Cooper has known his shapes for a while now but I wanted a fun way for him to learn that shapes put together with other shapes can make new ones as well as work with him on sorting. I had a spare egg carton in the kitchen and it was begging to be used as a shape sorting container! I cut the top of the carton off and put it aside for later use. I believe in saving as many things as possible when teaching him. You don't have to spend much money, if any at all, to teach your kids! I then cut up five different shapes out of paper: square, rectangle, oval, triangle, and a heart.
I handed the carton to him with the shapes already sorted out into their separate places in the egg carton. We talked about what different shapes were there and what color each shape was. I asked him which shape was his favorite and which color he liked the best. I then introduced the concept to him of how you can put two squares together to make a rectangle and put two triangles together to make a square. He was very excited about this part and I'm pretty sure he saw where this activity was headed!
With Cooper on the edge of his chair, I told him that he could "build" with the shapes and make whatever he liked!
He replied with, "I'm going to make a jackhammer and a music museum!"
I'm not sure where the music museum is or came from but he went to work! This kept him enthralled for a good twenty minutes. Each new creation had a story of what it was and what it did. I'm amazed at the imagination of this kid everyday!
While he was still playing, I put one of each shape in a hole in the egg carton to prepare for when we would sort the shapes as we cleaned up.
Once he was finished building and creating I asked him if he could put each shape into their "home" in the carton. I guess because he had been playing for a while with the shapes he had "bonded" with them cause each shape now had a voice and enjoyed a little chat with him as they "walked" to their place in the egg carton :D We then placed the carton full of shapes into a gallon ziplock bag so that we could play with it later!
There are so many things that he is learning with this activity: shapes, counting, colors, encouraging imagination, and feeding his need for hands on learning!
empty egg carton (washed and dried)
5 pieces of different colored paper
I would love to hear about the shape activities you do with your kids! If you chose to do this one I would like to hear how it went. Please feel free to share a comment or a picture.