We had the opportunity to visit the Eric Carle Museum today, so I set the stage before our trip with an activity that combined the author’s books and tangrams. This is a fantastic learning game that can be adapted for varying levels of difficulty, depending on your child’s age.
To start, we pulled out several of our Eric Carle favorites, like Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See.
As Veronika uncovered each animal in the story, I laid out a design in corresponding tangrams. She marveled as she saw the animals come to life on the page!
For older toddlers, draw the outline of the animal first and challenge your child to fill it in. Preschoolers can make the challenge even harder by designing their own tangram animal without a template.
Next up was A Very Hungry Caterpillar, another favorite. For this one we “acted out” the story with tangrams on each page, starting with the little caterpillar under the sun.
This was great for counting as we got to the pages about each fruit the caterpillar ate.
Our tangram set also includes a template of a butterfly, so this was great practice for Veronika to do the filling in. It was easier for her to think of it by color than by shape, but with some guidance she was able to follow the pattern. This was exactly the intro to tangrams I had hoped for when we sat down together.
Of course then we capped it off with a visit to the museum! If you end the day with your favorite Eric Carle book at bedtime, you’ll have made this activity frame a full day of stories, learning, and play.