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Shapes, Shapes, Shapes
by Tana Hoban.

Tana Hoban has written many books on shapes, colors and counting.  Like this one, her books are usually made up of pictures that she has taken of things in real life. Tanya Hoban has found many shapes by just looking around her. She has taken pictures of fire trucks, and shoes, and clothes hangers.  Can you guess what these shapes she found in these? After you've read this book, take a walk together. Look around you for all kinds of different shapes. You'll be surprised at how many shapes and colors you will find in nature, or in your city, town or neighborhood.

Shapes are just one concept to learn about.  Other concepts are numbers and colors. This page has stuff to do with numbers, colors, and shapes. You can do these projects even if you already know your shapes, numbers, and colors.

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Something to Do, Web Sites to Try, Other Good Books

Something To Do

If you love colors and shapes, you can make a colorful puzzle to put together!

What you need:

a piece of paper--colored or white
materials to decorate paper--including crayons, markers, colored pencils, glitter and glue, etc.

What to do:

Draw a picture or write a message (or both) in many different colors on your piece of paper. You can also decorate the paper using glitter or stickers. Then, cut the piece of paper into different shapes, like triangles and rectangles and squares.  You have an instant jigsaw puzzle! Count how many pieces you have, so you can keep track of them. Now, see if you can put the puzzle back together, or give or send the puzzle to a friend or family member and see if they can put it back together again. This is also a fun way to send a secret message!

Something Else to Do

Go on a walk outside. You may want to take a camera, or a pad of drawing paper, or you may just want to look. Look around you, and you will be surprised at all of the different colors, shapes and numbers you can find. You could make a book about your neighborhood, with pictures in it that you draw or take, showing the different shapes, colors and numbers you can find there.  How many red cars do you see?  Or brown birds? What shapes are the buildings? Look up, down and all around because sometimes you'll find shapes in places that you never expected. How many ants do you see on the sidewalk?  How many ovals do you see in the sky?

Web Sites to Try

Sesame Street Print & Play Shapes

Sesame Street, a kid favorite for a long time, has a great Print & Play page.  You can print all kinds of different shapes to color.  Can you guess which shape is Cookie Monster's favorite? Each picture has a shape and a favorite Sesame Street character on it. From this page you can also go to pages with alphabet and number pictures to print. Usually there is also a link to some page with seasonal pages to print and color.


How to Fold a Paper Crane

Step by step instructions on how to fold a paper crane. Parents and kids will want to do this together to help each other understand the directions! You can hang these up as decoration when you are all done!  You can buy colorful origami paper at the store, or simply use some paper from home.  Remember, you need a square of paper to start this project, not just any rectangle!

Make an Origami Jumping Frog

Unlike traditional origami, this frog does not require a square, but you can still take a look at the diagram and see if you can spot any triangles or rectangles.  Then, get some paper and make a family of frogs. You could make them out of green paper, or out of white paper and color them. We think of frogs as being green, but they come in many different colors. If you want to see some pictures of some brightly colored poisonous frogs,you might want to go to Cool Frog Photos ( The pictures will look very small at first, but you can click on them to make them larger. There's even a blue frog there!

Paint & Playdough Recipes

The following sites all have recipes for playdough and paint.  Both of these things are good for you to make to experiment with color.  What happens when you mix different color dough or paint? Here are lots of recipes so that you can find out.

Craft Recipes

Here you'll find fingerpaints, cornstarch dough, honey dough, oatmeal fundough and more.  Remember, some of these recipes have things in them that you cannot eat! Once you have your dough or paint, experiment with it.  Paint colors over other colors and see what happens.  What new colors do you make? Squish different color doughs together.  What color are they now? Some of the doughs are ones that you can bake and use them to make ornaments or other gifts.

Idea Box Craft Recipes

Make Jello-O paint or silly putty.

Didi's Craft Recipe Page

Make dough or goop!

Coloring Books

Putnam Berkley Coloring Book

This page, sponsored by a book publisher, has about 20 different pictures to print and color. Some are easier and some are harder.  You might recognize some of the pictures from your favorite books.

Coloring with PBS

Even if you don't know these PBS characters, they are fun to print and color! You can color Thomas the Tank Engine and characters from the Arthur show.

Safety Bear's Coloring Book

The Alaska State Troopers have put together this collection of pages that you can print together. The pages are all about safety, the perfect topic for adults and kids to talk about together.

Interactive online coloring books

Kendra's Coloring Page

You can print out these pictures or color them right on the web.  You can pick different colors to use, and you can even mix them.  There are lots of frogs to color on this page, and you can even color a picture of crayons!

Kellog's Coloring Pages

You can color some famous Kellogg characters like Tony the Tiger. You can just click on the color that you like and then click on the picture where you want that color to go.

Other Good Books

Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss, paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Have you ever had a "Bright Red Day," where everything is good and you feel happy? Or a Yellow day, where you are a busy bee? This book tells how sometimes colors can show how we are feeling. The pictures of this book are a lot of fun, and the book rhymes, too!

A Carribbean Counting Book, by Faustin Charles and Roberta Arenson

This book is full of all kinds of counting rhymes.  The bright, bright pictures and the language in the rhymes gives the flavor of the Caribbean. You'll meet lots of different creatures, including a centipede and a mosquito. These poems are so peppy, they'll make you want to jump around and sing them!

Seven Blind Mice, by Ed Young.

The seven blind mice are each a different color.  They are trying to figure out what that strange thing is that has suddenly appeared by their pond. We can count the days, as each mouse goes out to investigate, on a different day, and each one thinks that this strange thing is something different! It is only on the last day, when the seventh mouse puts all the clues together that they figure out what it is.

1-2-3 Moose--A Pacific Northwest Counting Book, by Andrea Helman, photographs by Art Wolfe.

The photographis in this book capture the animals and other natural objects from the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada. It's easy to love this book right from the beginning because it has a great photograph of a moose on the cover.  The very first picture inside is a close-up of a wolf puppy. You'll see 6 wild horses, 20 bald eagles, and many more exciting pictures. Don't forget to count them up!  You could make your own counting book by taking pictures of things in nature or by drawing them yourself. What kinds of things do you see near where you live?  Do you see 7 pigeons or 3 cows or 9 red cars?

Frog Jump--A Counting Book, by Alan Brooks, illustrated by Steven Kellogg.

Count along as the animals all do something. One frog jumps, and six pelicans fish, and twelve whales blow soap bubbles.  Wait a minute. Do whales blow soap bubbles? Find out for yourself by reading this book and laughing at its fun pictures.

Spot's Big Book of Colors, Shapes and Numbers, by Eric Hill.

Eric Hill has written a long list of book about Spot.  In this book Spot and his friends show you many different colors and shapes. They also count things like 6 toy cars, 8 butterflies, and 10 books. You can count the different pictures, too.

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