Why We Love Shape Sorters

The Shape Sorter is a classic toy that has been around for generations.  Many of us grew up with the toy in the picture – the cubed shape sorter.  Nothing fancy, just a box to put shaped blocks in.  But what this toy teaches your child is amazing!

1).  Problem Solving Skills – Children learn trial and error by attempting to match the shapes in the correct place. If the square doesn’t fit in the diamond shaped hole, you try another one – and another one. You keep trying until you get it right.

2).  Fine Motor Skills – Placing blocks in a container is a fundamental fine motor skill for children to learn.  The way in which a child picks up the block (raking it with their palm, using their fingers, etc) tells a lot about their fine motor development.  Some shape sorters require the shapes to match up exactly right – which uses a lot of fine motor manipulation and coordination.

3).  Language Learning – Shape sorters provide great language stimulation.  When your child plays with you and a shape sorter, they are hearing and learning about colors, shapes, sizes, etc.  These toys provide huge opportunities for vocabulary growth and development.

4).  Requesting and Naming – These toys typically come with several blocks. This is a great opportunity to have them request “more” by signing or vocalizing.  If you’re working on producing 2 word phrases, they can request “more please, more circle, more block, etc.”  As they get older, they can request “I want block” or “I want blue block, etc.”

5).  Cognitive Skills – Shape sorters come in many different styles, colors, shapes and sizes.  For younger children, they typically have only 3 or 4 shapes (circle, triangle, square, star, etc).  As they get older, the shapes become more advanced (hexagon, octagon, etc).  Children are learning early math and geometry skills when they understand the size and shape of objects.

As you can see, shape sorters are wonderful toys for children.  Take a few minutes to play with your child and you can see all these wonderful skills taking shape.


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