Here’s a fun way to sneak in some geometry with your preschooler or kindergartner…go on a shape
search with a pair of homemade binoculars.
- Two toilet paper rolls/binocular
- Hole punch
- Small craft items such as pompoms, feathers, “jewels”, glitter, etc.
Part 1: Making the Binoculars
In advance, glue the two toilet paper rolls together to make the binoculars. When dry, punch two holes,
one on either side of the toilet paper rolls about ¼ inch from the edge. Cut a piece of yarn about 32”
long and tie it through the holes in the binoculars.
Now the fun part. Your child gets to decorate their binoculars using all the small craft items. It’s easiest
if only the top of the binoculars get decorated. If your child is using feathers, make sure he doesn’t glue
on the feathers so they stick out and poke him in the eye when he goes to look through them!
Consider making your own binoculars as it’s more fun to search for shapes together.
Part 2: The Search
After the glue has dried, you’re ready to go on your hunt. There are a couple of ways to do this. One
way is to search around the house and/or yard for shapes such as the rectangle of the door or the circle
of a plate. The other way is to place “shape” objects around the yard, such as coins (circles) and books
(rectangles) that your child collects on the search.
In advance of the search, review the shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, etc.
Now you’re ready to go! Keep track of how many of each shape you find. Were you surprised at how
many shapes we are surrounded by in our environment when we take the time to look for them?
As a variation, use the binoculars to go on a pattern search.
Karyn Hodgens, Elementary mathematics Specialist
Karyn is co-founder of Kidnexions, an educational company specializing in kids' money and elementary mathematics. She has a BA in Child Development, a Masters of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Elementary Mathematics, and a multiple subjects teaching credential. Her passion is designing real-world lessons that resonate with kids and their interests. Karyn is the creator of Nifty Numbers and Math Medley Family Math Night kits which were designed to build strong family-school partnerships and get parents involved on an academic level. She is currently working on her third Family Math Night kit. www.kidnexions.com