I want my children to know what a sphere and cube are. I want my children to be able to distinguish between a pyramid and a cone. And I want them to learn these things in as fun and natural way as possible.
Truly, I am all about finding engaging, hands-on ways to have my kids interact with 3-D shapes so that they naturally gain knowledge of them through using these shapes in their everyday lives.
This stamping with blocks activity is a perfect, hands-on way to teach kids about 3-D shapes without having to “teach” them. Instead, the focus of this activity is on making art. . . but by using 3-D blocks as the “stamps” for the artwork!
Note: For more playful ways to learn about shapes, see my teaching shapes to kids page.
For this activity you will need:
- a set of 3-D shapes (we used our wooden blocks)
- plastic wrap (to protect the blocks from getting stained with ink)
- ink pad
To begin, have your child select one of the blocks and wrap it in plastic wrap. (If you are using blocks that you don’t mind staining, you can skip this step.)
Next, have your child press one side of the 3-D shape onto the ink pad.
Then have your child stamp away!
Encourage your child to stamp with different sides of each block to see how the shapes left behind are different – or the same!
This activity provides kids with such a natural way to consider the different sides on each shape and select the side that they want to use for their artwork.
They will naturally notice that a rectangular cuboid, as shown in the image below, can make three different shapes on the paper depending on which face of the block your child uses as the stamp.
And they will figure this all out without you needing to “teach” them anything! All you need to do is give them the right learning opportunity.
More resources for learning shapes
More shapes posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- 3-D shapes graphing game
- Hands-on exploration with 3-D geometric shapes
- Put the clothes on the 3-D shapes
- Exploring 3-D shapes through play
- 3-D color cube puzzle
- 20 ideas for teaching shapes
- Trace the shapes art and fine motor activity
- How many ways to make a shape?