Inside: Here’s a fun toddler triangle shapes activity that is perfect for with playdough. The pressing motion is a great way to strengthen those hands and fingers, getting them ready for using writing tools. And it’s super easy to set up!
I am often asked how I teach shapes to our toddlers.
Truly, it’s all about exposure. And you can do this in many areas of your classroom or home.
For example, we’ve added shapes to our sensory bin after reading the book The Shape of Things.
We’ve used nesting blocks when stamping squares onto paper.
One of our circle time activities was going on a shape hunt, looking for felt circles.
So, this time I pulled out my big bag of jumbo buttons and came up with a fun way to expose our toddlers to the triangle with the added benefit of strengthening fine motor skills.
Toddler Triangle Shapes Activity that Also Builds Fine Motor Skills
What we used:
- Triangles from our big bag of jumbo shape buttons
- Matching colored plates or bowls
- Matchsticks (optional)
Now, you can adapt this depending on what you have. The most important 2 materials are the triangles and the playdough.
I happened to have matching plastic plates that I had purchased from IKEA a couple of weeks ago. Purely coincidental!
The main goal of this activity is to handle the triangles and press them into playdough, noticing the triangle imprint.
Setting up this toddler triangle shapes activity:
I placed some mounds of playdough on the table as well as the triangle buttons and plates during our free choice centers time.
While the first couple of children started working with the pieces, I looked at those small holes in the buttons and thought how fun it would be to add something that could be pressed through them.
That’s when I remembered the box of colored matchsticks in one of our classroom cabinets.
I pulled them out, added some to the table, and continued to observe.
Sure enough, after the buttons were pressed into the playdough, the children then pressed the matchsticks through the holes.
Talk about an extra fine motor challenge!
Some of the children even matched the sticks to the same colored buttons. Bonus! Now we had color recognition taking place as well as fine motor.
What I love about these types of activities is that in addition to being simple and building a variety of skills, they keep this age group focused for awhile. We all know how short their attention spans can be, so when I can find something that keeps them captivated for awhile, it’s a nice plus.
I simply left this activity on the table for the duration of centers time so that the children could come and go, as they do with all the different activities.
When finished, the materials were put away to be used again for a different activity.