Foam Shapes: Pretend, Pick, & Sort

Foam shapes are taken to a whole new math level in this Picking Fruit Shapes Game!

As an Experience Early Learning (EEL) Blogger, I receive the EEL Preschool Curriculum in exchange for my honest opinions and authentic stories about our experiences using the curriculum. All opinions and thoughts are completely my own.

Our Orchard Harvest box from Experience Early Learning has some fantastic and creative ideas in the teacher guides! Can I just say I have a billion of these little foam shapes, but never really know what to do with them exactly? But they do! Turn them into fruit and play a game involving sorting, classifying, graphing, counting, and analyzing.

Did I mention this is for preschoolers? My 3 year old and I played this for at least 45 minutes and when we were done, he taught his sister how to play and the fun continued!

Set Up

The Teacher guide suggested to hang the foam shapes with tape at different heights. I’m sorry yall, but aint nobody who’s got time for that. Plus that is a lot of shapes… and a ton of tape!

Here’s my super tip:

Foam shapes will stick to just about anything (without any residue) when you get them wet.

I placed the shapes in a bowl, added a little water, and took them outside to our garage door. My son and I then placed them all over the door pretending that they were fruit. Experience Early Learning sent us a die with the shapes and colors on it and 4 cardstock baskets with the four different foam shapes on it as well: rectangle, square, circle, and triangle. You could easily use your own baskets or bowls to sort.


We took turns rolling the die and then grabbing the shapes off the door and sorting them into the correct baskets based on shape. Experience Preschool sent us tweezers to pull the shapes off, which would have been a fantastic fine motor skill to practice, but we just stuck to our fingers. We continued until we rolled the die and could not find anymore of that particular foam shape.

More Math

We had sorted our “fruit” by shape in the game. Now it was time to sort the shapes by color and create a bar graph on our blanket. We emptied each basket, one at at time, and my son and I then sorted the shapes by color in a line to make a bar graph. After we finished sorting one shape into bars, I started to ask him some questions:

  • Can you tell me how many yellow (shape) there are? What about red? Green?
  • How many total (shape) did we pluck from the garage door?
  • Which color do we have the most of? Least?

After answering some math questions about that particular shape, we dumped another basket and did the same thing. We did this with all four baskets.

Guess what we learned?

We had absolutely NO GREEN SQUARES! That is the only shape/color missing from the die; however, it was kind of like a mystery and I could ask him why didn’t we pick any green squares. He thought for a second and told me because we didn’t roll any! Great opportunity to think about cause and effect relationships.

Who would have thought some foam shapes could lead to all this math? Not me. Thankful for the creative ideas coming from our little bus box from Experience Preschool!

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