I absolutely love this simple, fun homemade shape sorter and have shared it on so many courses over the years. It is fantastic for scanning, pre-braille, braille, numeracy, language development, concept building, turn taking, fine motor, tactile discrimination skills to name a few. Such an easy and quick make and provides so many lovely learning opportunities.
Steps to Make Your Own Shape Sorter
- Take a cardboard box and cover it in plain wrapping paper or paint it.
- Cut out three different size holes: a big, medium and little hole. The smallest hole should be the size to take the smallest ball you have and the biggest hole to take the biggest ball you have.
- Find a collection of balls: bright colours, light up, spikey, smiley and squeaky.
- Find a muffin tray.
- Add the balls to a box or lay them out on a black base tray.
- Have fun posting the balls into the shape sorter.
- Have fun popping the balls into the muffin tin.
Here are some of the learning opportunities this simple and inexpensive activity provide:
- Concept of size
- Counting the balls
- Early rows and columns (placing the balls in a row or in a column in the muffin tray)
- Sorting the smooth/spikey balls/squeaky balls
- Hand and release grasp
- Language of in and out, too big, too small, it fits
- Language of 'find' 'look' 'there is the ball' 'which ball fits?'
- Follow simple instructions: Make a row, make a column
- Make a line, make a diagonal, move from left to right/right to left
- Take turns at posting the balls
- Roll the balls which goes the furthest?