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Shapes Activities for Preschoolers

shape activities for preschool

One of the first math concepts that preschoolers learn is identifying shapes . They begin to distinguish among the different shapes and categorize items according to shape. They learn the names of shapes and their characteristics. They find shapes in everyday items. This collection of shape activities for preschoolers can lead preschoolers to explore shapes in all kinds of ways.

Learning Activities for Shapes in Preschool

These activities will help your preschoolers learn their shapes. These shape activities for toddlers, will work in your preschool classroom and your kindergarten classroom.

1. Road Shapes with Cars (Pre-K Pages) – 22 printable road shape mats to help your litte learners identify shapes.

2. Making Shapes with Play Dough (Pre-K Pages) – A fun, hands-on playful learning experience that uses play dough to teach shapes!

3. Pattern Block Shapes (Pre-K Pages) – Pattern blocks can actually help your little learners build a strong foundation for learning geometry later.

4. Making Shapes with Geoboards (Pre-K Pages) – If you haven’t tried geoboard activities in your classroom yet, your kids are going to  love  them!

5. Create a Shapes Photo Book (Pre-K Pages) – To introduce shape concepts to my son, I grabbed the book So Many Circles, So Many Squares from our library as the anchor to our learning ship. Using this book, we went on a shape scavenger hunt and made a fun shape keepsake.

6. Perfect Square Shapes Art (Pre-K Pages) – This Perfect Square art activity is so easy to set up and totally open-ended. It goes perfectly with the book and would be an excellent addition to a  shapes  unit.

7. Building Shapes with Craft Sticks (Pre-K Pages) – Pair this activity with the book  Shapes, Shapes, Shapes  by Tana Hoban and you’ve got the perfect low-prep shapes lesson!

8. Teaching 3D Shapes (Pre-K Pages) – Here are some of my favorite ideas for teaching 3D shapes to young children in pre-k or kindergarten. I also wrote some very simple 3D shape songs for you that incorporate hands on learning; keep reading to access the 3D shapes printable song charts.

9. Nature Shape Scavenger Hunt (Pre-K Pages) – A Star in My Orange  is a great way to reinforce shape recognition with your preschoolers. They will also immediately want to run outside for their very own shapes scavenger hunt in nature!

10. The Shape of Things Chalk Drawings (Pre-K Pages) – Shapes are found, identified, and drawn in all preschool classrooms! Discovering just how often circles, squares, and triangles occur in our everyday life make them relevant to children.

11. Shape Wands (Pre-K Pages) – Make some shape wands and turn your home or classroom into the perfect place for kids to learn and identify shapes.

12. Shape Exploration (Pre-K Pages) – After reading the wonderful book  Mouse Shapes  by Ellen Walsh , I thought it would be fun to make a mouse that could be used in a shape game. The mice in the book explore  shapes  so, why shouldn’t we?

13. Make a Tortilla Shape Snack (Pre-K Pages) – We have the perfect recipe for exploring a math concept. Read aloud one great children’s book. Make a healthy and yummy treat. Combine the two together and you have a lesson on  shapes .

14. Shapes Word Chart (Pre-K Pages) – This word chart focused on  shapes  but you can make a word chart for any topic.

15. “I Have Who Has” Shapes Game (Prekinders) – You may have seen the “I Have, Who Has” card games circulating the internet a lot lately, so this is a fun twist for Pre-K to teach shapes.

16. Games and Activities for Teaching Shapes (Prekinders) – Here are a fun few ways to teaching shapes, like shape bingo and a memory game.

17. Tracing Shapes on the Flannel Board (Teach Preschool) – A wonderful way to introduce letters and shapes while building pre-writing skills!

18. Hunting for Shapes (Teach Preschool) -Explore shapes with a fun and interactive game!

19. Exploring Shapes with Blocks on a Table Top (Teach Preschool) –  A simple and engaging exploration of shapes and colors!

20. Learning Shapes by Rolling a Ball (Hands On As We Grow) – Try a fun hands on activity for toddlers for a creative twist to learn shapes!

21. Finding Shapes at the Playground (Buggy and Buddy)- Just print out the free shape hunt printable and go searching for shapes at the playground with this fun geometry activity for children!

