I have used a few Montessori methods and materials to teach my toddler about shapes. We have used the three period lesson and some matching cards you can see us using here. While these are fantastic for language development and learning what shapes look like, I wanted to show and teach my toddler about how shapes interact.
I felt so strongly about this I tried with wooden shape tiles and patterning blocks but what I found most successful was using shapes on a magnetic board. The young child can put the shapes on the board and they stay there, they aren't easily knocked or moved. With this particular set my toddler can even pack the magnetic case up and move it to play elsewhere, which is useful as we are doing a lot of learning outside. Our Magnetic Case with Shapes is c/o Modern Teaching Aids.
The magnetic case with shapes allows the child to play, make patterns, make bigger shapes and scenes. I have observed an explosion in exploration, experimentation and interest in shapes!! Through free play my toddler is learning, he is teaching himself about how shapes interact.
When we first opened this magnetic case I tried to observe my toddler using it as much as possible. In the mornings it is the first piece of work he chooses from his shelves. I was surprised, blown away to see my toddler lining circles and squares up, putting three squares together from biggest to smallest, putting two triangles together to form a square, putting two semi-circles together to make a circle. Isn't he too little to be doing that? The thing is, children will learn through play and experimentation. They are able to teach themselves. Free play is educational, it is learning, free play can = maths and geometry!!
The shapes are important but my toddler couldn't make these discoveries without free play, time that is unscheduled and un-rushed, where he can work and concentrate uninterrupted. Also I wouldn't have known how he was using the materials if I was not observing.
I feel that children are more likely to learn from discoveries they have made themselves. It also leads to a love of learning. Let them play!
The Magnetic Case with Shapes also comes with 12-double sided cards which the child can use to recreate pictures and scenes. It is recommended for children 3 years+. Our Magnetic Case with Shapes is c/o Modern Teaching Aids. Modern Teaching Aids are still shipping educational materials Australia wide.
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