Help your toddler or preschooler get familiar with some common 2D shapes whilst creating some fun shape creatures.
Looking for a fun and creative activity to introduce your toddler or preschooler to some simple shapes? Then this post is for you.
This shape creatures activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Your child can get stuck in using their hands, getting creative and letting their imagination run wild. Plus, at the same time they’ll be learning some math!
Sounds like a win-win, no?
Here’s what you’ll need to get started (and you’ll be pleased to hear its not much…).
What you need
This activity is really quick to set up (hoorah!).
All you need is:
- a selection of cardboard shapes. For my toddler, I cut out squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. (Tip: when you’re cutting out rectangles, include some long thin ones as these work great for using as arms and legs!)
- some googly eyes (supervise closely if your child is still at the stage where they’re putting things in their mouth)
- a big piece of paper (or even a white board) as a background to create your shape creatures. Ideally this would be a background that you can also draw on in case you want to add doodles to your shape creations.
This activity is so simple, yet it’s really fun.
Play around with the shapes and the googly eyes to create your own shape creatures. We’ve named this activity shape ‘creatures’ because we were not really sure what else to call our creations.
Some of them have person-like traits, some look a bit like animals, some more like space aliens.
With this activity, there really are no right answers. Encourage your child use their imagination and let their creative streak shine through!
Your creatures can have as many legs, heads, eyes as you want. The joy in this activity, as the adult, is seeing what your child creates.
Here are some of our own interesting shape characters. For example:
Then this guy…
Half frog, half bird?…
This next one was very much my toddler’s creation (although it was requested that I added wiggly hair).
And then this last one (yes, he does look a bit like a radish wearing jeans). My toddler and I thought triangles would be a good shape for making spiky hair. I think, as radishes go, he looks pretty hip…
We didn’t glue these onto our paper at all, but you could if you wanted. We did add the odd arm, nose or smile with crayon to give our space creatures some extra details.
Once we’d created a shape creature, we snapped a photo (so we could look back at them later) and then jumbled up the shapes to make another.
Tell me about the math!
This activity works really well simply as a fun play-based activity for little ones.
However, there are also lots of opportunities for math too! For example:
- As you’re creating shape pictures with your child, talk about the shapes you are using. Ask your child what shapes they’re using for their pictures: “I’m using a circle for my creature’s head. What shape are you using?”
- When you’ve finished your shape creatures, help your child to count up how many shapes they used altogether. You could also count how many of the different shapes they’ve used, for example, how many circles they used, how many squares etc.
- As you’re creating your shape creatures, talk about which shapes might be good to use for different body parts. For example, “which shapes should we use for the hair?” or “I’m looking for a shape to use for the legs. Which one would be best?”
As you talk with your child while you make your shape creatures, there will be lots of repetition of the shape names. This is great! It will help your child get to know the different shapes and be able to recognise and name them in the future.
And there we have it! Hope you’ve enjoyed this post about shape creatures. Thanks for reading!
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