22. Geometric Shapes Math Activity (Little Bins for Little Hands) – This simple geometric shapes activity  for kids is easy to do at home or as a math center in school. It also makes a terrific STEAM project including a bit of art and design too.

23. Gruffalo Themed Shape Animals (Educators’ Spin on It) – Exploring shapes with young children can be such fun when you involve a few animal friends from The Gruffalo.

Shape Learning Activities for Preschoolers

24. Feed the Shape Monster Game (Imagination Tree) – Make a fun activity for preschoolers and school aged kids with this feed the hungry shape monsters sorting game!

25. Sticky Shape Bugs Activity (Mom Inspired Life) –   This was a great way to develop fine motor skills and critical thinking skills while learning about shapes.

26. Learning Shapes with Spaghetti Noodles (Teaching Mama) – Looking for a fun way to teach shapes? Well here’s a very fun way using spaghetti noodles! This hands-on activity also is a great sensory activity.

27. Matching Shapes to Outlines (Busy Toddler) – Create this fun easy DIY shape mat to practice shapes with your preschoolers.

28. Chalk Shapes Jumping Game (Craftulate) – All you need for this shape activity is some sidewalk chalk!

29. Open and Closed Polygons Game (JDaniel4’s Mom) Grab some LEGOs and have fun with these polygon games, like hockey!

30. Shape Sensory Squish Bag (Still Playing School) –  Create this sensory squish bag with triangles, circles, and squares. It’s irresistible to touch and talk about in the window or on the table. It’s super easy to make, too!

31. DIY Shape Puzzles (Munchkins and Moms) – If you have some Jenga blocks and markers, then this easy DIY shape puzzle will be a fun engaging activity for your preschoolers.

32. Stamping Shapes in Kinetic Sand (Still Playing School) – Stamping shapes into kinetic sand is a great opportunity to work on shape identification, count the sides and corners, and compare and contrast the shapes.

33. Making Trucks from Shapes (Powerful Mothering) – Using your wooden blocks to draw and create trucks!

34. DIY Waldorf Square (Rhythms of Play) – An easy DIY toy for kids made with wooden blocks and liquid watercolor paints.

35. Magazine Shape Hunt and Sort (Mom Inspired Life) – This magazine shape hunt is jam-packed with learning! Kids will learn shapes while they practice cutting, gluing and sorting. It’s also an awesome way to work on critical thinking and observation skills.

36. Building Rockets with Shapes (Stir the Wonder) – Building rockets with shapes is a fun way to review shapes and colors with toddlers and preschoolers!

37. Build on Shape Outlines (Brick by Brick) – Use wooden blocks in a new fun way and work on shapes at the same time!

38. Shapes in Our Neighborhood Book (Munchkins and Moms) – Go for a walk and look for shapes in the neighborhood and then create a photo book after!

39. Sorting Shapes in the Sensory Bin (Learning 4 Kids) – Your preschoolers will practice their shapes and fine motor skills while having fun with this shape sensory bin.

40. I Spy Shape Hunt (Munchkins and Moms) – Create these fun easy spy glasses and go on a shape hunt!

Shapes PInterest Board

2 thoughts on “Shapes Activities for Preschoolers”

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I cant find these on your members site.

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Hi Stacy, These are free so you can just download them right from Pre-K Pages. With more than 300 free printables at Pre-K Pages I didn’t want to clutter the membership vault with them.

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25 Shape Activities For Preschool and Kindergarten

Shapes are a fun and engaging topic for preschoolers, that provide an important foundation for future mathematical learning. Explore how shapes can be integrated into a STEM curriculum. From shapes in everyday life, to shape art activities and even science, check out these easy to set up shape activities for preschoolers and kindergarten. Plus, make sure to grab the printable shape activities pack at the end!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Why Teach Preschoolers About Shapes?

Learning about shapes is important for preschoolers for several reasons:

Increases Their Vocab

Learning shapes introduces new words into a child’s vocabulary. Describing and talking about shapes helps preschoolers improve their language skills as they learn to express themselves more precisely.

Develops Pre-Math Skills

Recognizing shapes is an early introduction to mathematical concepts. It lays the groundwork for understanding concepts like counting, patterns, and spatial relationships, which are essential in math education.

