Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shape Monsters

(4 Years)

I actually did something similar to this with my fifth graders to review plane geometry.  So, when I saw this on the wall of one of the potential pre-k schools for this Fall (it looked just like this post here), I knew we would be creating our own shape monsters.

The set up for this can be as elaborate or simple as you'd like.  We worked on some basic shapes: circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, trapezoids and triangles.  The set-up for this took a little less than five minutes.

Materials needed:
Various colors of construction paper- we use the heavier stock, it's easier for them to work with
Glue sticks
Large pre-cut shapes for your monster's body
Smaller pre-cut shapes for body parts, horns, antennae, arms, legs, facial features...

I invited Little Miss and Wild One over to the kitchen table, "Who wants to build shape monsters with glue sticks?"  That's all it took.  I had two eager monster mechanics ready to design and create their shape monsters.

While they were busy working, Little Miss was having her monster talk to her.  I love their imaginations.  When they were finished with their creatures, I asked what they named it, and to tell me about the monster.  Little Miss created Sailor, because he is in a sail boat.  Wild One created Wolfie, who has very sharp teeth and no arms, but he does have a horn on his head!

Before wrapping this art project up, I asked each of them about the shapes they chose to use for their monster.  I asked for them to point to and count each shape.  I wrote the numbers down for Wild One, but Little Miss wanted to write her own numbers.  We haven't practiced writing numbers yet.  I was curious as to what they would look like.  She asked me to write a number 2 for her, so I did on a scrap piece of paper.  Her's came out pretty darn good!

While Little Miss was writing the number of shapes that she used, Wild One asked if he could make another monster.  I love it when they want to keep working.  His new monster has six arms and three legs, but NO nose!  I love how emphatic he gets when he's excited, it's not just with his voice, he also emphasizes with his gestures.

This art project helps to strengthen their fine motor skills, develop hand-eye coordination, reinforces the names of the shapes, fosters creativity, and prepares them for holding a pencil.  Plus, it's a lot of fun.

This is us, learning through play.  Happy Wednesday!

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