What did the hexagon say to the trapezoid?

“I’m twice the shape you’ll ever be!”

Corny – right?

I made that joke up while playing with Melissa & Doug’s Animal Pattern Blocks.

It has ten different animals (on five two-sided boards) and over 50 plastic shapes in tons of colors to complete the pictures.

### Use it to teach more than just shapes.

Of course you can talk to your toddler about hexagons, triangles, parallelograms (which are also rhombuses in this math toy) and trapezoids. But you can do even more!

All the shapes can make the bigger ones. So it’s not just a bunch of shapes that may or may not work – this toy is designed with some serious thought.

Here are some questions you can ask while playing:

### How many of each shape can squeeze into a hexagon?

Pick a shape and cram them into the hexagons!

### How many triangles fit in each shape?

This is huge in math. Since all shapes can be made of triangles, answering this questions preps your little one for some big geometry stuff.

And after you play with those a while, you might notice how the number of sides of a shape compare to the number of smaller shapes that can fit in it.

Get a set of Animal Pattern Blocks and have fun!

###### You might also like:

My oldest decided one day that she wanted to play with her practice chopsticks while using her rods. And voila- a new game was created. It’s a fun way of adding in some fine motor skills to your regular math activity. http://www.teachingstars.com/2011/06/02/cuisenaire-rods-chopsticks-even-more-mathematical-fun/

Also, incorporating c-rods into your living math books is a fun way to make your books come alive. http://www.teachingstars.com/2011/11/06/12-ways-to-get-to-11/

I’m a huge fan of c-rods and posted about my relatively new-found love affair with them here. http://www.teachingstars.com/2012/01/07/for-the-love-of-the-rods/