Today I made a shape matching activity for Veronika, and it turned into a game of playing a mailman who was making deliveries! She was the mail carrier and had to deliver the right shape to the corresponding “mailbox”. I loved that this game was equal parts learning and introduction to imaginative play.
To start, I covered construction paper with sticky contact paper on both sides for durability, and cut out shapes: rectangles, hearts, circles, triangles, and squares.
So first up was a simple game of shape matchup. If I had one of the pair, could she find the other?
She quickly proved to be an ace at this test, not just picking up the right shape…
…but naming them, too.
I wanted to make the game more exciting, so turned it into the mail carrier game. We have a set of toy boxes, each one a different shape with items of the same shape nested inside (i.e. a pizza wedge and watermelon wedge inside the triangle box). We scattered all the shapes on the ground, along with the construction paper set I’d just made, and I placed the empty boxes in front of her.
“Special delivery!” I called. “Which mailbox should the triangle go in?”
She was so proud making these deliveries!
Note: If you don’t have a toy like this, simple cut out and laminate each shape from paper, then tape or glue onto an empty shoe box. These can be your mailboxes!
After we’d filled the mailboxes, she decided to get a little impish. I could see the wheels in her brain turning as she deliberately placed the shapes in the wrong box, and then looked at me for a laugh.
But if you think about it, this was showing her understanding of shapes on a whole new level.
She thought this was hilarious and kept it up for quite some time.