Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shape Activities for Preschoolers {Away We Go! Review & Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Chieu Anh Urban.

Recently I was invited to review Away We Go!: A Shape and Seek Book by Chieu Anh Urban.

We are always looking for new products to share with Toddler Approved readers that invite kids to discover, create, and learn.

Today I am excited to share a few Away We Go! inspired shape activities for preschoolers with you and tell you all about my experience reading the book with my kids!

We are also giving away two signed copies of the book, so make sure to scroll down for details! 

Away We Go!: A Shape and Seek Book by Chieu Anh Urban is a darling durable board book for kids. 

The book features almost twenty unique images of vehicles created with shapes. Not only are the vehicles in the book created using shapes, but each page offers a shape hunt challenge to readers. "Do you see a square?" or "What shapes do you see?" 

In addition to beautiful colorful images, each page features a simple die-cut that my kids loved to manipulate with their fingers! When he turned the page my son would get so excited that a die-cut of a heart could go from being an airplane propeller to a part of a bicycle.  

The text in the book was very simple which allowed my kids to fill the conversation with their own descriptions while we read. They told me about colors, shapes, how many wheels they discovered, where the hearts were hiding, and then were able to mostly read or guess each word on the page as we explored. I originally pegged this book as one just for my 2-year-old and baby, but my 5-year-old enjoyed it just as much as the little ones. 

I would love it if Chieu would make another version for pre-k aged kids featuring a number shape hunt! My 5-year-old son loved counting the shapes and figuring how many there were on each page.

My kids were so inspired by the images in the book that we spent the whole afternoon creating with some simple book-inspired shape activities . 

The first thing we did was hunt for shape pieces and build a shape rocket.

Materials needed: pieces of colorful cardstock, scissors or a paper cutter, painters tape, and a roll of big art paper


Before we got started, I pre-cut the pieces to the rocket. I cut 3 small hearts, a diamond, 2 small triangles, 2 larger triangles, 1 big heart, a half circle, a punched circle, a long rectangle, and one small triangle for the tip! I had 13 shapes total. 

Once the shapes were pre-cut I hid them all around our family room and drew a simple rocket outline onto our large drawing paper.

The kids ran around and found the shapes and then brought them back to the large drawing paper to try and create their rocket!

The rocket was modeled after the one on the cover of Away We Go! so they kept the book close by to help them as they were creating.

The colors weren't exactly the same as the images in the book because I wanted them to focus on matching the shapes, not just the colors. 

My kids are big fans of hunting, so this shape rocket hunt will be one we do again and again.

Our next activity was to make our own shape vehicles!

Materials Needed: cardstock cut into a variety of shapes, large easel paper, circle punch, painters tape, scissors, and extra cardstock. Foam shape stickers are another optional item you could use.


Before we got started, I pre-cut several shapes in a variety of sizes and colors. My son helped me use our craft punch and punch out circles. Then I put out scissors and paper so that my son could cut any other shapes that he wanted.

I taped a large piece of easel paper onto the floor so that each child had a defined work space. Creating on white paper makes the colors and shapes stand out more.

They worked on their creations for awhile. I added foam shape stickers to my 2-year-old's work area to add an extra dimension to her project and also help her practice strengthening her little fingers by pulling the backs off the foam stickers.

Both kids enjoyed looking through Away We Go! for inspiration for their vehicles. My 5-year-old especially loved the challenge of trying to replicate some of the designs in the book or create his own version.

If I didn't have the right shapes, he made his own. He was especially interested in making the harder shapes that were included in the book- octagons and ovals!

In addition to creating our own activities, we have enjoyed exploring author Chieu Anh Urban's website, Facebook page, and blog.

On her blog Chieu also shares loads of fun activity ideas and printables.

Below is a sneak peek of some of the materials shared. Click on the links below each image to go to the site and download the files to print them out! Or click on the Pin It link below to go straight to Pinterest and pin these for later straight from Chieu Anh Urban's site. 

