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Playdough Geometry: Exploring 2D & 3D Shapes

Explore shapes with this hands-on activity using play- dough!  It's a great way to teach your preschooler or Kindergarten kiddo about 2D and 3D shapes!

2D playdough shapes

I love making learning fun in our homeschool...I try anyways! In an effort to do that, I find myself online a lot looking for inspiration.  My search led me to TeachersPayTeachers  where I found some cute printable shapes cards. 

And I decided right then we had to use them!

You just need a few materials and you are ready for some hands-on geometry exploring shapes for your preschooler or elementary aged student!  And if you homeschool with littles underfoot you can just let them explore just with playdough or add in some pipe-cleaners or straws.

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Play Dough Shapes Activity 


Using play dough and craft sticks is a great hands-on way to explore geometry-- the study of shapes, lines, and patterns!  

This activity is great for fine motor skills, too!  Not to mention that it is just plain FUN!  My oldest wanted a chance to build, too.

Making Shapes with Play-dough

Print and laminate the Shape Cards

Grab a tub or two of play dough and a stash of craft sticks {ours came from CraftProjectIdeas}.

Start with one of the shape cards and manipulate the playdough to make several balls. 

Next add in the craft sticks and continue until your shape is made!
Making basic shapes with playdough

I worked on some basic shapes with Little Sis-- the triangle, square, and rhombus.

This was also a great opportunity to expand her language as we typically call a rhombus a diamond.

As you construct the shapes talk about the different characteristics of each shape, its sides, and corners.

What makes a triangle a triangle?

How is a triangle different than a rhombus?

Building shapes with play dough

On the other side of the table, Big Brother went to work building a hexagon and then kept building off of it.  He ended up creating quite a creation of his own!

playdough geometry - making shapes

Here's his completed play dough and craft stick sculpture!  With the toothpicks on top, it reminds me of a castle or fortified city.

Pretty cool!

play-dough structures

It proved to be a great activity to work on math skills, but also allowed for exploration!

A winner for all ages!  You could easily eliminate the shape cards and just allow for free play and let your little engineers in the making build to their hearts content and see if they figure out how to make a shape all by themselves.

More Shape Activities: 

{click the photo to find out more!}

More fine motor activities:

Learn about our book! 
99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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