Quality Time – 10 great things to do with foam shapes

Do you have any of these in your cupboard but aren’t sure what to do with them?  They are super cheap with Poundland selling 25 in a pack and Home Bargains have 10 in a pack for 79p. However, whilst I always bought them I have to admit I struggled to find a use for them initially. Not now. Here are 10 ideas for how to make this cheap resource fun and educational. I’ve used these ones from Home Bargains for the examples but any theme your children like should work with some small tweeks. 1) Lacing cards – lets face it lacing cards aren’t the most riveting of toys so you don’t want to spend money buying expensive ones. Just grab your shape and punch a few holes. Try to use a shoe lace or wrap some cellotape around the end of some string to give it a firm end to thread (or a flugel as any other Tom Cruise fans might remember?!)  2) Resist art – For this you really need a low tack spray adhesive but you could try it with pritt stick. Just glue the foam shape to a piece of card and let the child paint. This is a great activity for babies first painting but I would recommend using a cheap canvas. Poundland sell a nice A4 one which we used for Elyses first tape resist art at 8 months old and it’s on her bedroom wall.  Remove the foam shape as soon as the child has finished painting.  3) Gross Motor shapes – write some movement activities on to the cards, they can be related to the theme of your shape or not, it doesn’t matter. Then place the shapes in a circle and have the children step on them as they walk round the circle with music playing. When you stop the music they have to perform the action on the foam shape. 4) Themed bath – these shapes are perfect for the bath. They stick to tiles, walls or the sides of the bath when they are wet and aren’t damaged by the water. The kids can move them about, use them for imaginary play or wear them as hats it would seem.   5) Name spelling – write the letters of the child’s name on the shapes. Mix them up and ask your child to rearrange their name correctly.   6) How many game – use your shape as a template to draw around. This can be made easy of more difficult by using different colour pens or the same, by the number of shapes you draw and how often you flip or twist the shape. The child can count them by just looking or by colouring them in. 7) Counting pegs – write numbers on the shape and then have the child add the correct number of pegs. Working with pegs is great for building hand strength and therefore improving fine motor skills. 8) Sensory bag – this is another very adaptable activity depending on the age of your child. For babies just put a whole foam shape into it so they can just enjoy the sensory aspect. For older children cut the shape into pieces that they have to rearrange within the bag to recreate. To make these bags, seal 2 sides of a laminating pouch with straighteners. One should already be sealed so this leaves one open for you to add a clear thick liquid, such as bath foam or liquid hand soap. Also add your shape and if desired glitter and sequins.  Squeeze out air and seal open side with straighteners.    9) Printing – have the child paint the shape all over and then press on to paper or card to leave lovely prints.  10) Decorate it – we quite often use glitter glue on these. Kids love glitter glue but always put too much on the paper and end up with a torn soggy mess that they invariably hand to you whilst you’re cooking dinner and leave glitter over the mashed potatoes. Using foam shapes might not stop the trail of glitter but you def end up with something more acceptable to put on the fridge. More recently we use buttons and PVA glue. In fact in the photo above of Elyses room you can see a heart one in a frame she did years ago.  I think this one is lovely too.    So do you love them now? 

Please join me over on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/qualitytimeresources and share any pictures of your foam shape Quality Time. X

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