I’ve been feeling a tad guilty for not doing much with Noah these days, and was quite excited when I saw this cute Mr Potato Head activity in this Facebook Preschool Resources group that I joined. Noah has been listening to Disney audiobooks in the car when we drive, and Toy Story was recently added to our collection. He loved the story so much that C let him watch all three movies, and Noah is now a huge fan of Buzz Lightyear. I personally like Mr Potato Head because he’s so funny, and actually contemplated buying a Mr Potato Head toy for Noah, but this Mr Potato Head activity is more practical (and cheaper)!
I downloaded the template that was kindly shared in the Preschool Resources FB group, then printed and laminated it. After cutting out the pieces, I pasted magnets (I used the magnet tack pieces from Daiso. You can see what they look like in my post on DIY Creative Play Bottle Caps.) behind the pieces and on the blank Mr Potato Head template, and placed the template on a large metal try (also from Daiso).
Noah saw me preparing the materials, and was really eager to start playing with it. He was so amused by his funny creations, and couldn’t stop giggling as he was making them.
Playing with Mr Potato Head
With his creations (and Buzz Lightyear)
The next time he played with this Mr Potato Head activity, I made it into a listening exercise, by describing the specific features that I wanted him to use. Of course, I didn’t want to be too rigid about it, since I wanted him to have fun, so I would ask him for “different coloured shoes” or “funny eyes” for example, and he could choose which colours and eyes he wanted. I also asked for characters such as a pirate, or a pretty Mrs Potato Head, and he would try to find the best pieces for the character.
Another funny face based on my description
I also came across these free Tangram Pattern Cards on the FB Preschool Resources group, and thought it would be good for Noah to try them out. He’s honestly not great with seeing patterns, so I thought this would be a good way to help him work on that skill. It drives me nuts when he can’t seem to “get it”, and I have to try very hard not to help him too much, or even scold him. Yes, I know he’s still young and learning, but I don’t like it when he gives up easily or doesn’t even want to try.
I printed and laminated the tangram pattern cards, then cut them into individual cards, and put them on a ring, so that it is easier for Noah to focus on one design at a time. I let him choose the pattern he wants to try, so that he will be more motivated to work on it, and guide him along by asking him to be more systematic in forming the pattern. Apart from being able to visualise and replicate the designs, I think this activity is a good way for him to learn the names of the shapes (there’s a parallelogram used), and to distinguish between the three sizes of triangles.
One problem we had initially was that the colours of the shapes in the pattern cards don’t match the ones of our wooden tangram pieces. You can opt to print it out in black and white, to make it less confusing, but I think older children can be reminded to focus on the shapes rather than the colours. I don’t draw Noah’s attention to the colours at all, so he seems to be fine with just looking for the right shapes and sizes.
One of the first things he made: an aeroplane
Making a rocket
Clapping for himself after completing the rocket
Learning to focus
The Preschool Resources website has many other downloadable materials, but I haven’t really explored the site much yet. I usually look at the photos shared in their FB group, then look for the resources if I think they are useful and fun for Noah. Do check out the FB group and website if you’re looking for ideas on what to do with your preschoolers! #notsponsored