When you look out your window, you may not be saying it, but your mind is noticing and identifying the green trees, brown rectangle buildings, square windows, and blue sky. Color and shape are ways children observe and categorize what they see. These very recognizable characteristics encourage children to define and organize the diverse world around them.
These first teachings in preschool and kindergarten are basics that your child needs to know before she learns the “other basics” of reading, writing, and math. Understanding color and shape is a tool for learning many skills in all curriculum areas, from math and science to language and reading. For example, when your child learns to discern the similarities and differences between colors and shapes, she is using the same skills she needs to recognize the differences between letters and numerals.
We all use shape as a way of identifying and organizing visual information. Very early, your child begins to make a connection between familiar objects and their shapes. Changes in these can be surprising. For example, at first he may not want to eat round waffles or square cookies. But once he experiences this new shape information (and finds out it is still delicious!), he can easily integrate the new shape into his pantheon of shape knowledge.
When your child explores different shapes, she is using one of the most basic educational processes: the observation of same and different. This concept provides her with a basic process that she will be able to use in observing, comparing and discussing all she sees and encounters.
For this activity, we created Christmas trees using craft sticks, paper, and contact paper. Your child was directed to place pre-cut pieces of paper onto the contact paper, manipulating space to fill in and complete the triangle.