Concepts of shape and size
Shape and size are concepts that are important for children to learn about. They form part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, shape, space and measures , the questions asked is do practitioners know how to plan and implement activities to help children learn about this concept
There are many ways that the concept shape and size can be implemented into practice, activities and experiences need to be fun and enjoyable instead of presenting children with flashcards. Practitioners need to consider how children will learn the language that relates to shape and size, this is important as it will help children express and describe what they are seeing or touching. For instance at a glance children will identify objects according to their sizes for example during the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, children are able to identify daddy bears bed as being the large bed and baby bears bed as being the small bed. Children will grasp concepts if they are incorporated into fun and engaging activities, however it also require practitioners to use their skilful knowledge and tailor their questioning to the chosen item for example look you have the biggest spoon.
If opportunities to talk about shape and size are used everyday children will begin to learn the language and be able to use it in the right concept. Practitioners need to be mindful of asking closed questions, instead show interest in what the child is dong and ask them to talk about they are holding.
Examples of everyday learning opportunities to help teach children about shape and size
- Household tasks such as sorting clothes into different sizes
- Whist laying the table it may involve choosing crockery and cutlery of the right size.
- Washing up can provide opportunities for children to look at different shapes and sizes.
How can early years settings bring elements of everyday learning opportunities into practice?
- Set up a role play area with different shapes and sizes of fruits and vegetables
- Incorporate concepts into snack time- look at the different shapes and sizes of snack items
- Provide resources that offer opportunities for children to talk about shape and sizes, a good example of this heuristic play.
One of the ways children can learn about shape and size is by exploring jigsaw puzzles, children can learn many skills from using theses, such as problem solving, logic and perseverance. Knowing this information it is important to ensure settings have a range of jigsaw puzzles and to ensure they are presented in an attractive manner. With some jigsaw puzzles children may need the support from practitioners, this is an ideal opportunity to provide necessary guidance and help children feel pride in themselves for completing the puzzle.
Other types of play that can help teach concepts of shape and size
Construction play can help children learn about spatial awareness and problem solving. It can also provide many opportunities to talk about shape and size, as children love describing what they have made. For practitioners it is important to look at ways to encourage children to access this type of learning and in some instances it may involve adding elements of construction into other types of play for example small world and role play.