I am in love with this Shape Sorting Activity template and this Floating Shape Raft

I am excited to follow Chieu on Facebook and Pinterest so that I can discover even more cute ideas! 

Chieu is an author/illustrator as well as a graphic designer, so I think the things she comes up with are so adorable and perfect for my little ones. She is also a mom of three girls, so she knows what things keep kids excited and interested! You can learn more about Chieu here on her About Me page.

If you want to purchase your own copy of Away We Go!: A Shape and Seek Book by Chieu Anh Urban, click on the book link below and head on over to Amazon to purchase.

Chieu is also giving away two signed copies of Away We Go! to two Toddler Approved readers!

Giveaway Entry Requirements:

  • Make sure to fill in the rafflecopter giveaway entry below and complete the mandatory email entry.
  • You can get up to three entries by completing all three tasks mentioned in the form below.

Entry Guidelines:
  • This giveaway is open for entry from Wednesday, August 28th to Saturday, September 7th at 12:00am (PST)
  • The two random entries will be drawn on Saturday, September 7th. I will notify the winners via email.
  • The winners will need to reply to me within 72 hours of my email. If there is no response, new winners will be drawn.
  • See our Official Giveaway Rules for complete guidelines. US Residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This review and giveaway is sponsored by Chieu Anh Urban. I was compensated for the time and effort I spent reviewing the book and hosting the giveaway. Compensation does not include a positive review. All opinions shared in this post about how wonderful the book is are mine!


  1. So excited about this giveaway! I will give it to my toddler

  2. Fun! What a great way to play AND learn. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  3. I would be using this with my little boy and baby!

  4. This looks like an awesome book. I would love to bless my tot with it. He loves anything to do with shapes and transportation.

  5. I thought I would give this to my young nephew, but his mommight also like to have a copy for her classroom. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. As I am a new to homeschooling mama, this is a great and fun Resource for my toddler to practice shapes and colors. Ilove that there are also tons of printables available for this book!

  7. Would love to win his for my boys!

  8. my toddler will love this book and activity

  9. This is so cute! My little guy would love this book - one of his favorites is a very simple one with shapes.

  10. I teach 3K and my kiddos would absolutely love this book and the activities that go along with it. We do a lot of shape work!

  11. I teach pre-k so the book would go in my classroom library for my students to enjoy.

  12. I have a four-year-old daughter who would love this book now and a toddler boy who would enjoy it in the future! Thanks for holding the giveaway!

  13. A great giveaway!!! My little princess will love it!!!

  14. My 2 boys - 2 1/2 and 15 months - would love this!

  15. We just completed our shapes unit at Tiny Tots storytime but I would relish this book and the activities for our next go-around w/shapes. Mahalo for the op to win.

  16. Sounds like a great way to build in creativity with fine motor work. Thanks for the book recommendation.

  17. My creative almost three year old daughter would love this! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  18. My 2.5 year old girl needs some new activities. We'd love to win. Thanks for the chance!

  19. I own a Family Day Care in a low income community in the Bronx and it would be a blessing for my children to have this awesome book with so endless possibilities of hands on learning.
    Thanks for the opportunity

  20. This would make for some amazing developmentally appropriate activities for the mixed age group in my family child care!

  21. This sounds like a fun book. My grandkids would love this.

  22. I have a childcare in my home along with 6 children of my own, all of them would LOVE this! What a great idea for my 3 year olds!!

  23. So cute! Both the book and the activities look like a lot of fun. My kids would love them.

  24. Both the books and activities look great! My kids would love it.

  25. I am in charge of the early literacy program and storytimes and I would love to win a copy for our library!

  26. My five year old! Looks like a book she would love!

  27. Looks like a great book and fun activities!

  28. What a fun book! Thanks for sharing we are going to have to put this on our wish list! Loved all the activities and ideas to go with it as well!


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