Inspire communication and cooperation, nurture sensitivity, counter restlessness ... learn how colors and shapes of your child's stuffed animals, plush toys, soft sculptures and baby mobiles can influence their happiness and confidence.
Color and shape are ways children observe and categorize what they see. These very recognizable characteristics encourage children to define and organize the diverse world around them.
According to Ellen Booth Church, a former professor of early childhood and a current educational consultant, the first teachings of colors and shapes in preschool and kindergarten are essential basics that children need to know before they learn the "other basics" of reading, writing, and math. For example, when your child learns to discern the similarities and differences between colors and shapes, he or she is using the same skills needed to recognize the differences between letters and numerals.
When young children are asked to mathematically sort objects (such as leaves, rocks, shells, or keys) they usually use the most obvious attributes of color and shape, plus size, to categorize the items. When your child plays, he oe she uses sorting and classifying skills as they observe similarities and differences of color and shape, makes comparisons, and organizes this information into piles. This seemingly simple process is the foundation for living in a mathematical world.
The Importance of Color
You have probably heard the pride in your child's voice as she names the colors of the balloons at the store checkout, or her delight when she realizes that a banana and pear are different shades of yellow. These are all perfect examples of how children (and adults!) use color as a means for defining and organizing the world.
But there is much more to your child's understanding of color than "knowing his colors." While it is important for him to know the names of the colors, it is just as important for him to know what to do with them. You can help by inviting him or her to notice many shades, hues, and tints. Make up names for these colors together, such as lemon yellow or apple red. You will be helping him use color as a means for creative thinking and language. Invite him to use descriptive language as he tells you how one green is different from another. Ask, “Which green is dark like a Christmas tree and which one is light like celery?"
Find more games and activities about color.
The Power of Shape
We all use shape as a way of identifying and organizing visual information. Very early, your child begins to make a connection between familiar objects and their shapes.
When your child explores different shapes, she is using one of the most basic educational processes: the observation of same and different. This concept provides her with a basic process that she will be able to use in observing, comparing and discussing all she sees and encounters.
Shapes are also symbols. Not surprisingly, the early recognition of shapes relates to your child's ability to read symbols otherwise know as letters. Capital letters are made mostly of circles (or parts of circles) and lines. The first step in understanding letters is the ability to know the difference between a circle and a square or rectangle.
Find more shape and size activities.
Of course, where would the world of art be with out color and shape? Explore the Funny Friends together with an eye for color and shape. Help your child see the way the artist has used colors and shapes to create. Bring out the paper and paints and encourage her to create her own art in the style of her favorite illustrator!
Funny Friends makes quality stuffed toys, plush art, soft sculptures and mobiles designed to be perfect playmates and make learning fun through role play, imagination, creativity and movement.
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