Shape recognition is an important part of kindergarten readiness. From counting the number of sides an object has, to developing fine motor skills by drawing and cutting various shapes out, to learning spacial awareness through manipulating shapes once they are cut out, playing with shapes can be a gateway to so many wonderful learning moments.
The great thing about using shapes as a learning tool is that they are free and portable. As you stand in line at the grocery store, you can talk about the shape of the magazines on display, in the car there are circles to spot on the tail lights of other cards, triangles to see on road signs, and squares in the windows of houses.
Shapes are hiding in plain site everywhere, even on popular television shows such as "Monster Math Squad" on Kids' CBC. Goo is a triangle with rounded edges, Lily has triangle spikes down her back and circular bumps all over her skin. Max's body is a rectangle, and he has a square on his tummy, circles for eyes, and semi-circle ears.
After talking about the different shapes we could see on the monsters as we watched "Monster Math Squad", we decided to make some shape monsters of our own:
To make your own shape monsters, you will need:
- old magazines
- colourful pieces of paper to use as your background
- googlie eyes
Look through your magazines, and find brightly coloured ads or other pictures. Cut out circles, ovals, stars and other shapes. Be sure to vary the sizes of the shapes you are cutting out.
Look through the shapes you have cut out, and decide how you want to build your monsters. This is a great time to add in a bit of extra learning by sorting what you have cut out by colour, size, and of course shape.
Select a shape for your monster's body, and glue it onto a brightly coloured piece of paper. Glue on other shapes to form arms, legs, hair, horns, and any other monster shapes you desire. Add as many eyes as you would like to each monster too. You can use them later for counting practise. Here are a few more pictures of the shape monsters we created: