Tag Archives: outdoor activity for toddlers

Learning by Moving: Shapes

13 Dec

Other than naming them for her or pointing them out once in awhile, I hadn’t really sat down and presented Freestyle with a lesson about shapes. Freestyle knows circles, square, stars, and hearts just through everyday osmosis.

Taking advantage of the gorgeous day outside and the generosity of my neighbours’ for allowing us to deface their side of the driveway, I took Freestyle out for a “shape game” that would reinforce her knowledge of these shapes as well as give her an opportunity to kinaesthetically “experience” the shapes.

With sidewalk chalk, I drew a large circle and square, using a rake to help me make the looking shapes. It makes for a decent driveway ruler too.


To draw the circle I marked the centre with a dot and then kept the end of the rake on it while I moved the rake around in a circle, making marks as I went. Then I connected the marks. You could also use some string and have someone hold it in the centre while you move the other end around.


Shape Game 1: Running Laps (Circle)

We ran around (well, I walked quickly as I had Real Baby strapped to me in the carrier) and around and around…and around and around…and around! I chased Freestyle around the circle and then she chased me. Once in awhile I would emphasize the word “circle”: “Let’s run around the circle. This is a circle.”


Shape Game 2: Circling the Square (Square)

We walked and ran along the sides of the square. As with the circle, I’d say and emphasize the word “square.” I have to say, however, Freestyle much preferred the circle to the square! It’s more fun and easier to run around a circle than a square, I suppose!

To draw the square, I marked the centre again with chalk and then placed one of the rake there while I moved the other end to mark the four sides. Then I used the rake again to draw the sides, using the marks as a guides.


Shape Game 3: Circle or Square? (Both)

I would call out one of the shapes and Freestyle would run and jump into the middle of the shape. This one she liked too, especially when I would repeat the same shape to try to fake her out!



I wish there was room to add a triangle, but maybe next time! If you do not have a driveway, you could try a school playground– they may have a four square square and/or a basketball court with a circle on the pavement.





Simple Summer Fun Pt. 2: Walk the Line, baby!

26 Jul

Here’s a very easy and fun gross motor activity that’s perfect for summer: walking along a line! Got the idea from Living Montessori Now.

In Montessori Casa classes, you will usually find an ellipse made of tape on the floor created for children to walk along. Here’s a good explanation at infomontessori.com.


Too bad they don’t make driveway rulers. Was a bit hard to draw a straight line over the protruding belly! I made a “beam” because Freestyle didn’t seem to be able to walk with one foot in front of the other so I thought this might be easier for her. 


I also drew some “hopping circles” on the driveway because Freestyle loves to jump! I showed her how to hop from one circle to another.


About 6″ apart worked best for Freestyle.


Simple Summer Fun: Water Painting!

3 Jul

Water Painting

A bucket of water + a paintbrush + a surface + an enthusiastic toddler = simple summer fun! 

Perfect for you neat freak parents out there! 😉 All the fun, none of the mess!