Geometric Creations

Materials: Play dough, straws or toothpicks
Note: I've done this activity with fourth graders and with my toddler.  Both ages had a great time, but my toddler definitely needed supervision and assistance!

1. Roll play dough into balls.
2. Press toothpick or straw end into the play dough ball.
3. Continue to connect edges together with play dough balls to form two- or three-dimensional shapes.
4. Create regular or irregular shapes, prisms, pyramids, and free-form creations.
5. Talk with child about the process.  

Make it more challenging:

  • Ask child to count the vertices, edges and faces
  • Use a protractor to measure the angles in the shape. Make regular shapes when possible.
  • Sort shapes by attributes (number of edges or vertices, pyramids vs. prisms, 2D vs. 3D.

Shape and Make (ages 3-6)

Materials: Paper, markers or crayons

1. Draw a shape on a blank piece of paper.
2. Talk about the attributes of the shape with your child (how many sides, vertices, etc).
3. Ask, "What do you think we could draw with this shape?"
4. Let your child discuss and draw whatever they want with the shape, even if it seems silly or impractical.  
5. Let your child explain or present the drawing to you or someone else in your family.

Make it more challenging:

  • Draw multiple shapes on the page to see how your child connects them into one picture or multiple pictures.
  • Take a picture that already exists and see if your child can identify the shapes that compose that picture. (Your child can trace the shapes with a finger.)