We haven’t pulled the painter’s tape out since we took a break from our painter’s tape letters.
But we’re working on shapes right now, so it was a prime opportunity to pull it out again.
Noah was so funny. When he saw I was getting out the blue tape, he got all excited and headed for the front room where we’ve always done the letters. It’s nice to see he remembers and associates items with activities and places.
As you can tell by the photo, we did a little more than just walking the shape this time. I found this activity kept growing and stretching, and we wound up spending quite a bit of time on it, which made the preparation well worth the effort. This was a developmentally appropriate activity for both Bella (4) and Noah (5 with Down syndrome).
Activity: Pergo Shapes – Squares
Materials Needed: Painter’s tape, index cards, black marker, either toy vehicles or plastic animals or figures that can “walk” or “drive” the square.
- Create a large square (at least 24″ by 24″) with painter’s tape directly on the floor or sidewalk.
- Number index cards 1 through 4. Tape cards, in order, in each corner of the square, with each card facing the proper way when you walk the square (see above picture).
- Cut two index cards into fourths. Write 1 through 4 on cut cards, each number should be written twice. Fold cards so the number is not visible.
Vocabulary Focus: Shape, square, sides, four, corners, straight, go, stop, turn, in, out, on, jump, hop, stand, walk, shake, head, hand, arm, leg, foot.
Directions for Play:
1. Show your child the square you created and talk to him using vocabulary like shape, square, sides, corners, turn and straight. Then count the corners with your child using the cards as cues. Try talking while pointing, and then try a little kinesthetic learning by having your child start at 1 on his knees and scooting along the line, using the vocabulary as he goes.
2. Have your child stand on the number 1 and walk the square. Give him verbal cues, “Walk straight to the 2. Stop. Turn. Walk straight to the 3. Stop. Turn. Walk straight to the 4. Stop, turn.
3. If your child is developmentally able, now give one direction at a time, but tell him to wait until you say go. This helps build memory and allows him to internalize and fully process the direction before following it.
4. Have your child choose one of the folded up pieces of paper you put numbers on. Allow him to open it and place it on the corresponding floor number. Now let him put one of his objects on that same number. Have him pick another number and match it again. Let him drive or walk his object to the second number from the first along the lines of the square. Have him say straight and turn as appropriate. Continue with the remaining numbers, starting with a new object every third card.
5. Have your child stand outside the square. Give him instructions for verbs to do in, out and on the square like, “Jump in the square,” “Turn outside of the square,” “Stand on the square.”
6. Call out body parts for him to shake in and out of the square, i.e. “Shake your hand (head, arm, hand, foot, leg) in (out of) the square.”
I highly recommending leaving this activity up for a few days, not just so you can repeat it, but you may be amazed at how many things your children will find to line up on the square or otherwise use it for. Ideas? Cars, blocks, army men, plastic animals, legos, trains, stuffed animals.