word-like objects.
Teaching shapes can be challenging to some parents. However, when you incorporate some ideas like activities in your child’s daily activities. There is an excellent chance that they will understand and learn the concept a lot easier. You may consider these efficient shapes games and hands-on activities to introduce shapes to your kids.
Unique Ways for Teaching Shapes to Your Kids
1. Teaching Shapes Using Imaginets
Imaginets can boost your child’s fine motor and visual thinking skills. The good thing about using imaginets is that there are no limits your child can do. Your child can create any shapes you want him to make. It is a fun activity that your child will enjoy since the material is enjoyable for kids to use. Find more details of this activity by visiting Gift of Curiosity.
2. Shape Building
The concept behind this activity is that your child will have to create a variety of shapes using materials like cotton swabs, tape, yarn, and colored paper. First, you need to write or draw a figure on a colored paper then your child will have to create it using the materials provided. You can find the detailed steps in doing this activity at Mom to 2 Poshlildivas.
3. Salt Box Discoveries
A unique activity your child will surely enjoy. First, you need to make your saltbox and print pages of figures and shapes. Once set, place one page at the bottom of the saltbox and cover it with salt enough that all images are no longer visible. Next, instruct your child to use the paintbrush to sweep the salt and explain what she finds. Be sure to assist your child by explaining the shapes to him.
4. Use Geoboards to Introduce Shapes
Geoboard is an excellent material to teach basic and regular shapes to kids. With the use of a rubber band, instruct your kids to create a shape on the geoboard. Don’t forget to explain and relate the concept of the shapes to the real world. Like for example, your child creates a triangle, explain what a triangle is by linking it to real-life structures or objects. So, you can say a triangle is a shape that has three straight sides, and examples of this are the ice cream cone and the pyramid of Egypt.
5. Two-Part Shape Puzzles
Puzzles are an excellent way to introduce shape concepts to your child. First, you need to print these free 2 part shape puzzles at Teach my Toddlers. Put at least three shapes on the table at a time, so you’ll have six pieces in total since each shape has two pieces. Spread all the pieces and have your child choose a shape, and then have him look for the pieces of that puzzle. Next, let your child put the puzzle pieces together to complete the shape. It would be best to introduce first the basic shapes like square, triangle, circle, and rectangle.
6. Shape Hunt
This activity is a good indoor activity your child can enjoy that doesn’t need many materials. You may only need to use a printable chart which you can download for free at Simple Play Ideas. It is easy to play; you go into a room and have your child count the numbers of shapes he can find around and write them on the chart. Your kid will be delighted to know that objects he sees in his room are composed of a variety of shapes.
7. Press Shapes Into Playdough
Have your kid make shapes using Play-Doh. It is an excellent way for them to know more about regular shapes and their concepts. Don’t forget to ask questions while making shapes to check their learning and correct concepts they fail to understand.
8. Tupperware Shape Sorter
This colorful Shape Sorter will provide good feedback, and your child will learn how shapes are placed in the correct order and their concepts. This toy will also help your child familiarize with complex shapes like oval, pentagon, trapezium, and hexagon. It is also considered one of the best math activities you can give to a child to support their development.
9. Teaching with Shapes Flashcards
If done accordingly, the flashcard method can be effective and exciting. The appropriate way to use Shape Flashcards is to present it at a quick pace. The reason for this, quick presentation engages the faster part of your kid’s brain, thus absorbing the concept more quickly. Shapes flashcards are ideal instructional material for shape practice.
10. Disappearing Magic Shapes
It doesn’t only help children identify shapes but also nurture their fine motor skills. It is fun, simple, and unique. You need to have coffee filters, a plastic pipette, a cup of water, and a tray to have your child enjoy this activity. Draw some figures in a coffee filter and instruct your child to locate the shape by dripping water on it using his plastic pipette.
There are many easy ways for you to introduce shapes to your kids. You can encourage your child to figure out shapes with their help and help him learn the basic concepts of these shapes through these activities. It can also be a fun way for you both to spend some quality time together.