My toddler is a puzzle-lover, and when I saw this shape puzzle on one of my favorite teacher blogs, I knew I needed to make them! You Clever Monkey has 50 ideas for using craft sticks, and this is one of the easiest to prepare. To maximize learning potential, I used this as an opportunity to review shape names in multiple languages. These Bilingual Craft Stick Shape Puzzles are one of my toddler daughter’s favorite busy bag activities to take to restaurants and waiting rooms to pass time!
For the past few years, my daughter has been learning English, Chinese, and Korean. English is the main language that everybody speaks, so we are always trying to find more ways to make Chinese and Korean learning fun and relevant. Since Chinese and Korean are our minority languages, I wrote the shape names in those languages so that she could get used to seeing these words and eventually read them!
- 圆形 (Yuán xíng; 동그라미; circle
- 正方形 (zhèngfāng xíng); 네모; square
- 长方形 (chángfāng xíng); 긴네모; rectangle
- 菱形 (língxíng); 마름모; diamond
- 椭圆形 (tuǒyuán xíng); 긴동그라미; oval
- 心形 (xīn xíng); 하트; heart
- 三角形 (sānjiǎo xíng); triangle
- 星形 (xīng xíng); 별; star
- 六边形 (liù biān xíng); 육각형; hexagon
*Korean shape names were translated from a Pororo book. Please let me know if you have any concerns or suggestions about the translations in the comments. I cannot speak or read Korean, but am trying to find ways to support my kids who are half-Korean. Thank you!
*Update 3/10/19 (Many thanks to Jae from our Facebook group): 긴네모 and 긴동그라미 are typically 직사각형 and 타원형 respectively. For future reference, pentagon is 오각형, hexagon is 육각형, heptagon is 칠각형, octagon is 팔각형, nonagon is 구각형…. see the pattern?
What you need for shape puzzles:
Amazon affiliate links provided for convenience
Note: If you don’t have craft sticks, you can use card stock paper or recycled cardboard! We happen to have a lot of craft sticks for general crafting and find craft stick puzzles to be durable and easy to transport to restaurants and doctor’s office waiting rooms.
How to set up craft stick shape puzzles:
- Tape 2 craft sticks together to hold sticks in place for drawing.
- Flip craft sticks over and draw shape.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all shapes. Use different color for each shape if you would like matching color as a clue. Use same color for each shape for greater challenge.
- Write Chinese name of shape on one stick and other language on corresponding stick
- Remove painter’s tape
- Mix up the sticks and have the student figure out the puzzles!
Tips on teaching kids shapes
- Look for shapes all around the house and outdoors!
- Feel the edges of shapes and discuss which shapes have straight lines, curves, and corners
- Depending on how quickly your child learns, focus on 1-2 shapes at a time and then add more as they become more confident
More hands-on learning activities for kids
- Toddler and preschool shape learning activities
- Various craft stick puzzles and other craft stick projects for kids
- Color learning activities for toddlers and preschoolers
- Counting activities for kids
To see all educational, hands-on learning activities organized by topic, bookmark this link!
Tips on raising multilingual children
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned in 2017
- How To Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- Encourage A Child to Love and Speak the Minority Language with 5 Strategies
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids