I’m happy to share some fun extensions for work with geometric solids, including mathematical reasoning, fine motor skills, and even manners.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spielgaben. All opinions are honest and my own.
Geometric Solid Dressing, Wrapping, and Gift Giving and Receiving (Manners Practice)
The wooden cube, sphere, and cylinder are from the Spielgaben box 2, which consists of two 2-inch cubes, two 2-inch spheres, and two 2- inch cylinders. Rings are attached to one of the sets, allowing the child to suspend the geometric solids from the crossbeam, crossbar and pillars, which are also included. The resource materials that come with the Spielgaben complete set contain many, many more ways to use box 2 than the examples I’m sharing here.
The activities I’m sharing (except for the tray and the manners activity) come from page 22 (“Make your own clothes”) of the 135-page Spielgaben Playguide, Part 1.
Geometric Solid Dressing and Wrapping Tray
This tray contains the materials needed for both dressing geometric solids with paper (I used colored typing paper) and wrapping geometric solids with aluminum foil. You could have aluminum-foil wrapping on a separate tray if preferred.
Geometric Solid Dressing
This is a great activity for giving children a concrete understanding of the relationship between the 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional qualities of a geometric solid. Using colored paper wouldn’t work for the sphere but works very well with the cube and cylinder. After taping on the 2-dimensional shapes, the child can decorate the geometric solid’s dressing.
Geometric Solid Wrapping and Gift Giving and Receiving
In the Spielgaben Playguide, the sphere is wrapped in aluminum foil. If you include large enough pieces of aluminum foil, you could simply have a geometric solid wrapping activity using the sphere, cylinder, and cube. Or, you could use the colored paper for the cube and cylinder and the aluminum foil for the sphere. Permanent markers work best to decorate the aluminum foil wrapping.
Using the foil wrapping, this activity could be extended into a fun way to practice the etiquette rules for giving and receiving gifts. For young children, it’s important to practice the etiquette rules for giving and receiving gifts in advance of a birthday, Christmas, or another event where the child might receive a gift. With practice before an event, children will feel more comfortable and will be much more likely to give an appropriate response when receiving a gift.
At home, you could demonstrate how to wrap the geometric solids with aluminum foil. Then, give your child the opportunity to wrap a geometric solid. He or she could give the “gift” to you, saying happy birthday, merry Christmas, or another seasonally appropriate greeting. You would demonstrate how to say thank you and how to say something nice about the gift. You could either pretend it’s a gift you wanted, or you could think of something you like about the wrapped geometric solid (for example, “I really like that the sphere is smooth, round, and looks like a ball.”) Then you could give your child an opportunity to receive a gift from you.
In a classroom, the teacher would demonstrate the activity during a group lesson, giving the gift to the assistant teacher. The child using the material can choose a friend to receive the gift.The child receiving the gift then expresses his or her thanks for the gift and opens it. Again, the children can either pretend it’s a gift they wanted, or they can think of something they like about the wrapped geometric solid. After that, the gift recipient throws away the aluminum foil and returns the geometric solid to the tray. A child may only receive one gift per class session. If someone tries to give them a second gift, they politely thank the person but say that they have already opened a gift that day. (Adapted from My Montessori Journey.)
For younger children, you could have a simplified version of giving and receiving a gift. For example, in “Wrapping Pretend Presents,” Aubrey from Montessori Mischief (no longer available) has a dialog at Christmastime of
“Giver: Here is a present for you. Merry Christmas!
Receiver: Thank you! (opens) I love it! Merry Christmas to you, too! (hug)”
For more ideas on gift wrapping, see my “Montessori-Inspired Kids’ Gift-Wrapping Activities.” For more ideas on etiquette for receiving gifts, see my “How to Teach Your Child to Say Thank You for Holiday Presents.” You’ll find even more about manners for giving and receiving gifts (and for etiquette rules for ages 2-12) in my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy.
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All My Spielgaben Posts
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Version 4 of Spielgaben Educational Toys
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