Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8: Flaptastic Shapes

One of my favorite things to teach my boys about is shapes and we LOVE the book, "Flaptastic Shapes." This bright new series uses innovative design and big, bold flaps to introduce toddlers to basic concepts. With exciting shaped- and full-page flaps, clever die-cuts, and bouncy typography, these books are truly a great way to learn!  This book gets kids thinking about shapes and the different places they encounter them, from heart-shaped cookies to heart-shaped leaves.

With two boys (ages 1.5 and 3.5) and living in a small condo, it's nice to have some activities for the indoors when the weather isn't always cooperating. In an effort to combine some learning with play, I started to design "Carpet Shapes" on our living room floor.

I love this "game" because it has quite a few options, depending on what you want to do. Charlie already knows his shapes, but I think it's a great way for Jack to learn also!  All you need is blue painter's tape and some carpet!

Create shapes on the floor (I made mine rather large to accommodate shape-sitting).  We did a rectangle, octagon, triangle, square, trapezoid, and diamond. Charlie requested a circle several times and despite my insistence that it was difficult, he kept showing me with his finger just how easy it would be to "draw"!

Once you have your shapes (and ask your children to guess which is which), you have a few great options for playing and learning!

Spatial Learning

Get children used to phrases that are associated with where certain things are. I asked Charlie to go inside and outside of the square. He did!

You can also work on things like over, under and the like. You can also customize it if your child needs help with particular words.

Shape Recognition

Ask your child to find things around the house that are shaped like the shapes you made. We found a square pillow, a triangular sailboat, a stop sign, and a rectangular bed pillow. This is a great opportunity   for your child to "see" shapes within the world without just seeing straight lines.

We even managed to find a trapezoid! (If you look closely, I promise!)

Car Tracks
With boys (and girls!), the lines also make great "racetracks"! My boys had fun having races on the different tracks and jumping from shape to shape.

I love this concept of mixing play with learning, especially when it requires little to no money AND is something new and fresh for my kids. They easily played with this for over an hour and came back to it frequently. It was also perfect for organizing snack time!

What ways to do you combine learning with playing in your house?

Samantha @ The Peanuts Gang


  1. What a great idea. I don't have that book, but will definitely be trying the shapes activities with tape on the floor. My kids will love it!

  2. This is a great idea! And I love that there's more than just one thing to do with all the shapes. What if you used a hula hoop or a piece of string for the circle. It wouldn't be stuck to the floor, but it would be fun to move around to circle things that couldn't otherwise move.

    Thanks for sharing.


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