I've had my eye on the idea of pattern blocks for a long time now. I actually have a set of tangram animal puzzles sitting upstairs, one I bought last year during a pre-holiday sale, but I don't think the girls are quite old enough for them.
In the meantime, I stumbled across a tub of magnetic foam shapes at our local parent-teacher store. I originally bought them with travel in mind, thinking the girls could play with them while we drove to North Carolina a few weeks ago. I held out on that idea, though, and decided to introduce something new yesterday.
After stressing that these were "special toys" that could only be played with in the presence of Mommy or Daddy (because of the small parts), I dumped out the contents of the tub, and the girls were intrigued at all the pieces.
I quickly showed them how to make a couple of basic things...a flower, and a house...and they were off!
The girls played for a full hour in the morning, and then again for more than that in the afternoon. (I played right alongside them, and had a blast, too!)
At first they started making free-form creations, and telling me they were making "cats" or "bunnies" or "houses".
|Here's B, making a cat (you can see one green ear, a green nose, and a red mouth...the yellow hexagons were "fur, all around"). Next to B's cat is a star-turned-triangle I made. :)|
|Lots of small green triangles to flank Baby A's stack of trapezoids. She kept working on it beyond this, too! She told me it was a Christmas tree, and she added different colors around it for decorations.|
Later in the day, the girls wanted to look at the booklet that came with the shapes. B was intent on me helping her lay out a pretty complicated quilt pattern. She worked so hard on it!
The more they played with the shapes, the more they seemed to get the hang of what angles would fit with what shapes.
And the more my mind began to spin, the more giddy I got at all the mathematical applications. In addition to "geometry", I think the shapes will be a great representation of fractions, too.
The girls don't have to know any of that, though...as far as they know, they're making flowers and houses and trees and stars. Shhhh...don't tell them they're learning!
I'm linking up with my sweet friend Julia at Pontifications of a Twin Mom for her weekly series, "Mama Loves". This mama loves geometry...color shapes...cool magnets...and fun ways to learn.