Toddler Activities Schedule (12) – Shapes

April 15th, 2010 by Dionna | 3 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Children, Eclectic Learning, Learning Activity Series, Preschoolers, Toddlers

I don’t do a wonderful job of naming the shapes of objects that Kieran and I encounter everyday, so I’m making them the theme of this week’s schedule as a reminder. You don’t really need special activities to help your child learn about shapes, just point them out in the world around you: stop signs, bricks on your house, tires, trash can lids, windows, etc.

But I did find some really fun things to do with your little, try a few!

What was the first shape your child could identify?


Pretend play
*Let’s Play Restaurant: gather some shapes cookie cutters, a loaf of bread, and your sandwich toppings of choice. Let your toddler help you create sandwich masterpieces – use the cookie cutters to cut your sandwiches into fun shapes. (You can also cut lunch meat, sliced cheese,


Fun with numbers
*Shape Feely Box: Get a smallish box (a shoebox, a small packing box, etc.) and cut holes on opposite sides of the box big enough for your child’s hands to comfortably fit through. Position the holes a few inches above the bottom of the box – your child will need to be able to reach the bottom from both sides of the box. Gather objects of various shapes (shape blocks, game pieces, etc.) Without letting your child see, drop a shape into the box and let your child feel the object. Talk about what it feels like; have your child trace along the sides with her fingers, see if she can count the number of sides without looking. After a few minutes, take the object out and let her see it and feel it again. Then repeat with another object.


Exploring our World
*Take a walk and look for shapes. Point out shapes in nature and help your toddler identify them.


Science Adventures
*Light Shapes: Cut heavy paper into 4 x 6 inch rectangles. Cut a different shape (circle, triangle, heart, etc.) out of the center of each rectangle. Show your children the cards. If age appropriate, ask your child to predict what will happen when you shine a flashlight through the cut-out shape. Then turn off the room lights, hold up one of the cards, and aim a flashlight through the shape so that the light shines on a nearby wall. What is projected on the wall? Repeat with remaining shapes. (From 123 Science: Science Activities for Working with Young Children by Gayle Bittinger – a book that I recently stumbled across at the library and LOVE. So many good ideas!)


*From red, yellow, and blue posterboard or construction paper , cut 3 circles, squares, & triangles – one small, medium, and large in each color/shape. Have your child sort the shapes by color, shape, or size.

Kids’ Yoga Pose

My goal is to do something with Kieran every day that gets our bodies moving. Acacia at Be Present Mama is a yoga instructor, and she loves doing yoga with her 3 year old son, Everett.

This week’s activity helps develop body awareness. Egg walking differentiates a calm, slow and quiet body from a fast-paced, busy body.  It also enhances body coordination and focus.

You will need a plastic Easter egg and a spoon for each participant. Explain what you are going to do and set it up with something fun, “We are going to walk our eggs to the park! And we need to use calm bodies so that our eggs don’t fall off their spoons.” Demonstrate what a calm body looks like as you walk the egg across the room and back. Then, together, walk your eggs slowly to their destination.

For more on this activity, including additional ways to do this pose with your child, please visit the original post at Be Present Mama.

Sign Language

We’ve been teaching Kieran ASL since he was a baby. Signing is a wonderful parenting tool for babies and preverbal toddlers to increase communication and decrease tantrums. Our favorite site for learning signs is ASL Pro, which features a free video signing dictionary. To find a sign, click on that link, click on the letter of the alphabet the word starts with (under “Main Dictionary”), and then search in the “Choices” box for the word. Click on the word to watch the video. If you need clarification, try ASL University or a Basic Guide to ASL. Here are some words of the week to practice with your toddler:





Book and Music Suggestions

A Circle Here, A Square There

Mouse Shapes

The Shape of Me and Other Stuff

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes


Messy Play
*Cooked Pasta: Find pasta in various shapes, cook it until it is al dente, add a little bit of oil so that it won’t stick, and let your child play with it.

Photo credit: hisks


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3 Responses to:
"Toddler Activities Schedule (12) – Shapes"

  1. Great activities! Everett loves helping out in the kitchen so making those sandwiches will be fun, and he really has a thing for flashlights (it was actually on his christmas list!) so I know he will love the flashlight activity.
    I definitely want to try out the shape feely box. It sounds like a great way to expand on shape learning. We’re kinda stuck on that!

    Also, Erik and I were just talking last night about how few signs we remember from doing sign language with Everett. We both feel really confident in the effectiveness of baby signs so I will be v. excited to be using your ASL addition to the weekly activities when the new baby is old enough. In the mean time, we can just brush up on our skills!

  2. Marilyn @ A Lot of Loves   ALotofLoves

    I think these are some interesting activities. My preschooler can pretty much name most shapes (except unusual ones like Trapezoid and Parallelogram) and my youngest is just learning to talk. I found my son learned his words quickest when I focused on a theme of words for awhile and ignored others (unless he asked of course). We started with animals only. Then shapes. Then colors. I’m pretty sure circle was his first shape word. We’ll have to see what my daughter picks up first.

  3. Oooh, I love this! I’m going to pass the ideas along to my husband, since he’s our daughter’s primary daytime caregiver. I think 18 months is a perfect time to start working on shapes. She knows “cirle” (I think. Usually.) but that’s all so far. She’s on the brink of so much!

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