I apologize in advance if some of the pictures do not look too good today. My hubby had to borrow the camera I normally use and as such, I had to use my iPad during some of our activities!
Sorting shaped buttons
Purchased these colorful shaped buttons at Jo Ann's. There were several shapes in the bag but I stuck to squares and triangles only for this sorting activities. With all the colors involved, I figured it was confusing enough.
"Mystery bag" Textured squares
Hidden in this homemade silk bag were several squares made of different materials. I did not let her look at anything. She just put her hand in the bag and picked one and explored it. When she'd pull one out, I'd tell her it was a square and eventually, she'd say it herself. This bag contained the following squares: wood, plastic, foil, felt, foam, "sponge" and sticky double sided-tape. It really seem to sink in the square shape to have touched all these.
Outdoors sorting of shapes
Z loves being outside and I am making the most of it as the nice weather slowly draws to an end. For this activity, I drew shapes on the pavement using some chalk and then gave Z a bag containing foam shapes (purchased at Target in the dollar bins last year). I modeled how to sort. I took a shape, said its name and put it in the appropriate bigger shape on the ground. She was very successful and loved it.
Activity extension also liked by Zahavah: giving commands with the giant shapes on the ground. For example; jump on the circle, sit in the heart, touch the star, run to the square and meow, etc. It got her moving and so excited.
Stelline (aka pasta stars) collage
If you can find this small star shaped pasta (Stelline), your kids will not only love eating it, but also craft with it. Z was so happy to see these. They are truly tiny so be sure to supervise. I took out a piece of black construction paper and traced a star made of liquid glue on the paper. Then Z would grab some dried pasta with her hands from a small bowl and sprinkle it into the glue. Don't worry about your child putting too much. Once dried, the extra will fall off. We can't see it much (bad ipad!) but there is also a hint of glitter on each star which she also sprinkled after there was enough pasta. This original was first seen on Family Education.
Shape sorter by Fisher-Price
Mystery bag "Matching textured circles"
Similar to the activity listed above but this time, I provided two textures of each. Z tried to make a match getting them out of the bag. That was difficult the first time as she preferred to just discover the textures. :) Anyhow, I used: 2 wooden circles, two pompoms, two cottonballs, two felt cookies, two plastic balls, two glitter pompoms and two pistachios (careful allergic little ones).
Sponge shaped printing
After cutting some sponges into shapes, I gave them to Z. We did one shape&color at a time. At this age, too many colors/shapes can be overwhelming. At first, Zahavah stamped the shapes onto the paper and soon discovered that the sponges could also be dragged to paint. As an adult, you may feel like your child is not doing the activity "right" but the process of discovering art is much more important than doing it "right. Z had fun, learned along and that is all that mattered.
Shape hunting in the yard
Cut from foam sheets in different sizes and colors. I spread them around our yard and asked Z to bring me a circle, then a square and so on until all shapes were picked up. We repeated a few times. If your child is older, asking him/her to bring you 2 triangles or the the biggest star is something that could extend the activity.