Do me a favor and look out the window. Can you find 5 different shapes from where you are sitting? I bet you can! And to tell you the truth your brain is actually doing it automatically, you just didn’t notice until I told you.
When you or your child is looking at a shape, they are using one of the most basic educational processes: the observation between something that is the same, or different. We use shapes as a way of classifying and organizing different information. Early on your child will start to remember the shapes of different things and will start to compare those shapes to familiar objects. These are the same skills that they will use later on to distinguish between letters and numbers. This will also help them develop their math skills with categorizing and sorting objects.
Searching for shapes is one of the first lessons that children will learn to develop, so why not enhance that by taking it outside?
Nature is literally home to hundreds of different shapes. To help children see these different natural shapes, take them right to your backyard on a “shape hike.” Find circles in the trees, or triangles on a flower, or even a square rock. It may be best to search for one shape at a time so your child will become very familiar with it before moving on to another one.
Use our scavenger hunts to help with shape searching, visit http://www.nebraskaprojectwild.org and under supplemental materials there will be early childhood scavenger hunts that emphasize shapes and colors. Good luck!
Here are just a few shapes you may see right outside your window into your garden or your backyard.