For Parents

For Parents

Shape Sorter

Shape sorters come in all shapes and sizes. This is one of our favorites because it’s two toys in one!  Even though shape sorters seem like “educational” toys, all of our general toy recommendations still apply.  That means letting your child lead and making it fun. We’ve included some ideas of what words and sentences you can say in italics.

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Simple Play:

  • Pull the truck by it’s red string. (Truck. You’re pulling it.)
  • Push the truck around the room. (He’s driving. The truck is going fast.)
  • Spin the barrel of the truck. (It’s turning.)
  • Fill the shape sorter up and let your child dump them out the back. (The shapes came out).

Combination Play:

  • Put the shapes in the shape sorter. If putting the shapes through the holes is difficult for your child and is getting in the way of having fun, you can put them halfway in and let the child push them in the rest of the way. (Circle. The circle is in.)
  • Stack shapes on top of each other to make a tower, if possible. (It’s a tower. It fell down.)
  • Drop the shapes into any container — salad spinners can be especially fun! (The shapes are in.)
  • Put toys other than shapes through the holes in the shape sorters. Pegs, puzzle pieces, popsicle sticks, and anything else that fits will work!
  • Put the man in the driver’s seat. (The door is open. He’s in the truck. The door is closed.)

Symbolic Play

Shape sorters can be fun to pull out again when your child’s play skills have advanced to substituting one object for another.

  • Pretend that the man works as a garbage man. Have him put the shapes in his truck, get in his truck, drive to a different location, and unload them out the back.
  • Pretend that the shapes are different foods. You can play “chef” and use the shapes to cook up some yummy soups, smoothies, and salads.