Have two geoboards of some type in the play area along with rubber bands of different sizes. A geoboard is a wooden or plastic board with pegs, screws or other posts, around which children place rubber bands to make shapes. Alternatively, tangrams can be used, but children like the manipulation of the rubber bands to create their own shapes.
Let the child explore the geoboard independently. The adult can do the same with his own board. The child will watch the adult and begin to make shapes. Have a discussion about what each of you are making. Once the adult knows the child can create and name different shapes, play a game. Ask the child to make something with two rubber bands (or tangram shapes) and see if you can make one like hers. Then say, “Your turn. See if you can make one like mine.” Create a simple shape combination.
The child names all basic shapes.
Recognition and imitation is prerequisite to creation. Once the child understands the shapes and how they can be combined, she will want to build with them and draw them. The child will begin to understand the differences among the variations of triangles, for example, and explore balance and symmetry in constructions.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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