Toddler and Pre-school Theme Days
Having a Triangle Theme Day is a fun way to teach/review/reinforce the shapes with your pre-schooler. I found it useful to do the basic shapes individually to emphasize the differences more clearly.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
I couldn’t think of any children’s songs or contemporary ones for this theme. Email us if you have any ideas.
Print out my Triangles Colouring Page with different sized triangles. Glue the finished picture in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
Guide your child to trace each triangle with his/her finger saying “1, 2, 3 triangle” each time to emphasize that a triangle has three sides.
TRIANGLE STICKERS OR CUT OUTS:
Materials: Triangle Stickers or triangle foam stickers or triangle paper cut outs, coloured paper, glue stick, and a face cloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Let your child choose what colour paper he/she wants for the background.
· Step 2: Give your child the stickers or cut outs and let him/her stick or glue them to the coloured paper in any design or manner.
Materials: Crayons and markers, coloured paper, child-safe scissors, glue stick, my Things That Are Triangular Colouring Page, face cloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Sit with your child as he/she colours each object on the colouring page.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the individual pictures.
· Step 3: Have your child pick the colour of paper he/she wants to use.
· Step 4: Fold the sheet of coloured paper into three parts (as if you were going to put it in an envelope) and cut it along the folds to make three rectangles.
· Step 5: Fold each of these three pieces of paper in half and cut along the folds to make six smaller pieces of paper.
· Step 6: Have your child apply glue to each coloured picture and glue each one to a separate sheet of small paper.
· Step 7: Help your child staple the sheets of paper together to make a little book.
· Step 8: Read the book together to review what triangles are.
· Materials: Coloured paper, old magazines, child-safe scissors, glue stick, face cloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and have him/her point out anything that is triangular in shape.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the triangle pictures to make a pile of triangle pictures.
· Step 3: Have your child pick the colour of paper he/she wants to use.
· Step 4: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the coloured paper to make a collage and then let him/her glue the triangle pictures on the paper however he/she wants.
· Step 5: When the collage is dry display (fridge, bulletin board, child’s door) or glue into the Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
Materials: A piece of hard construction paper (or simply paper from an old cereal box), scissors (for adult use), an art sponge for dipping in paint or a paintbrush paint, white paper, waxed paper, damp cloth for messy fingers, newspaper or plastic for covering the table, old t-shirts or art smocks.
· Step 1: cut the construction paper into a number of pieces of various sizes.
· Step 2: Fold each piece of construction paper in half and cut half a triangle (like a greater or less than sign < or > but with one edge perfectly parallel to the bottom of the paper). When you open each piece of paper you should have a triangle shape.
· Step 3: Have your child pick the colour or colours of paint he/she wants to use.
· Step 4: Lay the homemade triangle stencils on the white paper.
· Step 5: Show your child how to press an art sponge into the paint and press it on the stencils so that the paint presses onto the white paper leaving a triangle print when the stencil is carefully removed (or simply use paint brushes if you have no art sponges).
· Step 6: Let your child position the stencils around the paper and sponge paint over hem to create a triangle picture.
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about shapes.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about shapes.
Go to the library on your own to find books about shapes to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (type in “Triangles” or “shapes” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try to find these shape books:
· When a Line Bends...A Shape Begins, by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by James Kaczman, Houghton Mifflin company, 1997 – This rhymed book is a great review of ten basic shapes, focussing on how they are made by lines; great whimsical illustrations.
· Shapes Capers, by Cathryn Falwell, Greenwillow Books, 2007 – A group of five children have fun with five different shapes (circles, squares, triangles, semicircles, and rectangles) making different pictures.
· Museum Shapes, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Little, Brown and Company, 2005—Using art from various famous painters (Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh among others) throughout the world the shapes squares, circles, rectangles, triangles, ovals, arches, crescents, diamonds, hearts and stars are highlighted and reviewed.
Triangular crackers: We found some triangular Triscuits, see what your local grocery store has.
Using a small triangular cookie cutter cut a slice of cheese into little triangles or find some packaged in triangles.
Triangle Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
Put a slice of cheese between two buttered slices of bread (butter side outside) and fry in a skillet, turning to brown each side. Then cut the sandwich in half diagonally to make two triangles.
Samosas make a different a delicious triangular side (they are triangular stuffed pastries) with some East Indian or Moroccan flavoured chicken.
During the day make your favourite recipe for baked squares (like brownies) but cut them into triangles instead.
I debated about whether to include this one since we had a difficult time finding many triangles in our house, but maybe you’ll have more luck.
Materials: Small triangular pieces of paper (very easy to cut out your own), a pen, glue stick (if needed), print out of the List of Triangles I can See worksheet.
· Step 1: Explain to your child that you are both on a hunt for the triangles.
· Step 2: Walk through your house and/ or outside to look for things that are triangular in shape.
· Step 3: When your child finds something triangular you will write the name of the object on a slip of triangular paper and your child will stick the triangle on the chart using the glue stick.
· Step 4: At the end of the hunt sit down and count out loud together how many triangles you found. Review what you found by reading the chart out loud.
MAKE A SHAPE:
Using string, popsicle sticks, toothpicks or pretzels work together to make many shapes (use your child’s booklet or colouring page as a reference).
If your child has a shape sorting toy play with that (if it is a toy with more than one triangle, remove the other shapes and only play with the triangles).
If you have musical triangle play with that and make some triangular music.
Play “I Spy with My Little Eye” only searching for triangular things.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with the theme of teaching shapes.
Try to find some of these titles to review the shapes:
Baby Einstein: Baby Newton – All about Shapes, Baby Einstein Company, Walt Disney Home Video, 2002—with puppets, computer animated crayons and a clown made of shapes, plus videos of various toys and nature etc. to illustrate five basic shapes, this DVD is a great learning tool. It uses classical music plus a catchy song about shapes as well.
Baby Einstein: Discovering Shapes Circles, Squares and More – Baby Einstein Company, Walt Disney Home Video, 2007—This one focuses on circles, ovals, triangles, squares and rectangles without the computer animated feature of the first one, but has more puppets and video clips of various toys and nature etc.. This has great added features for more interactive learning with your child.
Blue’s Clues: Shapes and Colors, Viacom International Inc, 2003—Blue the dog and Joe go on a shape search while playing Blue’s Clues.
Brainy Baby: Shapes and Colors, The Brainy Baby Company, LLC, 2002 – This DVD uses classical music, original songs about the shapes, live action clips of children with shapes (of various ages) and of toys, plus a few computer animated things as well (Highlights 12 shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, star, heart, oval, diamond, crescent, pentagon, hexagon and octagon).
Sesame Street: Guess That Shape and Color, Sesame workshop, 2006—Elmo and Zoe and other friends on Sesame Street have fun with shape guessing games and searches .
Homemade Triangle Stencils
Triangle Stencil Painting
Play with a shape sorter that has triangular blocks for Triangle Theme Day.
Photo: C Wright