Buddy still loves sensory bins, especially the construction site sensory bin that I blogged about here. He pulls out the bin of black beans and construction vehicles at least twice a week. When I saw the shape sorting sensory bin on Stir The Wonder’s blog, I knew it would be an easy adaption of our construction bin. I already had the shape buttons from my quiet book (read more here) and I had the bin of beans, I just needed to put the two together.
To start, I took the trucks out of our sensory bin, and I dumped in a bag of shape buttons. Stir The Wonder used a muffin pan to sort the shapes. I decided to use an ice cube tray instead. I wanted to give Buddy lots of places to sort for all the different shapes. The extra spots on the ice cube tray also provided the opportunity to sort by shape, color, or size.
At first, Buddy was very interested about the shapes in his bin. He quickly started telling me all of the shapes and colors he saw. Buddy was happy to start pulling them out and putting them into different parts of the ice cube tray.
After awhile, Buddy decided he missed his CAT mini trucks (affiliate link). So he put them in the bin, and used them to help scoop and move the shapes into the ice cube tray. It took a lot of effort to try to scoop just the buttons and not the beans.
Trucks make everything more fun!
I tried to encourage Buddy to find matches to put in the tray based on shape or color. Eventually, though, he just wanted to get all the shapes out of his “concrete”, so he could play trucks the way he normally does.
Overall, I was pleased to have a new way to practice shapes and colors. I think Buddy liked the variety with the sensory bin as well. The next time I try it, I may choose to use fine motor tools to grab the buttons instead of the trucks. But either way, it is a great way to practice both early math skills and fine motor skills.
One of the projects I wanted to try this summer was a collage with Buddy. I saw the idea for a glue bin on Busy Toddler’s blog, and I knew Buddy would love it. He hadn’t used glue before, but I knew he’d enjoy trying it.
I decided to make this a shapes and colors activity as well as an introduction to using a glue stick. We’ve been working on shapes and colors a lot, and Buddy loves it. I cut out a bunch of different shapes in different colors of construction paper and put them in a bag. Then I pulled out a black piece of construction paper and a glue stick.
At first, Buddy just wanted to keep the shapes in the bag. He was very excited about putting glue on the shapes. It was a little challenging for him, though.
Buddy loved how sticky the glue was! He kept putting his fingers in it! We talked about the different colors and shapes as he glued on the shapes. Buddy wanted to use the glue as a crayon, so that was a little challenging for him. I tried to get him to put the shapes on his lines of glue, but he didn’t want to. Eventually, he decided it was easier to put the glue on the shape and then put it down. Buddy liked putting glue on both sides of the paper, which made it a lot easier to put the sticky side on the paper.
When we finished, Buddy was very proud of his collage. It was an easy and fun activity, and I’m sure we will do it again soon.
I’m so excited that spring break is here! As the weather is getting warmer, Buddy is extra eager to go outside to play. A friend and colleague of mine told me about a shape sidewalk chalk game she plays with her granddaughter. She draws different colored shapes in chalk and tells her granddaughter to find different colors and shapes. Since Buddy is working on colors and shapes, I knew it’d be a perfect game for him.
To make this game easy for Buddy, I only did one of each shape and color. I also picked shapes and colors that Buddy knows.
I told Buddy to find a specific color/shape combination and jump on the shape. He had a lot of fun finding each shape. Buddy can’t jump yet, but he enjoyed stomping on each shape as he found it.
Buddy took some breaks from the game to draw on our driveway with the chalk. We’ve never played with chalk before, so that was fun and exciting for Buddy. Then we’d go back to playing our game again.
We also played a variation where he told me which shape and color to jump on. Buddy thought that was lots of fun too.
Once Buddy becomes more confident with his colors and shapes, I will make this game more difficult by making shapes in more than one different color. So far, we’ve played it twice this week, and it’s quickly becoming one of Buddy’s favorite activities.
Buddy and I have some extra time together this week due to spring break, so I’m looking for more things to try with him. If you have any ideas, please share!
Today for Time to Read Tuesday, I chose to read two shape books followed by some play with different types of shapes. This activity was a blend of my love of reading and my love of math. It’s exciting to be working with Buddy already on a math topic.
I started by reading the book Paris: A Book of Shapes, which is part of the Hello World series. (I highly recommend it! Each book takes place in a different city and focuses on a different topic.) When I planned out this activity, I originally just was going to read one book. Yesterday, though, I found another book on shapes at the library (Louis the Lion Shapes), so we read that book too. While we read each book, we spent a long time looking at the pictures and finding each shape.
After reading, I gave Buddy a bag of Attribute Links as well as his shape sorter block toy to play with. The Attribute Links were given to me as part of one of my college courses, but because I’ve only taught middle school math, I’ve never used them. Buddy was very interested in the links because they were new to him. We picked out squares first. I turned the pages of both books to the square pages, and then we made a pile of squares. I linked a bunch of the squares together, which Buddy loved.
We continued to look at one shape at a time with both the blocks and the links. For each shape, I referred back to the book pages and placed the shapes on top of the picture. Buddy was able to pick out the circles on his own, but he needed help with the other ones.
Buddy enjoyed putting both the links and the blocks in and out of the bucket. He did better than with the actual shape sorter on the top of the bucket than he has in the past. Maybe the extra practice looking at the shapes and the books has helped him figure out what holes to use. (Or maybe he was just having a lucky day.)
Overall, Buddy enjoyed both books and both sets of shape toys. It was a lot of fun for me finding something in my classroom that could be used as an educational toy for my son. I’m sure we’ll be playing with both shape toys again soon.