Oftentimes as adults we overlook or minimize the simple basics that children learn. We forget about the value of information that was taught to us in our early childhood and how it had helped to pave the foundation of learning from infancy into our teen years.
It's important as a parent of little ones not to forget the importance of teaching basic concepts which can be used for the foundation of more complex theories of learning. This is why connecting children to awareness about shapes and colors in their everyday life is something simplistic yet meaningful in later years for understanding geometry, engineering or aesthetics.
Also, learning through play is equally an important aspect of helping children understand these basic concepts. Familiarizing them with elements in their world. Pointing colors and shapes out in the home, on a walk through your community, or in children's books.
Learning shapes is not just about helping children identify and organize visual information. It’s more than that! It helps them learn skills across curriculum areas like reading, math, and science.
For example, an early step in understanding numbers and letters is to recognize their shape. Without that simple ability, we cannot move to the next step of teaching a child how to put numbers together in order to add or subtract. Or, we can’t teach children how to identify letters to learn phonetic sounds as well as put letters together to begin forming three letter (CVC) words so that they can begin the journey of reading.
Here’s an activity you can do with your child:
1.) Get a large sheet of colored construction
2.) Draw the basic shape outline with a pencil.
Note: make sure they are a good size based on the fine motor skills of your learner. You can also select all the shapes taught in My Pre-K Color and Shape workbook for reinforcement.
3.) Cut them out. Set aside for later.
4.) Get a different sheet of large colored construction paper. Place the shapes on top and trace around them using a pencil. Remove the shape cut-outs and then trace the outlines using a black sharpie.
5.) Once done, set up your activity. Lay the paper on a desk with the pile of shapes next to it. Have your little one match the shape cut-outs to the shape outlines! You can practice until you feel confident they have mastered it.
Variations: You can laminate the items if you want to make it a reusable activity. Or you can have your learner glue them on to make shape art!