Monkey and I do not play with shapes as often as we should! However for his birthday we received Shape Snap by Orchard Toys. I am a great fan of their board games as they are hardwearing, bright and colourful and they always have an educational dimension to them.
Shape snap is no different, there are ten different shapes and four cards of each. It is aimed at the 3-6 age group for 2-4 players. The cards are thick (you can’t bend them) and glossy, with attractive pictures. There are a number of different games you can play with the cards.
- Shape Snap – In the instructions Orchard Toys encourage you to shout out the name of the shape at the same time to help your little one learn the names.
- Pairs – Generally Monkey will play this on his own, with me supervising. We normally only play this with 6 pairs of cards as he’s only just turned three and can loose interest with too many cards. It has really helped his memory develop and I was quite surprised by the logical way he goes about trying to find them. As he gets more confident we can add more pairs and maybe I will be allowed to play too!
- Sorting – due to the number of cards in the game you can sort them into the different shapes, practice counting and sort by colour.
For #ImaginationMatters I wanted to try doing some new things with the cards, and tried a game of sorting with other 2D and 3D shapes. Its the first time I have introduced 3D shapes to Monkey and I was interested to see if he could spot the similarities. The cards also allowed me to introduce hexagons and pentagons to him, shapes which have not appeared in his previous shape puzzles.
Firstly I collected shapes and building blocks and placed them on a tray. I then laid out the cards and encouraged him to match the shapes on the tray to the shapes on the cards, I was surprised by how much he enjoyed doing it. It also sparked a lot of conversation about the 3D shapes, he was less keen to put them with the 2D ones, already in part recognising that they are different. He was less sure about the hexagons and pentagons, we counted the sides of each to help him start to distinguish the differences. In all it took about 20 minutes to sort all the shapes into their groups. It was a simple activity but he was really pleased with himself once he had finished it.
Keeping on the shape theme I cut out each of the shapes from the cards in craft foam, matching the colours as much as possible. Then we headed outside and placed them on the grass.
I called out each card in turn, showing Monkey the card so that he could recognise the shape and then he fetched the foam shape and we matched them together. He then had a go himself choosing which shape he wanted to do next.
It was a real hit, Monkey decided that his favourite shapes are the circle and the oval. He also started counting the sides on all the shapes and has started to learn that triangles have three sides, squares four and hexagons six. It is definitely a game which we will be playing again.
Keen to introduce other shape games to Monkey I have set up a pinterest board with other ideas below
I would love to hear about the games are you playing with your little ones that introduce shapes?