Your Halloween activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids definitely need to include these monster shape mats! They’re free, easy-to-prep, and can be used with a variety of materials.
Let the kids explore shape identification and characteristics using the monster play dough shape mats. But they’re not just for use with play dough! Grab the materials you have on-hand and let the kids practice making shapes of all sorts.
Your students will get the chance to practice both early math skills AND fine motor skills with the monster shapes printable. You might even need to keep them in your math center past Halloween because the kids enjoy them that much!
Related: Free Preschool Printables
Read below for tips for prepping the shape mats, as well as ideas for using them with your students. And be sure to get your own copy of the monster shapes at the very bottom of this post!
Monster Shape Mats
I like using printables like these to shake things up and add a bit of whimsy to my plans. In addition to adding a bit of eye-catching flair for the kids, the monster shapes printable can be used in so many different ways to practice important skills.
How to Prep the Monster Play Dough Shape Mats
Start things off by gathering your materials. You really don’t need much to prep the monster shape mats. Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
And that’s about it this go around! Sometimes I prefer to laminate my shape mats. If that’s the case for you, make sure you have a sturdy laminator ready to go.
You’ll also want to grab the items you’d like to use with the monster shapes printable. I highly recommend seeing what you have on-hand first. No need to take a run to the craft store unless you really need to (unless you’re looking for a reason to go, of course!). Here are some possibilities:
- Dry erase markers
- Play dough
- Mini erasers
- Small toys
Then it’s time to get the monster shape mats ready. To do so, print out the mats you’d like to use. Then laminate the pages or place them in dry erase pockets. And that’s about it!
Ideas for Your Monster Shape Mats
As I already mentioned, you can use the monster playdough shape mats in a variety of ways. I’ll share the ways we tend to use them below. Keep in mind that you don’t have use them the same way we do! I’m sure you and your students can come up with even more ideas.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Pair the monster shape mats with play dough. Let the kids strengthen their hands and fingers as they manipulate the dough to make shapes on the mats.
- Use manipulatives, loose parts, or craft materials to practice fine motor skills. Have your students use their fingers to place the manipulatives around the edges of each shape. You can even try doing this with kid-friendly tweezers!
- Have your students use dry erase markers on the shapes. They can trace over the large shapes or the small shapes – whichever they prefer!
- Make a monster-themed sensory writing tray to go along with the monster play dough shape mats. The kids can draw the shapes in the tray, using the mats as visual guides.
- Add more math to the monster fun by having the kids count the sides for each shape. Or have the children count how many manipulatives go around each shape. Encourage the kids to compare and contrast the numbers they discover.
Again, these are just some ideas to get you started. I love sitting back and watching how kids interact with the shape mats. They often come up with new and interesting ways to use printables like this. And I am all for that creativity!
Don’t forget to grab your own copy of the monster shape mats at the bottom of this post!
What Shapes Come with the Monster Shapes Printable?
The monster shape mats comes with a variety of full-page shape monsters. You’ll see the following shapes on their own pages, and each shape is labeled:
There are also two “I can find shapes!” pages at the end of the printable. These pages have smaller versions of the above shapes. They’re great for learning how to draw shapes and are perfect for shape hunts around the classroom!
More Monster Activities for Kids
If the monster shape mats were a hit with your students, why not try some of these monster-themed ideas?
- Monster Counting Activity (with free printable number cards)
- Silly Monster Roll and Cover Math Game
- Monsters Book Making
- Disappearing Monster Activity
- Monster Slime
- Monster Play Dough Invitation
Monster Preschool Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 make your life a whole lot easier with done-for-you teacher resources. These fully-developed monster lesson plans will make planning a breeze! The plans come with a weekly overview, detailed daily lesson plans, book suggestions, whole group lessons, small group activities, center ideas, and related printables. AND be sure to check out The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101, a membership that saves early childhood educators a ton of time and money.
Click the image below to get your own monster lesson plans:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Get the Monster Shape Mats
And now it’s time for you to grab your own copy of the monster play dough shape mats. They’re available to members of Fun-A-Day’s (free!) email community. If you’re a member, enter your email in the form below to have the download link sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member, join us by entering your information into the form. You’ll receive the monster shapes printable as a welcome gift.
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thank you for sharing
Mary Catherine says
You’re very welcome, Laura! I hope you and the kids love the monster shapes. 🙂