Shape Activity: Sorting Blocks as a Graph

We’ve sorted blocks as a shape activity in the past. But it was pretty ‘informal’. Not that this is really that structured of an activity, this one just has a place to put each shape of the blocks!

To create the ‘graph’ to sort shapes on, I taped a large piece of paper to my floor with painter’s tape. I used our butcher/art paper.

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks as a Graph

I drew on the shapes of the blocks that we have. Leaving them to the general shapes, not separating out the different sizes of those shapes, and just doing 2D and not 3D shapes. For instance, I did just one square and one rectangle. Even through there’s 3 different rectangle shapes of blocks and only one true ‘cube’. But the end of one of the rectangles is also a square, so how that got sorted was left up to the kids.

For our blocks, I had a square, rectangle, circle, semi-circle, triangle and an archway. I drew them at the bottom edge of the paper and then taped a line in between each to create columns. [You could also just draw the lines instead of using tape, but I have some cool decorative tape right now that made it fun!]

George joined me to play with the blocks right away. Henry didn’t want anything to do with it… until later.

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks as a Graph

George and I sat and sorted together. It was fun to see what shapes he knew and what ones he needed help with.

What I love about this shape activity, is that they don’t need to know the names of the shapes, but just need to be able to see the shape and match it up with that shape block. Basic shape identification.

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks

[Ahem. Yep, George thought it was hilarious to use his mouth... that was fine for the painted blocks, but once he did it with a raw wood block... he realized it was kind of icky.]

As I mentioned earlier, some of the blocks were open to interpretation of what shape they were, so I found it interesting to see how he looked at the block and what shape he saw in it.

Later, it was even more interesting to see how Henry labeled the block shapes the same way.

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks

Henry sorted the blocks later on, but he did really get into it. We sat and sorted together for quite some time.

Sorting each and every last block. Lining them up to the end of the paper, and then some! That’s what Henry got most excited about, there were so many it went past the paper… and even to the rug!

Since there are so many, I didn’t push to have each block shape counted to compare the graph. Henry went by how far the blocks went to determine which one had the most, even though its not entirely accurate because of the size of the blocks. But it gave him the jist of it.

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks

Then Henry built with each block shape. First the archways, he made a tunnel. Then with triangles. That was impressive how he did it. And the semi-circles too!

I was quite impressed that he came up with a way to build with all these shapes!

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks

Of course the squares and rectangles led to the bigger structures [because we had more and they're easier to build with].

Henry was pretty proud of them! I was too!

Shape Activity: Sorting Shapes of Blocks

Click for more ways to learn and play with blocks! Blocks of Fun!

Henry is 5 years old. George is 2.5 years old.

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