Not only are shapes fun and interesting for young kids, they are an important foundation for more complex math skills. In this Preschool Universe theme you will find fun learning activities, games, book recommendations, and resources – all about shapes.
Note: Many of these activities require paper shape cut-outs. You can print free templates here, from Coloring Castle.
Math & Science
Arrange cut-out paper shapes to form a pattern, such as square, circle, square, circle. Ask your child to continue the pattern. You can also string your shape patterns together by simply punching 2 holes in each shape and then threading some yarn or string through. Use these “streamers” for a shape party (below).
Count the number of sides on each shape.
Sort cut-out shapes by size, color, or number of sides. Count how many you have of each. Which groups have more?
Experiment with your shapes. Find a cylinder (aka aluminum can), a cube (sugar? box?), and a sphere (ball, marble). Which ones roll? Which ones are better for stacking? Why? Put some objects of various shapes in an opaque bag and see if your child can identify solely by touch.
Language & Literature
Read some great books about shapes.
Describe shapes by their properties (i.e. the triangle is pointy, this cookie is round like a circle, this oval is like a squished circle). Use as many interesting words as you can think of – even make up your own.
Reading & Writing
Match shapes with their names. You can make the materials for this activity by writing the shape names on a piece of paper or poster board, and then cutting out corresponding paper shapes. Ask your child to match the shapes with their names.
Draw shapes. Ask your child to try drawing some shapes – it’s great for fine motor development (lines, zigzags and squiggles totally count).
Arts & Crafts
Mold shapes out of play dough – try rolling out ropes of dough and making shape outlines. You could also use cookie cutters to cut out the play dough shapes. I highly recommend getting a big tub of plastic cookie cutters that has all the shapes you’ll ever need, including letters and numbers. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are not too sharp and remarkably sturdy. You could even trace around them to make your own templates.
Make a bookmark out of shapes with this printable template from First-School.
Glue shapes on large, thick paper to make a place mat. You could make one for each shape, or mix it up as you choose. Laminate these for extra durability, and don’t forget to use them at the shapes party (below).
Music & Movement
Play musical shapes (group activity). Put some shapes on the floor in a circle, turn on some music and walk to the music stops – now everybody stand on a shape! Choose a corresponding shape out of a hat, and the child on that shape wins a prize.
Celebrate shapes with a party. Hang up your shape streamers and put out your place mats. Cut some sandwiches into shapes, put on some music, and invite your friends (real, stuffed or imaginary).