Dino Shapes by Suse MacDonald, board book, published by First Little Simon in 2014, previously published as Shape by Shape in 2009.
My toddlers are obsessed with dinosaurs at the moment. As soon as they saw this cute little board book, they wanted it. It has been read over and over and over… They love it. I also like it, it has been helpful in teaching them some shapes.
Each page is a bold colour, the text is easy to read and simple. It starts with two black circles for eyes, and each page uses a new shape in the story, adding detail to the dinosaur. There are cut-outs on the pages for each shape the story uses. These accumulate to provide the final picture. It is quite clever really, though as far as I know, Brachiosaurus didn’t have big pointy triangular teeth!
Inside the front cover there are also different shapes printed in bright colours with the name of the shape beneath each one. I often ask my toddlers to point out certain shapes before we read the story. They like to repeat the names of the shapes after I read them out too.
Dino Shapes comes in a sturdy board book format and is perfect for babies and toddlers.
During a recent trip to Bunnings I picked up some paint sample cards. Once we’d chosen the colours we wanted, it seemed a bit wasteful to toss the cards out, so we made a matching and memory game with them.
Ordering the numbers.
Each card had three shades of colour on it, so we separated each card into three. I wrote the words zero to ten on these cards, and L wrote the numbers 0 to 10 on more of the cards. We spread all these cards out on the floor, and A matched the numerals to the words. This was a great activity for learning to associate the numeral form with the word form of these numbers.
A placed the numbers in numerical order, and then matched the words to them.
Playing memory with the number cards.
We set the cards out right side down in a grid to play memory. The kids took turns turning over two cards at a time trying to make matches of the numbers to their names. We really enjoy playing memory, and we have several sets of picture memory cards that we often play with. Memory is a simple game for improving concentration, logic and memory and it helps kids learn about taking turns.
Matching ‘friends of ten’.
L used the cards to match the ‘friends of ten’. These are two numbers that add together to give ten, such as 4 and 6, 3 and 7, 10 and 0, etc. Knowing the ‘friends of ten’ is important for quick calculations and improving maths confidence.
We had enough paint colour cards left over to make a shapes version too, with the shape names on some of the cards, and the matching shapes drawn (imperfectly by me) on others. A named all of the shapes for me, and then I helped her match the words to the shapes. She was less familiar with the shape name words, so this was a harder task than matching the numbers to their names.