Promotes Shapes In Art

Shapes are a fundamental component of art and creativity. Understanding shapes enables preschoolers to create more complex and visually appealing artwork.

Shapes In Everyday Life

Shapes are all around us in everyday objects. Learning about shapes helps children make connections between the abstract concept of shapes and the physical world they interact with.

Develops Problem Solving Skills

Understanding shapes also contributes to spatial awareness, which is crucial for tasks like reading maps, following directions, and understanding the arrangement of objects in space.

Manipulating shapes and fitting them into various puzzles or activities enhances a child’s problem-solving skills and encourages them to think creatively about spatial challenges.

Learning about shapes in preschool really does lay the groundwork for a wide range of cognitive, linguistic, mathematical, and creative skills. It is also foundational for later learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Read more about STEM and teaching shapes further on.

Books About Shapes

Here are five shape books perfect for pairing with these shape activities! ( I am an Amazon Affiliate )

“Mouse Shapes” by Ellen Stoll Walsh : This interactive book follows three mice as they explore different shapes to escape from a cat. It’s a great way for preschoolers to learn shapes while engaging in a cute story.

“ Brown Rabbit’s Shapes ” by Alan Baker : Join Brown Rabbit as he discovers shapes in his everyday life, from squares to stars. The colorful illustrations make learning about shapes enjoyable.

“ Shape by Shape ” by Suse MacDonald : This book combines clever die-cuts with colorful illustrations to explore how shapes can be transformed into various objects and animals.

“ Color Zoo ” by Lois Ehlert : While not exclusively about shapes, this book introduces animals created from basic geometric shapes. The cut-paper illustrations are vibrant and engaging.

“ The Shape of My Heart ” by Mark Sperring and Alys Paterson : Follow Little Polar Bear as he explores his world and discovers shapes in unexpected places. The rhythmic text and charming illustrations make it a delightful read.

For more excellent suggestions for book about shapes, see our printable shape worksheet pack at the end!

List of 2D Shapes

Here’s a list of different shapes along with simple descriptions that you can use to teach kids about two dimensional or 2D shapes.

Circle : A circle is a round shape with no corners or edges. It looks like the outline of a ball or a plate.

Square : A square has four equal sides and four right angles. All its sides are the same length, and it looks like a box or a piece of paper.

Triangle : A triangle has three sides and three angles. It can have different types, like equilateral (all sides are the same length), isosceles (two sides are the same length), or scalene (all sides are different lengths).

Rectangle : A rectangle has four sides with opposite sides being equal in length and all angles being right angles. It looks like a stretched-out square.

Oval : An oval is like a stretched-out circle. It has curved sides but no corners or edges.

Hexagon : A hexagon has six sides and six angles. It’s like a stop sign with six equal sides.

Pentagon : A pentagon has five sides and five angles. It’s like a house with a slanted roof.

Star : A star has many points, and it can vary in the number of points it has. It can look like the shape you draw when you connect the dots of a star in the sky.

Heart : A heart shape is often associated with love. It has two rounded parts at the top and comes together at a point at the bottom.

Diamond/Rhombus : A diamond (also called a rhombus) has four equal sides, but its angles are not right angles. It looks like a tilted square.

Crescent : A crescent is a shape that looks like a curved moon. It’s like a circle with a chunk missing.

How To Teach Shapes With STEM

Teaching preschoolers about shapes can be directly connected to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Here are some ideas for how to teach shapes to young kids using the components of STEM education.

  • Encourage preschoolers to explore their environment and find objects that match specific shapes. This fosters observation skills and scientific inquiry.
  • Help children recognize patterns created by repeating shapes. Patterns are a fundamental concept in science and math.
  • Discuss shapes found in nature, such as the shapes of leaves, flowers, and animals. This connects shapes to the natural world and promotes curiosity.

Technology:

  • Use interactive apps or digital games that teach shapes through touchscreen activities. This introduces technology while enhancing shape recognition.
  • Some online platforms offer virtual manipulatives that allow kids to interact with shapes and build structures.

