My toddler has been spending a lot of time exploring shapes lately. I wanted some super simple “craft” ideas that didn’t require a lot of preparation on my part to fill those random fussy moments when we need *something* new to do. I made some simple shape outlines that we could use as a starting point for these activities.
Try some of these easy ideas to set up an opportunity to create and talk about shapes at the same time!
Color the shapes – It doesn’t get any simpler or no-prep than this! Provide a variety of coloring materials and allow your little Picasso to color (in, on, around) the shape. My daughter seems to LOVE colored pencils lately, but crayons or washable markers are also a hit. Or, to change it up a bit, put it in a page protector and let your little one use a dry-erase marker to color and re-color the shape.
Stickers – Whip out some stickers from your stash (dollar stores are a great place to stock up!) and encourage your little one to put stickers inside the shape or on the outline (depending on their ability level). I was really surprised how well Sophie did when I encouraged her to put her stickers inside the square – we had never done anything like that before and she did a great job!
Playdoh – Stick the template inside a page protector and help them roll playdoh into “snakes” and outline the shape. Or, if your child is like mine and making little balls is the playing method of choice, count little playdoh balls as they place them inside the shape.
Paint – Painting is a sure-fire way to stave off a tantrum in our house. The easiest way for me is to get out the Do-A-Dot paints, but finger painting, painting with a paintbrush, or using other random items to paint is also lots of fun. We have used sponges or cotton balls, but you could also use a feather or leaf, a toilet paper roll molded into a shape, or even plastic shapes from shape sorters as a stamp.
Stamp – Grab a washable ink pad and a fun stamp or two and allow your little ones to decorate the shape with their stamps.
Glue – Gluing is probably the favorite “craft” for my daughter. You can either fill the shape with something like tissue or construction paper pieces, or help your little ones outline the shape with something fun like pasta, candy pieces, or beans. My daughter will help me “squeeze” the liquid glue along the outline and then place the objects along the glue. Again, I was surprised how well she did this when given the opportunity. The possibilities for this are endless!
Download your own SHAPE MATS and get ready to play!
**You can find Dot Painters at Amazon.**
Written by Alicia