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Nature Treasure Shape Match

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Making connections to the world

Most days, we are out exploring for the entire morning. We spend our days in different parks around Vienna and often collect ‘Nature Treasures’ along the way. Today I was inspired by the rock shape activity I saw on Little Pine Learners, to create our own shape match…


  • Nature Treasures
  • Black pen
  • White paper
  • Colours – we used some paint sticks (optional)

What to do:

Go on a nature hunt with your little ones. Look for interesting items along the way – leaves of different shapes and sizes, pinecones, branches and feathers, for example. Explore the textures and talk about the colours of the items found. Z was particularly fascinated by the duck feather we found and how the water droplets sat on top of the leaf. We found the feather after watching the ducks in the local park. By observing and exploring, the children are able to start making connections to the world around them.

Once we got home, I laid out the nature shape match activity. We usually do these set ups whilst Z’s younger brother naps. I drew around the outline of each shape with a black pen, then invited Z to match them up. Some of the objects were easy to place, whereas others were of a similar size or shape, making them slightly more challenging.

We’ve done similar activities before, so I knew how to pitch it for Z. With younger children, try very clear and obvious shapes. If your child is confident with these types of activities, try something a little more challenging such as sticks of different lengths.

Why you should try this activity:

  • Making connections to the wider world – the objects had more significance because Z had found them in the park. She knew exactly where the came from.
  • Identifying and organising visual information – finding out which shapes fit
  • Problem solving – perhaps a leaf needs to be flipped or turned around to fit.
  • Language development – talking about the colours, textures and size of each leaf.
  • Early Math – in the form of shape, space and measure
  • Social and emotional well-being – being outside collecting the treasures allowed for plenty of time soaking up the vitamin D!

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Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is a trained teacher mama to three awesome children and wife to Greg. As a family of expats, they travel the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, they live in Vienna, Austria.

One thing Sian is super passionate about? Helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

You can join her on her brand new venture, This Playful Home, by visiting www.thisplayfulhome.com or clicking the email sign up button below!

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