Engineering:

  • Provide building materials like blocks, straws, and connectors and let kids construct shapes and structures. This encourages hands-on engineering skills.
  • Present challenges like “build a tower using only triangular blocks” to engage children in engineering thinking.

Mathematics:

  • Shapes are a fundamental aspect of geometry. Use shape recognition games, puzzles, and activities to introduce basic geometric concepts.
  • Have children sort objects by shape, creating opportunities for classification and mathematical thinking.
  • Manipulating and combining shapes helps develop spatial awareness and understanding, which is essential for mathematics.

By integrating shape learning with STEM, preschoolers can develop a holistic understanding of how shapes play a role in various aspects of their world. This approach lays a strong foundation for future STEM education while making learning engaging and meaningful.

Helpful STEM Resources

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

  • Engineering Design Process Explained
  • What Is An Engineer?
  • Engineering Words
  • Questions for Reflection (get them talking about it!)
  • BEST STEM Books for Kids
  • 14 Engineering Books for Kids
  • Jr. Engineer Challenge Calendar (Free)
  • Must Have STEM Supplies List

Get Your Free Printable Shape Activity!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

25 Fun Shape Activities

Check out these easy hands-on ways for kids to learn about shapes.

Go On A Shape Hunt

Turn shape recognition into a treasure hunt by searching for objects of different shapes around the house or in nature. Kids can match found objects to shape cards.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Sort Shapes

Provide a collection of toys or objects in various shapes and colors. Encourage children to sort them into corresponding categories based on the type of shape they are.

Trace Around Shapes

Give kids shape templates or stencils along with crayons or markers. They can trace the outlines to strengthen fine motor skills and reinforce shape knowledge.

Make Playdough Shapes

Mold playdough into different shapes using hands or shape cutters. This hands-on activity promotes sensory exploration and fine motor development.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Create A Shape Collage

Gather magazines, colored paper, and glue. Kids can cut out shapes and arrange them into a creative collage.

Play With Shape Puzzles

Craft simple puzzles by cutting shapes out of cardboard and have kids match the pieces to the corresponding shapes on a board.

Homemade Shape Stamps

Transform everyday objects like sponges or bottle caps into stamps. Dip them in paint and create shape patterns on paper. See our art activity with shape stamps.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shadow Play

Utilize a flashlight to cast shadows of toys onto a surface. Challenge kids to identify the shapes based on the shadows. Check out more shadow activities for preschoolers.

Shape Baking

Incorporate shape learning into the kitchen by using cookie cutters to make shape-themed treats. Or cut fruit like watermelon into shapes for a yummy treat!

Nature Shapes

Venture outdoors to collect leaves, sticks, and stones. Use these natural items to create shapes on the ground, blending art with nature.

Outdoor Chalk Shapes

Head outside with sidewalk chalk ( here’s how you can make your own ) and draw various shapes on the ground. Preschoolers can hop from shape to shape, reinforcing shape recognition.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape Books

Share picture books that feature shapes. Encourage kids to identify shapes within the illustrations. See our list of shape books above.

Shape Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of shapes for kids to find in their surroundings. They can check off each shape as they spot it.

Make Shape Puppets

Craft paper bag puppets with shape features like triangle noses or circular eyes. Kids can engage in imaginative play while reinforcing shape recognition.

Shape Play with Toys

Explore toys specifically designed for shape learning, such as shape sorters, puzzles, and magnetic shape sets.

Shape Building

Use building blocks, Lego, or other construction toys, or even straws and plasticine to build structures using different shapes. This fosters spatial understanding and engineering skills. Check our list of simple building activities.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Collaborative Shape Art

Work together on a large piece of paper to create a collaborative art project using a variety of shapes.

Shape Memory Game

Play a memory game with cards featuring shapes. Kids flip the cards and match pairs of identical shapes.

Shape I Spy

Play “I-Spy” by describing shapes, prompting children to find objects that match the description within their surroundings.

Shape Hunt in Art

Explore famous artworks and identify shapes within the compositions. Discuss how artists use shapes to create images. For example; circles or rectangles .

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Play Shape Bingo

Develop a shape-themed bingo game. Instead of numbers, children mark off the shapes called out.

Shape Obstacle Course

Set up an obstacle course where each station features shape-related challenges. This promotes physical activity while reinforcing shape recognition.

