Learning about Shapes


    Your baby will enjoy learning about shapes, for he discovers the surrounding world all the time and the world is made of shapes.

    Show your baby the pictures of the shapes: square, circle, triangle, rectangle, star.

    Then find the objects that are square, circle, triangle and rectangle like these: a cushion, a picture of the Sun, a sail of the boat, a book, a starfish.

    Then play with shapes sorter together with your baby. Or you can make it yourselves: cut shapes out of the cardboard box.

    Start saying the rhyme. You should play voice:

    – you are looking for a shape,
    – the shape is answering to you.

    While saying, you can make shape movements.

    Shapes are all around us,
    Just open your eyes and see.
    Circle, circle, where can you be?
    “I am the yellow Sun!
    Just look at the sky, and you will see me!”
    Square, square, where can you be?
    “I am a cushion. You are sitting on me!”
    Triangle, triangle, where can you be?
    “I am a sail on a boat sailing in the sea!”
    Rectangle, rectangle, where can you be?
    “I am a book and you read me!”
    Star, star, where can you be?
    “I am a starfish, and I crawl in the sea!”

    Feel free to create your own melody and to sing this song.

    You should know

    – Shapes can be learnt visually, physically and in a tactile way.

    – The shapes sorting games are essential for developing spatial and geometrical abilities in your baby.

    – Such rhymes help the infants develop phonemic awareness for pre-reading and help to develop the rhythm sense.

    – Even week-old babies can recognize patterns. Research has shown that babies can differentiate shapes at the age of 2 months old.

    – Games with the shapes develop visual memory and a quick eye.

    Numerical Mathematics and Spatial-Temporal Mathematics

    Shapes are a sub-division of mathematics. They belong to the spatial-temporal category. Gordon Shaw and Frances Raucher found in 1994 that groups of preschoolers who had daily keyboard instruction and singing lessons for 8 months did much better in spatial-temporal reasoning than the other children of the same age. They showed a big advantage in copying geometrical shapes, solving mazes and puzzles etc. this means that they were more able to manipulate geometrical forms in their heads, build 3-dimensional models and appreciate shape, movement and time. This study was repeated successfully many times.

    “Piano instruction is thought to enhance the brain’s ‘hard-wiring’ for spatial-temporal reasoning, or the ability to visualize and transform objects in space and time,” Shaw said. “Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time.”

    “Proportional math is visually introduced during the sixth grade, and has proven to be enormously difficult to teach the most children using the usual language-analytic methods,” Shaw said.”Not only the proportional math is crucial for all college-level science, but it is the first academic hurdle that requires the children to grasp underlying concepts before they can master the material. Rote learning simply does not work.”

    How does this concern the learning about shapes by infants?

    1. Some of the infants are not just 2 years old. Gordon Shaw and Frances Raucher worked with 3- and 4-year olds.
    2. The Shapes rhyme daily repeated in the infants’ heads will help with their spatial-temporal development.
    3. This seems to be an opportunity for learning spatial-temporal reasoning. When playing with the shapes sorter, the infants become aware of the difference between 3-dimensional geometrical shapes and the method of turning forms around until they match with a hole.

    Note: when working with a shape sorter  the shapes are 3D ones. And square, circle, triangle, rectangle and star are 2D shapes. Instead the shape sorter shapes are technically: cuboid, sphere, square-based prism and star-based prism.

    The choice is yours whether give these terms to your baby at present or not. However, It’s OK if you decided to show her the difference between the 2D and 3D shapes with the appropriate terminology. Technically even the thin shapes called square, circle, triangle, rectangle and star are 3D the moment they are not a line or a dot.


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