Tuesday, 16 September 2014

10 ways to explore geometric solids

I had been debating whether to buy a set of Montessori geometric solids for our home, and it's one purchase I don't regret! There are so many ways to use them at different developmental levels. At 2 and a half, Finn explores them sensorially, through games, and absorbs so much about them: their geometric properties, their relationship to one another, their names, the way objects around us are derived from these basic solid shapes... and so much more I'm sure I can't even imagine. 
Here is a list of 10 geometric solids games and activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
1. Matching the solids to picture cards (downloadable here)  

2. Feeling the solids stereognostically with a mystery bag. Put two very different solids (say the cube and sphere) in the bag for a young toddler and show them the picture of one of them to find by touch only. Remember to say its name as young children absorb everything!

3. Free exploration using a mirror. Be sure to have a look at this post by Merci Montessori (in French).

4. Geometric solids and flour. An unusual combination, but a winner at our house! I wrote about it here.

5. Dusting/wiping the solids with a damp cloth - a great sensorial way to explore the solids.

6. Sorting household items into their matching solid shape. Finn had the cylinder, sphere and cube, plus a selection of items from around the house to match those solids. Choose some objects of varying sizes and textures.

 7. Making marks in playdough. I was thinking faces, he was thinking vertices!

 8. Sorting pointy/round solids. An engaging, hands-on way to introduce simple concepts. Finn had to think hard to sort the cylinder.
9. Learning the names of the geometric solids. Give the child plenty of opportunities to hear the names and resist the temptation to test them! Think of it as a gift of knowledge to your child.
10.  Sorting picture cards of everyday objects into the correct solid shape. You can download the cards here .
Can you add to this list? What are your favourite activities to do with the geometric solids?
Remember to pin this post if you found it helpful!



  1. C'est super intéressant tout ce qu'on peut faire avec ces formes. Tu as commencé à les montrer à Finn à quel âge? J'aimerai bien qu'Enola joue avec aussi, c'est possible à partir d'un an?
    Et au passage, Finn est trop beau!!! Quel grand garçon!

    1. Finn avait 2 ans passés quand on les a achetés. Tu pourrais laisser un bébé jouer avec le cylindre, sphere, ovoide et ellipse (ceux sans arretes et coins avec lesquels elle pourraient se blesser). Les solides Montessori sont assez chers (plus de 30 euros) donc tu ne voudrais pas qu'elle les lance a tout bout de champ, mais il existe des versions moins cheres qui seraient plus adaptées a un bébé (peut etre en plastique si elle met les objets a la bouche car la peinture de ceux en bois peut etre toxique).

  2. Interesting. My comment did not post. I suggested making paper geometric shapes. Some of them work by tracing the sides if the solid, cutting and taping.


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