It is important to expose preschoolers to shapes in two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms. Two-dimensional forms include drawings, posters, worksheets and colouring pages, while a clay model is an example of a three-dimensional forms. Hang the shapes in the preschool as visual aids that will help young children learn to recognise, name, build, draw and compare shapes. Hang straight line and curved geometric shapes, animal shapes and sea shapes to encourage preschoolers' curiosity about shapes.
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Straight Line Geometric Shapes
Display straight line geometric shapes that are age appropriate for preschoolers. This includes squares, rectangles, triangles, stars and diamonds. Ask children what they see when introduced to a new shape. To help children think about shapes in different ways, hang posters of straight line geometric shapes in various sizes, colours and materials. Vary the shape's orientation and dimensions. For example hang a triangle that is obtuse, meaning that one angle of the triangle is larger than 90 degrees.
Curved Geometric Shapes
Hang up geometric shapes that are curved. Preschoolers are ready to learn about and identify curved shapes such as circles and ovals. Other curved shapes that are age appropriate for preschoolers are crescents and hearts. Create a mobile of curved shapes. Decorate a paper towel roll. String curved shapes onto the paper towel roll. Hang the mobile from ceiling or attach the mobile to the wall. Encourage children to identify similar shapes throughout the classroom.
Create a collage of animal shapes. Trace the shape of a variety of animals on construction paper. Leave out any details of each animal shape so that each representation only shows the form of the animals. Cut out the animal shapes and paste them on a large piece of poster board. Encourage children to identify the animal shapes. Explain and point out that there are basic shapes such as circles, triangles and squares within the animal shapes. For example, a bear's ears are circular.
Display a shadow box that contains models of objects and creatures found in the sea such as dolphins, star fish and sea shells. Obtain a shallow rectangular box with a transparent front, such as glass, that will protect and display the sea items. Arrange and layer plastic sea objects within the box using pins or tacks to attach them. Hang the shadow box on the wall. Discuss the various shapes found within the sea shapes. For instance point out that a shark's fin has a triangle shape or a star fish is shaped like a star.
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