Shapes and Motion

Why do rubber bands bounce back when you let go? What makes a ball bounce higher than another? Why do objects that are round roll? 


6 Books:

  • Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong
  • Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
  • Oscar and the Cricket, A Book About Moving and Rolling by Geoff Waring
  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
  • Math Counts: Shapes by Henry Pluckrose

Activity: Alphabet Pattern Blocks, Make a Super Bouncy Ball

Materials: Balls to bounce and compare, bag of pattern shapes

Read Together

Asking your child questions as you read helps them think about the story and encourages them to ask their own questions. Here are some sample questions to ask your child as you read Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews.

  • Show the cover illustration. What does your child notice? Have them describe what they see. How many black dots are there? Count.
  • What can you do with ten dots? You may need to define new vocabulary: eyes, keys, portholes, freight. Come up with as many ideas as possible about what can be made with ten dots.
  • What else is round like the ten black dots?

Play Together

Playing with your child can be fun for them and for you, and asking questions will help your child learn.

  • Talk about the different shapes, sizes, and weights of the balls.
  • Have a bouncing contest. Who can bounce a ball the highest? Which ball bounces the longest? Which ball doesn’t bounce and why? Does size or weight change how a ball bounces?
  • Look through your home collection of balls: football, basketball, soccer ball, baseball, softball, tennis ball, beach ball. Compare how they bounce. Which bounces the highest? How do each of the different balls roll?
  • Fill water balloons. How does the water change the bouncing of the balloon?
  • Talk about the names of the shapes of the pattern blocks (triangle, parallelogram, trapezoid, square, rectangle, triangle). Use the pattern shapes to make pictures. Can the same design be made using different shapes (replace an octagon with two trapezoids).
  • Make a design and challenge someone to re-create the design using different pieces.

Online Activities

Watch The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Play Ball and also try the Alphabet Pattern Blocks activities as well.

Young learners can practice letters and early geometry skills with Alphabet Patterns from our Ready for School toolkit.

Language Arts

Spark great conversations about the science behind elasticity with this chemistry and craft project rolled into one.


Join Nick, Sally, and the Cat in the Hat as they learn about what makes a ball bounce.