Learning Shapes with books, nature and paint

Posted on July 13th, 2018

I love to build on an educational theme for our activity hour on the farm. This week was all about shapes with a group of children age 2 to 5. I had some fun ideas prepared to make learning shapes fun. After all, the children were on holiday and coming along for some creative fun and not to feel like they had started school.  

Learning Shapes with books, nature and paint

Learning shapes and counting

I had a beautiful book on counting, colours and shapes from Phaidon I had reviewed on my Facebook Page and dug it out of our library collection. As we all sat down on my colour in picnic rug I began the book. The children were instantly drawn to the quirky opening of the book and soon they were all helping me turn the pages to identify and count the shapes revealed.

Reading shapes book

Printing shapes

It was clear the children had a good grasp on basic shapes and only a couple of the higher sided shapes were new to them. Everyone loves a little painting fun and while I read the book Clio was setting up paint at the craft table. We gathered round and used potato stamp shapes to print onto corresponding shape worksheets. (These can be found on the education pages of my website).

Potato print shapes

Circle Rolls

Re-gathering on the rug the children settled down to listen to a fun story of a circle who took on a life like character and rolled into his fellow shapes creating quite a commotion. This light-hearted tale had the children laughing and totally engaged.  It is another gem from Phaidon I can totally recommend.

Identifying shapes in the fairy garden

After sitting so well, the children were more than happy to be on the move for our next task. We were off to the fairy gardens to identify shapes on the fairies new dancing carousel. This was one I had been making in Farmer Nick’s shed from an old chain real painted and wrapped at the middle with Duck Tape Colours to avoid any splinters.  I had chosen to decorate it with different coloured painted shapes so it was perfect for today’s theme. The children spotted it as soon as they ran into the gardens and began shouting out all the shapes they could recognise.

Fairy Carousel

Creating Shapes with Nature

While we were in the gardens I showed the children the magic sticking property of sticky weed. They each collected and piece and hunted for colourful flowers for our shapes craft.

collecting nature in the fairy gardens

Back at the table and rug I handed out cereal boxes cut to size and invited the children to choose some fabric to cover their boxes. We simply cut and stapled the material around the boxes to make a base for the sticky weed.

Fabric base for nature fuzzyfelt

Then came the fun part; the children created their chosen shape from stickweed and stuck it to the board. If it didn’t work the first time, the stickweed just peeled off and could be stuck down again. We used double sided tape to fill the shapes with the collected colourful flowers.  The children loved making them and seeing their shapes take form. The results were colourful and pretty and the shapes clear.

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Extra time and extra activities

That was the end of my organised learning shapes activities but the children took things further rolling down the bank like the circle in Circle Rolls. Then they asked for long rectangular strips of material to add to the wishing tree.  They made their wish as they hung them and enjoyed a play with the wishing well before feeding the ponies that had come to watch us.  

 Hill rolling pony feeding wishing Well

I don’t think anyone left thinking they had been learning anything, but they certainly had!

Country Kids