In daily life, mathematics is a necessary skill. Its significance in our lives cannot be understated, despite the fact that it is unquestionably one of the most dreaded subjects to study. Due to the fact that it calls for both verbal and nonverbal abilities, it is typically seen as being challenging. An essential sub-topic of mathematics is geometry. Geometry concerns the dimensions, sizes, forms, and angles of a wide range of everyday objects. Geometry comes from the Ancient Greek terms “geo” and “metron,” both implying “measuring.” There are two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional shapes in Euclidean geometry. Flat shapes in plane geometry include 2-dimensional shapes, including triangles, squares, rectangles, and circles. In solid geometry, three-dimensional shapes like a cube, cuboids, cones, etc., are also referred to as solids. The various shapes taught in Geometry help individuals understand the different shapes they encounter daily. Moreover, geometric concepts can be used to calculate the area, perimeter and volume of various shapes. Therefore, both adults and kids can live comfortably if they have a solid understanding of basic shapes!
Learning shapes helps children distinguish and organise visual information. It also helps them develop reading, math, and science skills, among other areas of their educational programs. Due to their various structures and designs, most children find learning about shapes exciting. Thus, teaching children to learn multiple conditions is not difficult. However, retaining information about such figures, memorising their properties and learning to apply them in advanced mathematics can be tricky for parents. Albeit a bit difficult in the beginning, once parents gain knowledge of best practices and effective methods, teaching children how to learn various shapes and distinguish between them can be easy. Fret not, as this article shall help parents learn precisely that.
Why is learning about shapes important?
A shape is an exterior form, line, or outline of something or someone from the outside. It can also be referred to as geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, circles etc. Shapes can be found everywhere in the environment that surrounds us. It is beneficial as it helps build the foundation for understanding basic symbols of math and language, such as numbers and the alphabet.
A few points of importance are as follows.
- A starting point for literacy development: From numbers to alphabets, all of them resemble some or the other shape. In fact, while teaching how to write letters, teachers explain to students the condition of the letter forms to help them learn how to write the letter easily. Thus, teaching shapes at a young age gives children a basic start to literacy development.
- Boosts math skills: Various mathematical concepts, such as surface area, volume, trigonometry etc., are based on shapes. Solving such math problems requires a good grasp of shapes and their properties.
- Comparison and differentiation: Learning shapes help children learn how to compare and differentiate between various things. They can easily compare two objects and find out their similarities or differences.
- Strengthens critical thinking: Exercises involving shapes can help children develop their capacity for critical thought. One example is toys that arrange shapes. When a child grasps the characteristics of a square, the child may match them with the toy’s square opening.
- Develops spatial skills: The branch of mathematics known as spatial understanding deals with location, direction, movement, size, shape, and space. It aids in defining and categorising the world in which we live. Thus, learning shapes is closely related to spatial understanding and helps children develop such skills.
Methods to teach shapes to children
Children begin to recognise various shapes at a young age, even if they are not yet aware of the names of the shapes. Young children need more time to grasp the specifics of each shape, such as the number of sides or appearance. Preschoolers’ grasp of two-dimensional structures is strengthened when given a lot of shape practice. Young children benefit from this form of understanding in many learning domains.
A few activities we can carry out at home to help children learn shapes are as follows.
- Start with 2D shapes: Parents can start with the most recognisable 2D shapes. The circle, triangle, square, rectangle, and oval are examples. Kids may quickly recognise these forms in the real world and through toys. Help your youngster notice the shapes as they appear naturally as you go about your day.
- Flashcards showing shapes: When teaching children, flashcards are a tremendously entertaining and engaging tool. They can be made by hand or purchased in stores. To create a collection of flashcards, you can draw various shapes on thick paper cards. Play some games with your kid with these cards. Ask your child to pick a card and identify the shape drawn on it. Keep a scoreboard and allow them to surpass their previous records.
- Puzzle games: There are two different kinds of puzzles accessible for kids to learn fundamental shapes. For children, the first one has pieces in simple, brightly coloured forms. These shapes must be mounted onboard using hollows that resemble the conditions. Preschool supply stores and toy stores carry these boards with pieces of basic shapes for kids. The second kind is a typical puzzle made up of more significant parts. When a child masters the fundamental conditions for kids, they can attempt to piece together a picture. To keep the difficulty level for your child low, we advise choosing simple puzzles with images of fruits and flowers.
- Drawing activities: Children love to draw! Encourage children to practise sketching shapes if they enjoy drawing. To assist children in drawing shapes with precise lines and perpendicular angles, you may also give them a ruler or other straight edge.
- Make use of Playdough: Clay or playdough is a great way to help children learn about shapes. They are easy to use, mould into different forms, and act fun and excitingly!
- Sensory games: Parents can also use sensory games to teach their children shapes. For instance: Parents can place various objects with different forms on a table. They can then tie a blindfold to their children and ask them to identify the object’s shape.
- Worksheets: Even though children learn best through play, worksheets have their place and time. Parents can sit for a short while and help children complete a task with a pencil and paper. Practice writing the shapes’ names, drawing, matching, sorting, or measuring them. Worksheets based on the identification of shapes or worksheets involving tracing the outlines of figures are an efficient way to help children learn shapes.
These were a few fun and easy methods to help your children learn shapes. Parents must keep in mind that each child is unique. Therefore, they must ensure that the approaches they employ are appropriate for their child. Due to underlying mental and physical problems, some youngsters may find it challenging to learn shapes. Parents need to be understanding and patient because experts best handle these situations. Learning shapes is key to understanding the environment around oneself. Therefore, teaching children about various shapes is essential to support their academic endeavours, and this can be done using multiple fun and enriching activities.