Expat Magazine

Learning Shapes – Toddler Play

By Tasneem Rajkotwala @tasu0704

Did I tell you Little A is an avid reader? His books are never in the rack; they are scattered all over the house in all the possible corners and at this age he owns more books than his mom. Apart from reading books he loves singing rhymes, playing with clay, sorting shapes and playing outdoors. Little A has played with his shape sorting box from fisher price right since the time he was 18 months old and luckily still hasn’t got tired with it. As he grew, his efficiency in putting the right shape in the right slot increased alongwith his eye-hand co ordination and also the recognition of basic shapes and colors. While we play with clay, I also like to introduce him to differents kind of things which he can learn through play. We try to create characters and food items so that his interest in what I aim to teach him escalate. His favorite being “cake” so that he can sing a birthday song for himself, cut the cake and pretend to eat it too!


As for his age, 2.5 years old, I keep the shapes we work on very basic. He recognises circle, triangle, square, oval, rectangle, hexagon, star, heart and diamond. While we were playing with clay the other day, I showed him how he can combine two of his toys, play a single game and enjoy. I rolled out a clay with a rolling pin and demonstrated how he can cut shapes on it. That caught his attention.


He then followed my instructions and started to do them on his own. Rolling out a clay, cutting a shape and repeating it again with the other shapes. For heart shape, we used a cookie cutter from my kitchen and for the other shapes we utilised the shapes from his shape-sorting toy. It kept us busy for a good one hour till he could use up all his clay. This game also taught us a small deal about numbers and colors. He was able to count the number of single shape he stenciled on the clay (like 3 circles or 4 hearts) and also identify their colors.


Whilst this was a very simple approach to teaching shapes in a different way, it’s helpful for toddlers who are around an age of 2.5 – 3 years. I have always felt that keeping the activities simple has a much better outcome than making them complex. In what ways do you introduce your children to different shapes?


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