Thursday, May 31, 2012

Get in Shape

Shapes can be tricky. Which ones should you teach? I started with a lot. I have a fabulous book that I used as my reference. You could easily print off a picture of each shape. I showed my child the page and we went on a "hunt" around the house for things that were those shapes. We started with circles. We made a pile of cheerios, bath rings, a coaster, my hoop earring, etc. Then, we went on to squares and made a pile with a picture frame, slice of cheese, a napkin, etc. Triangles were next: a magnet, a Dorito chip, pie server, etc. Rectangles, stars, hearts, ovals, crescents, semi-circle, and diamond. We did a couple of shapes a day this way and made piles.  After he could identify each shape, I had him go around the house and find one of each shape and place it on top of each shape in the book. I think this is important to match them. When we were out and about running errands, I asked him what various shapes were for the "real" world connection. We did shape puzzles as well. I cut out various shapes from construction paper and let him make things out of them and we glued them to a larger sheet of paper. We made an ice cream cone with a circle and triangle, a bulldozer with a rectangle and semi-circle, and a fish with the triangle and crescent.  I also found a shape printable online. I cut out the shapes and taped them on windows, walls, and doors around the house. My son had to go and find them, name them, and stick them back on the corresponding shape on the paper. He loved doing this! Any kind of game!

Not just black and white...

When teaching my child colors (just before he turned 2), I decided to start with a color wheel. I bought one but you can easily download and print one. I started with red and we went around the house and pointed to things that are red. Then we did blue, green, yellow, black, white, brown, orange, purple, pink, and grey. The next day, we talked about the colors again and read Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I got out the color wheel poster and said, let's go find things that are red and bring them back and put them on the correct color on the wheel. We did this little game for several days with each color. The only color my child had difficulty with was gray. It isn't as common as the other colors. When he had all his colors down, we did gold and silver. Then, we did it all over again the next week in spanish. This kiddo knows his colors! We later made a rainbow with fruit (strawberries, blueberries, green melon, mandarin oranges, pineapple, purple grapes, and yogurt for the clouds).