Motherhood teaches us a lot, which includes teaching baby more with lesser expenses. Also they teach us how to make things simple for quick learning!
When it comes to buying gifts/toys for my little one, I am a minimalist. I prefer to buy low cost toys with some learning experiences, shop mostly when sale or prefer to buy from local gift shops.
While attempting to teach Shapes to my little one, I was particular not to spend much and utilize easily available low cost stuff or use objects available at home only.
First thing I tried was drawing shapes on back of Diaper box /cardboard and cutting shapes of the other sides of the box (you can also color or stick colored paper). I stuck the shapes with both-sided tape and asked him to stick them on the board. Believe me, more than the shapes, tape entertained him big time.
Second, I tried my hands on making a Felt Quiet Book (or pages to be precise) to teach shapes (I am not very crafty or creative). It’s Very easy to cut shapes and fun to learn, also keeps little one busy for some time (at least). Here the Velcro is the Star of the show. I simply used Glue to stick shapes and Velcro.
Along with shapes, felt also teaches colors; so dual-purpose. Though focus on one aspect at a time. (tutorials can be easily find on internet)
Require: Felt cloth or any cloth – different colors, glue, Velcro, scissors… That’s it!!
Next I tried with drawing shapes on a thick Foam sheet and cutting them, so that he can learn about dimensions along with shapes. Instead of Foam sheet, Thermocol or cardboard can also be used.
Don’t forget to repeat names of shapes while showing how to fix cut shapes. Kids are very good in grasping and they learn by listening repeatedly. So say Circle clearly when you fix circle, Triangle for triangle etc.
He soon got bore of this foam sheet activity, and so I made him few shapes – Boat, House – from the same type of thick Foam sheets. And he was happy to ensemble new objects with different shapes giving him (and me) a sense of achievement (win-win). His smile that reflected happiness of CREATING, motivated me to give him more such options.
Once my baby was quite familiar, time was to use things of practical and daily use. So I used lunch boxes, storage boxes, etc. to show him shapes and also sizes.
I gave him different coloured and sized boxes to match their lids. It is super fun when they try to match and close boxes!!
For repeated practise and for revisions, sometimes cookies, biscuits, sandwiches, parathas also come handy and my boy enjoys eating them too.. repeating Square biscuit, Circle paratha, Rectangle sandwich….. 😉
One important REMINDER once again, there should be no pressure on baby to repeat or do any particular activity in specified manner. Infact, recommended is free play and giving them opportunity to explore. Just call out names of shapes in a casual way.