Bilingual Craft Stick Shape Puzzles

These Bilingual Craft Stick Shape Puzzles are one of my toddler daughter’s favorite activities to take to restaurants and waiting rooms to pass time!  Since my toddler is a puzzle-lover, I try to follow her interests for reviewing shape names in her minority languages, Chinese and Korean.  

bilingual craft stick puzzle

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!

Important vocabulary*

  1. Circle
    1. 圆形 (yuán xíng)
    2. 동그라미
  2. Square
    1. 正方形 (zhèngfāng xíng)
    2. 네모
  3. Rectangle
    1. 长方形 (chángfāng xíng)
    2. 직사각형
  4. Diamond
    1. 菱形 (língxíng)
    2. 마름모
  5. Oval
    1. 椭圆形 (tuǒyuán xíng)
    2. 타원형
  6. Heart
    1. 心形 (xīn xíng)
    2. 하트
  7. Triangle
    1. 三角形 (sānjiǎo xíng)
  8. Star
    1. 星形 (xīng xíng)
  9. Hexagon
    1. 六边形 (liù biān xíng)
    2. 육각형

*Please note that Korean shape names were translated from a Pororo book and are actually incorrect in the photos.  I cannot speak or read Korean, but am trying to find ways to support my kids who are half-Korean.  Many thanks to Jae from our Facebook group who explained that rectangle should be 직사각형 and not 긴네모; oval should be 긴동그라미 and not 타원형 respectively. In case others are learning along, pentagon is 오각형, hexagon is 육각형, heptagon is 칠각형, octagon is 팔각형, nonagon is 구각형…. See the pattern?

What you need for shape puzzles

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  1. Craft sticks (need 2 per shape)
  2. Colorful Sharpie markers
  3. Painter’s tape

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

  1. Tape 2 craft sticks together to hold sticks in place for drawing.
  2. Flip craft sticks over and draw shape.
  3. 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.
  4. Write Chinese name of shape on one stick and other language on corresponding stick
  5. Remove painter’s tape
  6. Mix up the sticks and have the student figure out the puzzles!

Tips on teaching kids shapes

  1. Look for shapes all around the house and outdoors!
  2. Feel the edges of shapes and discuss which shapes have straight lines, curves, and corners
  3. Depending on how quickly your child learns, focus on 1-2 shapes at a time and then add more as they become more confident

Have you tried these craft stick shape puzzles?

If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below! What age(s) are your kid(s) and how did it go? We’d love to hear about your learning experience!

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