Teaching Shapes

I recently had someone ask for advice on teaching their granddaughter her shapes.  She is picking up other things really well but is struggling with shapes.  In this post I will show some of the shape toys we have at my house and how we use them.
Shape Puzzle- I like this one I found at amazon.com better because it has bigger knobs to hold onto which would be helpful with some of the activities we use the pieces for.
Sorting Cube- link My daughter's favorite.
Elmo Puzzle- link I'm sure you can find it cheaper some where.  This was not my daughter's favorite but I love that the pieces are plastic instead of wood so we can use them in messy crafts and in the bath tub.
Shape Flash Cards- From the $1 bin at Target.  I usually see them at the Dollar Store also.

Of course the puzzles can be used as puzzles but here are some more Play Ideas!

Use the pieces from the puzzles and match them to the shape cards or to each other.

Lay out a shape flash card and help your child find objects that match.

Use the puzzle pieces as stencils in art projects.

Use the puzzle pieces to make shapes in play dough.
More ideas

Use plastic shape pieces in messy art projects; such as, stamping, painting, or slime play. 
Bath time is a great time to introduce fun games.  The plastic pieces are great to throw in the tub. Your child can use them as cups, boats, etc. and you can name the shapes as they play with them.
My daughter loved using the 3d shape sorting blocks for tower building.  She would see how tall she could build the tower and I would say the name of each shape as she put it on the tower.
The flash cards are great for playing matching type games.  Also, you can check out some of my other flash card games here.  Most can be played with shapes as well as letters, numbers, and words.
Also, remember to point out objects in every day life.  "Oh, that cereal box is shaped like a rectangle."  "Did you know all stop signs are octagons?"

I have a couple more shape posts that will be out soon so watch for them!

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