One of the key things that I have learned about effective learning methods since Darah started at a Montessori school is the importance of being able to move away from learning in the abstract. For example, when it comes to learning shapes, simply studying flash cards of circles, triangles and squares is not sufficient for a mind to fully grasp and commit a shape to memory. The shapes need to be understood in the context of every day life.
That’s one of the reasons that I’m really enjoying a game available at Learning Resources called Shape Sorting Presents. This game comes with 6 boxes, each a different shape, and 90 cards with everyday objects that represent one of the 6 shapes. Each box has a slot at the top so that children can drop the cards into them.
Darah really enjoys sorting objects right now, so this game is perfect for her. I would have told you before we got this game that she had already mastered her shapes, and that is true in their abstract form, but now that we are looking at every day objects and thinking about their shapes, I see that we have more work to do. I’m so glad we have this game, because it is helping her think about objects and shapes in a different way than she had before, and I know that by doing this, she is starting to truly understand what makes a shape (straight lines or not, even sides or not, etc.). She can also see shapes now even when the object isn’t 100% like a shape drawing (a throw pillow with fringe, for example, is still in a square shape).
As Darah masters these skills a bit more, we’ll still be able to use this game to do things like go on shape hunts in the house and find objects that match with the cards.
I recommend Shape Sorting Presents as an excellent resource for your home or for a pre-k or kindergarten classroom! Since there are 6 boxes, more than 1 child can play at once. This retails for $32.99 and can be purchased at Learning Resources online.
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Disclosure: I received a complimentary product for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.