Starfall Gingerbread by Starfall Education is a creative way to learn about shapes and patterns.
Children learn shapes as they are prompted to decorate a boy or girl gingerbread cookie with different shapes and colors, all done in a story format. Your child saves their gingerbread cookie creations on a baking sheet and then chooses a favorite cookie to run through a maze, jumping along on the same shape or on repeating shape patterns. Challenge is added as the maze changes each time you play.
Starfall Gingerbread introduces beginning repeating patterns for your child to follow. Looking for patterns prepares the mind to search out and discover similarities that bind seemingly unrelated information together. Starfall Gingerbread encourages young children to see relationships between parts of an objects and the whole.
A child with experiences looking for patterns becomes a more persistent and flexible problem solver. They expect a problem to be solvable. When the first solution does not work, they keep looking until they find one that works. Their calmness is based on the knowledge that there is an answer to be found. This is a good “Lifetime Learning” skill.
Starfall Gingerbread is truly learning disguised as fun.
Find out how well your child understands shapes and patterns with these two hands-on activities.
Activity 1: Gingerbread Shape Book
Create a Gingerbread Shape Book for your home library!
What You’ll Need:
• Markers or Crayons
The text for each page is:
Gingerbread, Gingerbread, run, run, run.
I give you a (add shape name here) just for fun!
Make a page for each shape. Draw the outline of a gingerbread cookie with a smile on each page. Have your child choose a shape and then add that shape for the eyes, nose and buttons. Have your child write or trace the shape word in each sentence blank. Create a colorful cover page and add this book to your child’s home library!
Activity 2: Potato-Stamped Paper
A traditional craft project to help your child learn more about patterns! Use this time to see what kinds of patterns your child is most comfortable with.
What You’ll Need:
• A sponge, cut in half
• A knife
• A potato or sponge to transfer the paint print
Step 1: Cut the potato in half.
Step 2: Draw a shape onto a piece of paper that is the same size as the round part of the potato you just cut (make it easy by tracing the outer rim of the potato onto the paper for the right size).
Step 3: Place the paper on the potato and cut around the outside of the shape. Cut far enough down so that the shape stands out away from the rest of the potato.
Step 4: Place the sponges on small plates and add paint to each sponge. Have your child tap the shape side of the potato in the paint and create patterns on large sheets of paper, newspaper or butcher paper.
The first patterns that children usually can repeat are AB patterns. They might repeat colors (red-blue-red-blue-red-blue) or shapes (circle-square-circle-square-circle-square). Other patterns your child might use are ABB (red-blue-blue), AAB (red-red-blue) or ABC (red-blue-green). Patterns can be anything your creative child decides they want to make! The important thing is that the pattern repeats over and over without changing.