Teach geometry to preschoolers with this easy, fun preschool geometry activity.
Preschoolers learn through their independent play and this playful geometry activity harnesses their natural curiosity and creativity. One of the best ways to help toddlers, preschoolers and even kindergarteners explore geometric concepts is with a set of pattern blocks and a muffin tin.
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Pattern blocks are flat wooden blocks in a variety of shapes and colors. Each shape corresponds to a color. For example, in our pattern block set, diamonds are yellow, trapezoids are blue, triangles are green and hexagons are red.
The reason pattern blocks are so important to include in your young child's curriculum is because they help kids explore a number of mathematical concepts like congruence, symmetry, area, perimeter, and patterns. Manipulating the smaller shapes to create larger shapes teaches fractions.
It may be tempting to find a computer game that allows kids to work with digital pattern blocks, but going screen-free with a hands-on activity is twenty-million times better for their brain development.
All you need for this simple geometry activity is a set of pattern blocks and a muffin tin!
Our favorite pattern block is this fantastic Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks set, which we get a ton of use out of. Pattern blocks are great for free exploration of shapes, as well as following the design cards that are included. This post has some great alternative suggestions for how to use the blocks to teach math concepts.
Why do you need a muffin tin? I'll explain.
My son loves muffin tin sorting, which is a great last minute boredom buster, especially if you add in chopsticks. When he set out to sort pattern blocks, my son discovered something very cool! He could make shapes in each cup using multiple blocks.
This was a wonderful way for my son to explore the relationship between the shape and size. The muffin tin holds the blocks from slipping around and is the perfect size to demonstrate how small triangles, trapezoids and parallelograms fit together to form other, larger shapes. He doesn't know it yet, but he was also exploring fractions!
If you are a teacher and have pattern blocks in one of your centers, why not add a muffin tin to the shelf? What will the kids do with it?