We Play – Foam Shapes

by Deb on May 14, 2010

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This one is more maths than science, but it’s a great activity for little kids.  It can be used to develop fine motor skills and co-ordination, as well as learning about colours, shapes and patterns which are important maths skills.  These came from Wooldridges, an educational supply store.  Educational stores and office supplies are great places to buy toys – they’re much more interesting than anything you find in toy stores!  Plus we’ve found Wooldridges extremely helpful, they have got specific toys in for us or helped us source others.

Foam flowers

Doing them on the carpet stopped them from flipping around and helped line them all up.  I didn’t say anything but just started making patterns.

The big girl got the hang of flowers very quickly.  What was even better, she started getting the little one to help her – “Get me two more brown ones.”

There’s a whole heap of Cs there – colours, counting, co-operation and co-ordination.  Plus shapes :)   After that she started adventuring in three dimensions and with different shapes, but still sticking with the basic flower theme.

And she added different materials.

While all this was going on the little one was still happily putting them back in the container and getting out the ones we asked for, and they were both helping me decide what to put in next.

Then she started moving away from the flower theme onto paths, and is generally exploring.

I love toys like this – there was something there for all of us to enjoy at our different levels and they are so rich in the things you can talk about, but so open-ended in what they can do with them.  They can also lead to imaginative play among the footpaths and giant flowers.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Hear Mum Roar May 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I love these! We used to use them when I worked in child care! Keeps them busy for ages.
.-= Hear Mum Roar´s last blog ..What can you do if your child has a public tantrum? =-.

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amandab May 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I usually buy the foamy stickers, but have tended to always buy the themed ones rather than the shapes because it hadn’t occurred to me to make things out of the shapes (and yet I do this out of paper shapes!)

Will have to revisit the craft store to get some, even though I do like the 3D nature of the ones you have. The 3D and layered patterns are great!
.-= amandab´s last blog ..Weight by Jeanette Winterson =-.

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Vanessa May 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I remember playing with these when I was in pre-school. My goodness does that take me back!

Thank you for the trip down memory lane and a reminder of a fantastic tool for pre-schoolers. This will be added to my craft store supply list, especially since we are beginng to adventure into home schooling pre-schoolers!

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Deb May 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

I forgot to say the thing I love about this set is they all ‘match’ – the sides are the same length and the angles are nice 30, 60, 90 and 120 degrees, so they are easy to put together.

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Melissa May 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Wow! That’s awesome. I’ll have to get some for my kids. I used to love those sorts of activities as a kid.
.-= Melissa´s last blog ..Not just childs play =-.

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ingrid May 19, 2010 at 11:19 am

These are fabulous! We had a set but the baby chewed them up. I am now on a hunt for wooden ones instead.

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Christie - Childhood 101 May 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

As a teacher, I have used these with children aged 3 through to 8, they are a great, tactile way of reinforcing all of those C’s and shape! LOL
.-= Christie – Childhood 101´s last blog ..Nature Kids: Treasure Hunt Soup =-.

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Melissa @ flower stickers for wall February 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

These looks so much fun and very educational. Thanks for sharing. I’ve got to get some of these for my daughter!

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