Developing Early Math Skill: Exploring a Star Shape

Alula has been learning about shapes through books and play. Occasionally, I have been telling Alula about shapes we found anywhere by pointing it. As she couldn't speak yet. I'm not sure if she gets it. Until recently, she would shout, "Taaa!" (star) every time she spots a star shape.

So, today activity is about the star. For this activity, Mama uses a colourful washi tape, a kind of masking tape in a cute and colourful design. Actually I can use a masking tape. But it's too plain and I thought it would be less fun, hehe..

washi tape

So, I made a star shape on the floor using the washi tape. Because of my low level of art sense, the star shape is a bit wonky. Never mind, the most important thing is Alula knows that Mama meant to make a star out of it. Once the star ready, we started to play with it.

Game 1: Put Everything Inside

In the first game, Mama asked Lulu to put her toys inside the star. First of all, I gave her examples how to do it. In a few minutes later, she started to grab her toys and put them inside the star. Sometime she put the toy nicely inside the star, but some other time she threw the toy into the star but it bounced and landed outside the shape, haha. But still, we clapped together to "celebrate" her success.  

Lesson from this game:

  • Lulu brushed her language skill by listening Mama's commands
  • Alula learned few new words and objects, like pizza, corn, lettuce and bitter melon
  • Moving the toys helps to exercise hands and eyes coordination
  • Lulu learned the concept of inside and outside
  • Attention span

Game 2: Jump!

The second game is more physical. All we need to do is jump inside the star. How was it going? Apparently Lulu cannot jump yet. She only made a step, haha.. No problem, Lulu. Let's try again later!

Lesson from this game:

  • Focus and estimation
  • Muscle exercise

In the late afternoon, we took Alula to the park to have some outdoor activities. We assumed that she will love to play water in the wet playground, but it seemed that she was not in the mood to get wet. Instead, she walked around the park and played along with other kids.

While she played and Mama was taking her video, Alula suddenly rushed to go to one area in the park. We chased her worrying she might trip as she walk. To our surprise, she stopped and say "Taaa!" while pointing a star shape on the ground. Ahhh.. she spotted a star! Well done, Lulu!

Alula excitedly showing Mama that she spotted a star shape, shouting "Taaa!" (star!)

Recognising shape is a foundation of early math skill, especially building spatial sense. In a more advance step, repeated shapes in pattern help children learn to make predictions, to understand what comes next, to make logical connections, and to use reasoning skills.

That's it for today. Let's explore more shapes tomorrow!