Welcome back to the Light and Reflections Series! If you’re new, be sure to check our previous posts from the series here. Today, our topic is Math and Shapes. Where Imagination Grows, And Next Comes L, and Still Playing School are posting their ideas as well. Please stop by and see what they’re up to!
Are you curious about how you can help Preschoolers learn shapes? Here’s a simple activity on the light table that explores basic math concepts for Preschoolers. But, I’ll explain more about that later in the post!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Light Table (Don’t have a light table? You could certainly do this without a light table, but here’s the light panel that we use and love!)
- Washi Tape (You could use any tape that will not leave a residue)
- Magnatiles (You could substitute with pattern blocks or any shapes that you have on hand)
Make the large shapes out of Magnatiles and arrange them on your light table. Trace each shape with washi tape. I wrote the names of each shape inside with a dry erase marker to sneak in some extra learning! 🙂
Scaffolding Language: Any easy way to incorporate learning throughout an activity is to scaffold learning (or, support and encourage learning on a deeper level). Here’s a great article from Edutopia if you want to hear more about scaffolding. In this case, I asked some simple questions to get my daughter thinking about shapes:
“What do you think the word says?”
“Why do you think I wrote the word there?”
“How many sides does that shape have?” (Can you touch the sides as you count?)
“What does this shape remind you of?” (A stop sign, a window, the table, etc.)
“What would happen if you built the shapes upward like a box?”
*Tip: Follow your child’s lead – what questions do they have?
We also counted how many smaller shapes it took to fill the larger shape. My daughter enjoyed adding a second layer of Magnatiles to her shape puzzles. She was delighted by how they changed colors as she stacked them (something only a light table can bring to life!).
She started exploring three-dimensional shapes by building small boxes. We tried making the other shapes three-dimensional as well. Since we did this activity, my daughter has built Magnatile boxes all around the house and even around her toys!
So, remember earlier when I mentioned that this activity was for exploring basic math concepts? Here they are!
- Large shapes can be composed of smaller shapes
- Shapes have a certain number of sides/corners
- Shapes have specific names
- Shapes can be found within every day objects (remember how we asked if the shapes reminded them of something they’ve seen??)
- Count the sides and corners to help identify the shape
- Shapes can be two-dimensional and three-dimensional
DIY Jumbo Dice for Light Table Play from And Next Comes L
Fractions with Pattern Blocks on the Light Table from Still Playing School
Snowball Counters: Counting with Circles from Where Imagination Grows
What is your child(s) favorite way to play and to learn with shapes?