Touch and Feel Shapes Board

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Veronika loves the bumpy feel of hot glue, so when I spotted this fun, tactile way to help a toddler learn shapes, I knew we had to try it!

Ideally I would have liked to make the shape outlines on sturdy poster board, but construction paper worked fine in a pinch. Using hot glue, make the outlines of as many shapes as you can fit on your piece of paper.

Of course the wonder of hot glue is how quickly it sets and cools, so within moments, I set this down in front of Veronika to explore.

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She immediately started shouting out the names of the shapes she saw. I showed her how to run her fingers around the bumpy lines of each, and she delighted in the feel. Without knowing it, this can be your toddler’s first introduction to tracing, which itself is the precursor to someday drawing shapes with a pencil!

There was lots more we could do with this little piece of paper. Veronika liked filling in the outlines with dried beans since the bumpy hot glue made little “containers”. If your child is learning to count, you can also count out the beans as you add them!

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Next we placed a piece of white paper on top and I showed Veronika how to make shape rubbings.

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She wasn’t very interested in that activity, but did like using a marker to color directly in the lines of each shape.

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Overall, this was a simple activity that’s easy to set up and extend in multiple ways.

Sorting Blocks by Shape and Color

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Veronika received a set of foam blocks over the holidays that came with picture patterns to follow and fill in. The activity is still advanced for her at age 2, but today we found other ways she can play with the set!

First, we divided the foam pieces into big piles by color.

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I started the piles so she would understand what we were up to, and then she was a happy helper.

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Sorting these foam pieces by shape was harder because they come in so many different varieties. When I saw that she seemed confused, I winnowed our piles down to a manageable amount, including squares, triangles,  semi-circles, diamonds, and circles.

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Now she could help sort by shape!

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It was fun to make a big pile of each kind. Your child might even want to make designs or patterns, once the sorting is through.

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If you don’t have foam pieces like this, you could easily do this game with blocks that come in a variety of colors and shapes.