There are certain points of the day when my little one is fussy and my toddler desperately needs to be entertained... but I don't want to turn on the TV (we do enough of that at other times of the day ).
Today when we got home from the park and I needed some peace and quiet so I could get the baby to take a nap, I drew my own version of a pattern block puzzle and then I cut out foam shapes to fit. My son wanted a truck themed activity... so this was what I came up with.
I discovered that the pieces I made were mostly good, although the triangles were too small... which made him FRUSTRATED! Fortunately that gave us the perfect opportunity to practice verbalizing things like, "this is too hard" or "I need help mommy." Good phrases for toddlers to know so that they don't throw tantrums and or give up on a project! For younger kids, putting glue, tape or velcro on the shapes to help them stay put could also help alleviate frustration.
The activity was a good independent one (after some modeling) and helped my little guy practice/learn new shape vocabulary words and helped build his geometric relationship and spatial skills.
I loved the idea of these pattern cards so much, I thought I'd make a set and share them with you. They are all truck themed. So far I've created patterns for a delivery truck, crane, pick-up truck, and cement mixer. My little guy helped me brainstorm this list based on his favorite trucks featured in Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry.
Below are the patterns I created. I also created another pdf file that has the colored shape puzzle pieces that you can print off onto cardstock or trace onto foam. I also created color coded patterns that are a bit easier for younger kids.
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