Recently we wrote about 3-Dimensional drawing. This can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to strengthen spatial skills. Naturally we became very excited when one of our readers shared a picture of her toddler experimenting with 3-Dimensional shapes. We love her idea, it is a brilliant way of introducing the concepts of 3D drawing, discussed in our earlier article, with your toddler.

Stefanie Schwartz has drawn the front view of various shapes for her toddler to replicate using Lego blocks. Once the object has been built using the lego blocks her child is then able to see what it looks like from all angles and the 2D image is now seen and explored in 3D. This can also be used as an introduction to drawing 3D shapes with older children, as once they have built the object from the front view, they can then explore the side and top views, as is the convention with representing 3D shapes in 2D. For kids with great spatial skills you can take this further. For example, you can ask them to build two 3D objects with the same front view but different side views. You can also have kids draw their shapes on special isometric grid paper to practise their drawing and visualisation.

As this can appear to be quite abstract to young children, using the simple method illustrated above can help them to develop their spatial skills and of course general spatial awareness.

Using the same materials we can also help to enhance our children’s estimation skills by simply arranging some blocks together and tracing the outlines. This time do not draw the individual blocks in the image and ask your child to guess how many blocks each outline would hold. No doubt they will begin with silly answers like 50 but after a couple of turns, of laying the blocks on the paper to fill the outlines, their answers will quickly become refined to something more realistic.

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This clever Mummy, Stefanie also made her son some simple shape puzzles. This was all part of her busy bag of activities to keep her little one occupied on the airplane. Maths activities are always an excellent source of entertainment and fun which can keep the kids busy during long car and plane trips. And the fact that they are educational, what a bonus! We’d love to hear how you’ve kept your children busy on any long journeys you’ve had. Thank you Stefanie for allowing us to share your ideas with our community.

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