Who doesn’t adore indulging in games and activities? These are apparently the pre-eminent pedagogies for little ones. While gamification and indulging in activities can be the modus operandi for basics like phonics and alphabets, instructors can also employ these to preach other notions like shapes and colors too. One such shape which must be taught to a student during early years is the triangle shape. But would the conventional methods be adequate in aiding the little learner comprehend the triangle shape fully?
For this purpose, educators can use activities to create an appealing bond between students and the triangle shape. In this post, we will look at 8 such activities that would be advantageous for a preschooler learning to identify and draw a triangle.
Learning based activities to teach triangles to preshcoolers
1. Using Triangle Shaped Stamps
Educators can make triangles out of cardboard, thermocols, etc. Little learners can use these pieces as stamps in a very simple manner for some extra fun educational playtime. Apart from this, you can also use triangle-shaped erasers, sponges, and even utensil boxes as stamps.
All you have to do is take the stamps and dip them in the colours of your toddler‘s choice. You can paste them in any pattern on a plain sheet of paper. Better yet, get your toddler to do all the work by themselves. This can be a great learning experience that does not get that messy either.
2. Draw Those Triangles
While drawing can be an everyday activity for a pre-schooler, it is also essential as it is a big step for a child to use crayons or pencils to form a shape. By helping them create an outline, the kids can trace over the outline and draw a perfect triangle! Other than this, educators or parents can also place three dots in the form of a triangle. Later, the child can connect these dots, which will challenge them to use their spatial perception, and they will have to figure out how to get from one point to another. Start with small to medium-sized triangles and increase the size.
3. Gum it Up!
Take out a large construction paper and draw some triangles of different sizes, but just the outline. Now cut out triangular shapes of the same size from another thick paper or cardboard that you have drawn on the paper. Get the child to paste the correct sizes in the correct positions. Educators and parents can also use post-its for this activity. This will teach them how to fit things within the lines. Try to face the triangles in different directions and get them to paste it correctly. This will prove to be quite a challenging and fun exercise for your preschool child.
4. Rainbows and Triangles
This is a fun activity that will teach them the importance of differences in size. What you can do to make this a better experience is to get them to colour each triangle based on the size. Draw outlines of 5-6 triangles. Make sure that at least two of them are of the same size. Now instruct the child to colour the biggest triangle using one colour and the smallest using another. Also, ask them to colour similarly sized triangles using the same colours.
5. Play-Doh, Say no more!
While this game might be a little messier; however, the fun that comes along with this one would make you not regret the plight. Get at least 3 to 4 differently coloured Play-Dohs to help you with this activity. You might want to get a pair of gloves as well and start working on the clay to get those triangular shapes going. Prepare an outline on a sheet over which you can get the child to place the triangles that they create. Again, mix and match the colours and have as much fun as you can.
To make things even more entertaining, kids can make triangles of different sizes and colours, and later, educators and parents can jumble them up and ask the little learners to arrange them according to their colour or size. This would help them establish differentiation skills and teach them much more about colours, sizes and triangles altogether.
6. Figures with Triangles
Learning the triangle shape is just not about drawing it. It is also crucial that kids understand and are able to identify a triangle-shaped object once they see it. Educators and parents can carry out this activity to give the student an old book or a newspaper and find all the triangle-shaped images they see like advertisements of pizzas, cheese, sandwiches, roadsigns, house roofs, etc.
You can also ask the child to identify at least 5 such triangle-shaped images and then circle them with different colors. This would not only help them understand the shape better but also comprehend its practical usage. Moreover, they would build a skill to identify the shape easily.
7. What Objects Are Triangle Shaped?
Much like the activity ‘figures with triangles,’ this one is different as in this activity, kids need to draw out objects which are triangles in shape. For example- a pizza slice, the top of a hut, a mountain, etc. To make it more exciting, you can ask the children to make certain figures out of triangle cutouts. For example, making a man out of triangles– the kids can use triangles to make a face and the body. This activity is unique and would keep the little learners entertained. Moreover, since the activity triggers creativity, this would also help them build creativity, along with critical thinking skills.
8. Make Triangle Shaped Snacks
While we wouldn’t recommend putting out Doritos and hoping that your toddler recognizes that to be a triangle, it is not a bad idea to involve tasty treats as part of the learning exercise. Many things can be shaped to be a triangle. You can slice apples, carrots, potatoes, nuggets, and many other snacks in the form of triangles of different sizes.
To make it further interesting, you can cut out various other shapes such as circles, squares, and rectangles, out of food items such as bananas (for circles), cakes (for rectangles and squares), etc. Now, you can encourage the little one to identify which snack is shaped like a triangle amongst the other-shaped snacks.
Why learning based activities matter in preschool education ?
1. Create a long-lasting impression
When you think back and ponder upon your own learning experiences, you will note that when you are actively involved in the learning process, you absorb information that stays with you for a long time. Children are in a similar position when they are introduced to fun activities as opposed to classroom learning. Shapes are fundamental things that must be learned about at a young age. It is quite difficult to make anything fun for a toddler and grasp their attention for long enough. This is why such activities become important.
2. Improve their skill set and perception
During preschool, kids are at such an age where they can be moulded easily. This means that they are quick to absorb things and develop their perception about what they learn. It is important to introduce engaging activities to keep their minds occupied and active. They will learn to use their senses better and understand the world around them. You can also incorporate knowledge of other things such as safety, using different objects, cleaning up messes, etc.
3. Establish a positive student-teacher relationship
It is proven that high-quality teacher-student relationships facilitate learning and improve engagement in any game or activity that the preschooler participates in. When preschoolers have an established and positive relationship with their teachers, it fulfils their developmental need for a connection, thus, enhancing learning.
With facilitated learning, the preschooler may feel more enthusiastic and engaged in what the teacher encourages them to do, i.e., activities and games in this reference. An enthusiastic preschooler (or a student of any age) should be better at grasping concepts and the aim of the activity because of the increased willingness to participate.
4. Reinforces Positive Learning Memories
Playing activities to introduce preschoolers to a concept in learning can help reinforce positive learning memories. It may be possible that while playing these activities, kids can associate them with happy memories that they create while playing these activities.
For example, when you teach a student how triangles look using a slice of pizza, it is possible that when the child sees a pizza again, they immediately trace back to the time of the activity, simultaneously associating it to happy memories they created while playing the activity.
Getting your toddler to recognise a triangle as a triangle is in itself a big deal. Try to make this a fun and very stress-free experience for the preschooler who is just learning to learn. You can use these activities as an excellent way to connect with the child as a person and understand how they perceive the world.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way at this age. Appreciate everything that they do and make sure that you show them that their work is important. You can stick the crafts onto the refrigerator or take pictures for memories.
- Rimm-Kaufman, S. (2010, April 19). Improving students’ relationships with teachers. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/education-career/k12/relationships2.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,