In addition to making for a great learning activity, foam craft sticks are also a fantastic tub toy! You can tailor this game for toddlers up to elementary school kids.
Ahead of time, I labeled various craft sticks with the names of shapes, as well as the symbol of that shape. Make sure you have enough of each to actually form that shape So for example you’ll need 3 labeled craft sticks for a triangle and 4 for a square.
At bath time, at first I simply tossed in all the sticks! Elementary school kids can hunt them down, finding the name or symbol of each shape and then forming it on the tub wall.
For Veronika as a toddler, obviously I had to guide her through the activity. We looked at each craft stick and I asked her what shape she saw. Then I guided her hands to build them against the wall.
At first she was more interested in the colors of the sticks. But once she saw the shapes take, well, shape, she began naming them with interest. “Rectangle!” she chirped.
We went up as high as a pentagon, which was a new shape for her vocabulary, but she soon start saying, “Let’s make a pentagon.”
Both Veronika and big brother Travis loved seeing if we could make a circle, using enough craft sticks.
And after that, the extra craft sticks are just gloriously fun in the bath.