All of my boys love to cut and stick, and often make great pictures out of different shapes. Even young children can make some really effective toddler art with shapes! Making pictures is a great way to encourage hands on learning for shapes as children touch, explore and practise naming the shapes as they work.
These are some of the pictures Mr T did over the past couple of years (age 3-4) using shapes to make up a bigger picture.
In some pictures it’s focused on one specific shape and in some pictures he’s used a mixture of lots of shapes. Both ways have their benefits. If you are starting to introduce shape names and want your child to get really familiar with each one then making a picture just out of circles to really get a feel for circles (for example) will be a fun way to learn.
Oval caterpillar. This caterpillar was made out of lots of ovals. You could use circles too. Using shapes with texture adds some extra tactile input and also gives the caterpillar a more realistic and interesting texture.
Using small shapes to fill in larger shapes. You can use this to focus on colours too, as Mr T has one colour per shape, or to make patterns and lines like in the bottom left picture. For very young toddlers, sticking a mixture of colours and shapes inside the outline would be simple and fun.
Train picture made by sticking shapes. Trains are aways very popular and luckily they can be made very easily with just a few simple shapes. This idea is likely to grab the attention of most toddlers.
Stamping shapes with okra on a paper doily. This is so pretty! The okra and the doily both have flowery shapes so it’s a fun way to look at how different things can have a similar shape, and also a fun way to introduce them to a new vegetable (not that Mr T will eat okra.. but maybe in future!! I love it myself)
Lolly sticks / popsicle sticks / craft sticks – whatever you call them, these are also a very handy tool for making shape pictures. This is a very basic house picture made by Mr T, but you could use more sticks and make it much more intricate depending on the age and stage of the child.
Most of these pictures were done by Mr T in his nursery (Montessori setting) while he was focusing on learning shapes. Since he did such lovely work and tried out some great ideas, I thought I would share to give others some inspiration for toddler art with shapes.
For more fun with shapes, see our post on introducing geometric shapes with shape cards and shapes on the light table.