Bright Colors, Happy Shapes! 9 New and Fun Ways to Help Your Young Learner

Foster your child’s brain growth with some basic shape and color games.

Babies start distinguishing colors as early as six to eight months, and their depth perception and tracking come in around four to five months.1 So, even in these beginning stages, we can start to introduce ways to help their development along through friendly stimulation.

By the time first words start to come in, they are already starting to classify shapes, colors, and sounds. Researchers estimate that babies can tell the difference between male and female voices as early as seven months!2 So it makes sense that toddlers are ripe for learning activities that bolster neurological progress. Check out these great activities that do just that.

  1. Twister

This game is a classic, and it’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving, because both younger and older kids can play. When it comes to toddlers, you can skip spinning the wheel and simply call out a color that they can sit or stand on.

  1. Sponge Painting

Cut sponges into different shapes and provide bowls of different color paints. As they impress different shapes and colors onto the paper, you can ask your toddler to identify them.

  1. Geometric Popsicle Sticks

For a little more advanced shape identification, kids can arrange Popsicle sticks on the floor in patterns to form triangles, hexagons, and parallelograms.

  1. Shape and Color Hopscotch

Instead of numbers, draw a hopscotch form on cement with colors and shapes in each box. For an inside version, just cut construction paper into shapes and place them on the floor. As kids jump from shape to shape, they have to call out the shape and the color. This one is great for play dates too!

  1. Shape and Color Bingo

Again, replace numbers and letters with shapes and colors; you can draw them on the game board and then cut up construction paper in corresponding shapes, drop them in a hat, and draw them out one at a time. The first kid to achieve a full row, wins.

  1. Shape Hunt

Part treasure hunt and part shape and color game, use masking tape to make a few simple shapes on the floor, then have the kids scour the house for objects that match. They can put their found objects in the corresponding shape, and you can even set a timer to make it a little competition.

  1. Block Sorting

If you have some classic Melissa and Doug blocks, you can play a game with sorting them into different colors and shapes. Divvy the blocks up evenly and randomly between each kid. Grab some larger containers and label them with pictures that match the shapes, then call out the names and the kids can race to sort their pile.

  1. Tinker Toys

When your children are ready to move up a level, they can start making dimensional shapes, like pyramids and cubes. Tinker Toys are another basic activity that stays relevant for a long time.

  1. Shape City

Gather up three-dimensional objects like cans, balls, and boxes, and let the kids stack them up into a skyline. This will seriously keep them entertained for hours.

These activities are the building blocks for math and science, and engaging with them is super fun for both your kids and for you. Watching them move from the basics to more abstract and complex forms is so satisfying as a parent. It’s an easy way to play, and you can pat yourself on the back for aiding their development.




About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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