The World Series is right around the corner, and if your town is as baseball-crazed as mine is, even the littlest tykes are following the playoffs. My three-year-old, Alex, can rattle off the Yankees stats as well as anyone out there, and my one-year-old, Jenny, is not far behind. Baseball is a fun and timely way for your kids to learn shapes. The field is shaped like a diamond, the bases are squares, and the baseball itself is a circle. Not only does this baseball project teach your kids all about shapes, but it can help hone their fine motor sills as well. Here is an adorable kids craft and game that will get your whole class as excited about shapes as they are about America’s favorite pastime.
Cut a large (9″x9″) diamond out of green craft foam for the baseball diamond. Cut out four white squares (1.5″x1.5″) and a rectangle (1/2″x3/4″) from white foam. Cut a brown circle (1.5″ diameter) from brown foam. You can cut four strips (6″x1/2″) from brown foam, or if you want your kids to practice their fine motor skills, make a dotted line around the bases and let them trace over it with brown paint. You can put hook-and-loop fasteners on each base and on the pitcher’s mound, and a corresponding piece on the bottom of each game piece. This way the pieces will stick nicely and are less likely to get lost.
As you explain how to do the project, review the shapes and have children hold up whichever one you mention. This is a great way to help them learn shapes. The kids can glue the four bases in place, and the pitcher’s mound in the center, with the white rectangle on top of it. Working with these small shapes also helps hone their fine motor skills. Give each child a few wooden people who can “play” baseball on their baseball diamond. They can decorate the people with permanent marker, paint, or even leftover fabric scraps in team colors. Each “player” can be given a baseball bat made from a piece of a craft stick. You can use just about anything for a baseball – a white bead, a pompom, or whatever you have on hand. Kids can decorate their baseball diamond kids crafts with baseball stickers or with ribbon in team colors. Review the rules of the game as you play it with your kids. Each child has a fun baseball project game to take home, and you can keep one in the classroom for them to use during free play. Of course, during recess time, make sure to apply what they’ve learned and have a real class game of baseball (or t-ball)!
Any project that kids can play with and use again is infinitely more fun than one that just hangs on the fridge. The great thing about this baseball project is that it’s not only fun to make and fun to play with, but it helps children learn shapes in an exciting way, and improves their fine motor skills as well. All this, plus this kids craft centers around something going on in the world around us right now – the baseball playoffs – that kids are hearing about all the time!