A few months ago we received our Spielgaben set. I left it in the garage for a few weeks to get rid of the strong varnish smell, but we recently brought it in and have begun enjoying learning with the materials. This teaching shapes activity was inspired by the printable materials that came with our Spielgaben set.
Shape learning, of course, is an important precursor skill for both reading and math. My kids already know the basic shapes (circle, square, triangle). Now they are learning more advanced shapes like rhombus, pentagon, and hexagon. I thought this teaching shapes activity would be a great way to engage them in learning some of these more advanced shapes.
(If you do not have a Spielgaben set, this activity could be easily adapted to use materials you have on hand, including yarn.)
Note: For more ideas and free printables to help kids learn shapes, see my teaching shapes to kids page.
Please note that I was not contracted with or compensated by Spielgaben in any form for writing this post. I purchased our Spielgaben set because I believe it will be useful for my children, and I am sharing this activity because I believe it will be helpful to other parents and caregivers.
For this activity I prepared a tray that included all six of the colored balls with strings from our Spielgaben set. I also created a simple printable with nine different challenges for kids to complete. (Note: I did not require my kids to complete all nine challenges. I believe in following their lead, and if they only want to do one or two shapes, that is okay. That being said, both of my kids completed most of challenges #1 through 8, and had TONS of fun with challenge #9 creating their own shapes for me to guess.)
I taught the kids to stretch out the string to make a straight line for forming their shapes.
Here XGirl was working on a square.
When we got to some of the shapes she was less familiar with, my mom (who was working with her on this task as well) had her trace the shape with her finger before building it with the balls.
XGirl was so proud when she completed her hexagon! She and Grandmum counted up the sides to confirm there were six sides on the hexagon.
My mom and I showed her how to combine shapes – in this case a square and a triangle – to make a house.
After a while of playing this way, we turned the activity into a game. XGirl would make a shape and then invite myself or my mom to come guess what it was. She had a BLAST with this part of the activity and was always so excited to show us her shapes!
If you’d like to try this teaching shapes activity using your Spielgaben set (or another material of your choosing, such as plain yarn), you are welcome to download the printable I created for my kids. (Note that I made a few minor adjustments to the printable compared to what you see in the photos above.)
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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