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One of my recent goals has been to think up playful ways of teaching 3-D shapes to my kids. We previously did some fun activities to learn about 3-D shapes through play, and I wanted to continue building on those lessons.
The activity I’m featuring today uses the 3-D wooden blocks from our Spielgaben set and was based on an activity listed in the curriculum materials that come with the Spielgaben set. I call this activity “Put the clothes on the 3-D shapes.” It is a fantastic way to help kids focus on the shapes that make up the sides of a 3-D object. It is also playful, so kids don’t even realize they are learning when you “teach” in this manner. Plus, this activity sneaks in some great fine motor practice too!
Note: For more fun ways to learn about shapes, see my teaching shapes to kids page.
For this activity, I prepared the following materials on a tray:
- Several half sheets of paper
- Scotch tape
- Kid-friendly scissors
- Wooden cube
- Wooden cylinder (Note: I don’t recommend using a cylinder until the child has more practice with simpler shapes like cubes)
QBoy was the first to do this activity. He began by putting the shapes on the paper and tracing them with a pencil.
He then used the scissors to cut out the tracings he made.
He used the scotch tape to place each tracing onto the appropriate surface of the 3-D shape. Note that this is an excellent way for kids to focus on the shapes that make up each side of the 3-D shape, e.g. circles on the end of the cylinder, squares for all faces of the cube.
He then had to cut out a rectangle whose width matched the height of the cylinder and whose length was sufficiently long to wrap around the cylinder. (This was a bit tricky. For beginners, I suggest starting with just the cube and waiting until later to introduce the cylinder to this work.)
Ta da! A fully dressed shape!
After dressing the cylinder, he also dressed the cube.
More resources for learning shapes
More shapes posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- 20 ideas for teaching shapes
- 15 books about shapes
- Magic disappearing shapes
- Trace the shapes art and fine motor activity
- How many ways to make a shape?
- Sand shapes
- Exploring 3D shapes through play
- 3D shapes graphing game