Have you seen children twirl around, again and again and again, spinning fast and slow until they feel giddy? Well, little children love round shapes, in fact the first squiggles that a little toddler draws on a piece of paper are round squiggles. The first shape he/she recognizes are round shapes.
A round ball may be your child’s first toy and the first shape that he/she recognizes. But is a ball round in shape or is it a sphere?
Yes, we commonly confuse balls as round, circle and sphere shaped. The ball is a sphere, a biscuit is round and a circle is what a teacher tells children to form by holding hands in class. So, a sphere is a 3 dimensional shape, round is a flat shape and a circle is the outer circumference of a round shape.
And children should always be taught both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes together! Yes this was advocated by Froebel the Father of Kindergarten and he would give children 3 dimensional shapes and have a song for each shape and so did Maria Montessori. She has ‘shape insets’ to teach children about flat shapes and she would recommend giving actual solid 3 dimensional shapes to children to hold and feel. This helps children better understand geometry in the later years.
The next time you want to buy a learning gift for your child, buy some Montessori toys.
Children love everything that looks round in shape; the moon, round biscuits, a ball. But some round shapes are good and some are bad! So lets explore the good and the bad round shapes that your child may experience:
- Round biscuits are fine but not if they are too salty or too sweet like many cream biscuits.
- Round pizza is very unhealthy for children unless of course mummy has made it at home with vegetables.
- Take your child and his/her favourite toy- the ball (sphere) to the garden and have fun with your child.
- The merry go round is a good activity for children to be involved in.
- A round watch or clock is good to teach your child the concept of time.
- Round sugar sweets are not good for children.
- Have fun going on a treasure hunt with your child, create three columns on a paper- write round, circle and sphere and then go around the house and try to identify as many shapes as possible and when you find these three shapes, write down the names of the object in the correct column.
- Similarly with other shapes teach your child the names of the 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes, so try to find these too:
- Square – what is the 3 dimensional square called?
- Triangle- what is the 3 dimensional triangle called?
- Rectangle- is there a 3 dimensional rectangle? What is it called?
Have fun with the round shape family and by doing this you will be giving your child a firm foundation of geometry for life.
Picture source: http://www.freepik.com
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