Tag Archives: playdough

3 fun games to teach your toddler the geometric shapes and colors (free printables)

shape cards

Teaching your child about shapes and colors is greatly important. This knowledge manifests in their daily life. It helps:

  • Improving the verbal communication: by providing them the exact descriptive vocabulary we are offering an opportunity to communicate more effectively. By that we avoid their frustration of being unable to ask for a specific thing. ex: “i want the blue car not the red”, “i like the square biscuit more than the round one”…
  • Building up the logic skills: do you know that when your kid is able to build a balanced lego tower, means he is making use of his geometry skills?
  • Improving pre-reading skills: Children will apply the same skills that they used in recognizing circles and squares to recognizing and naming all of the letters, as letters are just more complicated shapes.
  • Being creative: the knowledge of shapes and colors will help them to create what they imagine in their minds when drawing or creating shapes with playdough….  Also the use of colors can express feelings and emotions that young children may not have the words to describe. Ex: using the color red to express anger.
  • Teaching perspective: realizing that shapes not only exist in flat form on paper but as objects in everyday life, will give them a new perspective of their surroundings.

First comes recognizing the shapes and then drawing, tracing or coloring them is a plus. And maybe building 3D shapes in an advanced stage.

12 cards

I created series of cards for the most common shapes that a child will encounter in his daily life (square, rectangle, circle, oval, triangle, heart, star…..). Total of 12 colorful shapes with animals, to make it more fun. This way we are learning shapes, colors and animals.

Click on french cards  or english cards to download a high resolution file.

As Nady loves singing, we were spending time on each animal to sing a related song and name its benefits.

We played 3 games with these cards:

Game 1: Tracing the shapes with colored pencils

tracing the shapes

A smart way to enhance his motor skills and practice the pre-writing ability by learning how to hold the pen and draw, beside naming the colors and the animals

Game 2: Making the shapes out of playdough

playdough tracing 1

playdough tracing 2

This game couldn’t end without using the cutters! The favorite activity of Nady 🙂 We found a way to make it beneficial, by cutting same animals to make assimilation!

playdough tracing 3

A great way to build fine motor skills while the child rolls out the dough to trace around the shapes while learning the shapes, colors and animals.

Game 3: Coloring inside the lines


A different type of exercise, teaching a tough skill that needs time, drawing inside the lines! My son is a reluctant artist, he doesn’t like to follow rules he wants to be a free!  Without forgetting that this exercise aims also to learn shapes, colors and animals.

We had a new experience each time we played with those cards. The sky is the limit. You can create your own games depending on what is your aim from the exercise.

Don’t forget playing and having fun is very educational! Enjoy every moment with your children, they are precious.



This is what i call a way to play! If you like this post give it some likes and shares to spread the fun. Don’t forget to like marmite et ponpon facebook page and follow on twitter. More interesting posts are yet to come.


straws sculpture – fine motor activity

straws statue- fine motor activity

This Fun play was totally inspired by my son. Since he was a baby he shows interest in straws, he likes to pull it out of my drink, then put it back. Every time we are in a restaurant we order extra straws for him to play so i can save my drink 🙂

To encourage his interest and his motor skills, i got a bunch of colored straws (to add more fun to the play) to play with.

straws statue- fine motor activity

He got so excited when he saw the quantity!

straws statue- fine motor activity

But this time we are not inserting the straws in a cup, we are poking them in a homemade playdough. Click here for the safe homemade playdough recipe that i posted earlier.

straws statue- fine motor activity

straws statue- fine motor activity

He started by sticking the straws one by one. The sculpture started to shape out.

straws sculpture - fine motor activity

He had a good time building and rebuilding the sculptures. Every time i think it’s over, he removes the straws and starts again!

straws sculpture - fine motor activity

straws sculpture - fine motor activity

Constructive play begins in middle to late toddlerhood, when the child becomes motivated to combine and arrange objects to construct something new. At this age there is no rules for the play, you can show your kid how to play, but he always has his own way. Conventional toys are very interesting, but kids like to use items in the house to discover the environment around them. You see kids playing with tupperwares, lids, spoons… Sometimes simple things at home can be instructive and entertaining. With these simple straws we played for more than an hour and he was extremely happy and entertained!

straws sculpture - fine motor activity

straws sculpture - fine motor activity

And here is Nady’s beautiful straws sculpture. Isn’t it beautiful?

straws sculpture - fine motor activity

jungle playdough – Introducing the playdough to your toddler for a great sensory learning and fine motor skills

jungle playdough

Today we are using the playdough we made yesterday. Click playdough recipe for more details.

Playdough brings out the fun and creativity in your kids, there are open ended games great for hands on, sensory learning. The first very basic game with the playdough consists of introducing the texture to just squeeze and poke . We are all sensory creatures, especially kids they use all their senses when learning something new.

Introducing playdough to your kids can start from age of 15 months. At this age they are not able to create shapes yet, so don’t expect your baby to grab it and start playing. It’s a bit disappointing in the beginning, he can throw it or reject it. Nady was giving me faces and keep on throwing it! You need a gentle introduction, that’s why putting his favorite toys with it can help for more fun.

Nady is learning colors and animals. Jungle playdough is a great fun idea for his first experience.

jungle playdough

We started by creating the jungle and introducing the animals one by one inserting their legs in the playdough!

jungle playdough

Adding some broccoli trees created a realistic atmosphere. As said Nady likes to taste everything, and he loves broccoli!

jungle playdough

Poking sticks in the playdough was so much fun we used popsicle sticks. It’s a great way to encourage his motor skills.

jungle playdough

jungle playdough

We were shaping balls for him to poke with the sticks.

jungle playdough

Mommy loves playdough too! It’s important to talk while playing and introducing new words like squeeze, poke, naming the colors or the things around us. Nady loves the music, we were singing all the time too 🙂

jungle playdough

jungle playdough

Daddy decided to introduce the legos as well (his favourite).

jungle playdough

First he was showing him how to print the lego pattern then he filled them with the playdough and Nady was trying to take it out.

jungle dough

jungle playdoughThis way we extended more the fun, and we all participated in the play!

jungle playdough

When you decide to introduce playdough to your baby or toddler, just make sure it’s safe and at a right pace without pushing too fast.

DIY homemade playdough (pate a modeler) – kids safe recipe

homemade playdough

Making playdough at home is easier than you think. A healthy way to ensure your kids safety. All you need is couple of ingredients and 10 minutes of your time and let the fun and creativity begin.

Ingredients: (make about 2 cups)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • food coloring

homemade playdough

In a sauce pan combine all dry ingredients then add water, oil and food coloring. Mix well until no lumps show.

Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until the dough forms a ball and no longer sticky. This will take almost 3-4 minutes.

Remove from the pan and keep to cool before kneading until smooth.

homemade playdough

This playdough can stay long if you store it properly. Wrap it with cling film and keep it in a locked container or simply put it in a plastic zipper bag at room temperature.

homemade playdough

This playdough is 100% safe if your kid wants to taste. My boy is still under 2 years he likes to taste everything, i make sure we always play with edible or safe games.

homemade playdough

Stay tuned, i will post tomorrow one of many playdough games that we do:

Jungle pate a modeler (playdough) game