Shape Songs and Rhymes

Sing songs or chants about shapes to make learning more interactive and memorable.

Shape Patterns

Create simple shape patterns using different colors and sizes. Extend the pattern and encourage kids to continue the sequence.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Printable Shape Activities Pack

Who’s it for.

Perfect for 3-to 6-year-olds in a preschool classroom, learning center, or home. Easy to set up and use with one kiddo or turn into a center for the classroom. This themed pack includes a book and supply list to help you easily set up the 14 shapes activities.

⭐️ Tip:  Grab the  Preschool Themes Growing Bundle  and save money! ⭐️

What’s included.

  • Building Shapes
  • Seek and Find
  • Shape Printmaking
  • Sensory Sorting
  • What Shape is it?
  • Shapes Crown
  • Writing Center
  • Tracing Cards
  • Matching Game
  • Cover Up! Game

There are so many fun ways to explore shapes!

14 Comments

Great activity!

This is a terrific idea, I love the tactile nature of it. Fun and learning all rolled up together. Thank you!

Thanks a lot for this post. We are starting our homeschooling activities with my 8, 5, and 3 year sons. This is a great way of getting involved with geometry for the little ones.

Terrific! Glad you can use it!

Hi, I was wondering where do you print the shapes from?

This is where I found it:

“I printed off some geometric shape patterns from this site as it had some different sizes to offer” . I then cut them out and traced them onto the foam sheets. I made as many as I could so we would have lots of variety and colors! I set them out with popsicle sticks and magnetic numbers for an invitation to play and explore geometric shapes!”

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This is an interesting activity that parents can teach their kids. Geometry and shapes, kids will like to spend time with such things. Even I shall try my hands on it. I really loved the new concept and will definitely share it with my friends too. I thank the author for this!

Thank you so much! It’s a great open ended math and STEAM activity for all ages!

I think this is a fantastic post. Geometry always looked boring in the books but now when you share a new way to learn, absorb and grasp geometry rules, it appears quite appealing to me and it may to the kids too. Tell me where to buy some such interesting games too.

  • Pingback: Learning about Shapes Math Activity | 123 Homeschool 4 Me
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  • Pingback: 15 FUN Math Activities for Kids! – The Homeschool Resource Room

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

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30+ Fun Educational Shape Activities for Kids

Shape activities

Shape Activities

Shape activities for toddlers and preschoolers

2D Shape Activity

2D shape activity

Circle Art Painting

Circle painting - shape art for toddlers and preschoolers

Kandinsky Shape Art

Kandinsky shape art - shape activities for toddlers and preschoolers

2D Shape Painting

2D shape painting activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Road Shape Mats

Road shape activity

Pattern Block Mats

Pattern block mats - easy shape activities for kids

Masking Tape Shapes Activity

Masking tape shape activity for kids

Farm Themed Shape Mats

Farm themed shape mats - Shape activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Wooden Shape Puzzles

DIY wooden puzzle shapes

Shape Slime

shape slime - shape activities for kids

DIY Cardboard Shape Puzzle

DIY cardboard shape puzzle - shape craft ideas

I Spy Shapes Book

I spy shapes book - shape activity ideas

Marshmallow STEM Shape Activity

shapes marshmallows - STEM shape activity

Shape Bubble Wands

Shape bubble wands - shape activities for kids

Touch and Find Shape Game

shape game for kids

Shape Sensory Bottle

shape sensory bottle

Pet-Themed Shape Playdough Mats

shape playdough mats

Shape Crafts

Under the sea shape craft.

Under the sea shape craft

Shape Monsters Craft

Monster shape craft for preschoolers

Woodland Animal Shape Craft

woodland animal shape craft for kids

Shape Buddies

Shape craft for toddlers

Rocket Shape Craft

Rocket shape craft for kids

Owl Shape Craft

Owl shape craft

Sponge Geometric Art

Sponge geometric art - shape crafts for kids

Holiday Shape Crafts and Activities

Shape activities for kids

Bat Shape Craft

Bat shape craft for toddlers and preschoolers

Vampire Shape Craft

Vampire shape craft for kids

Shape Turkeys

Shape turkey craft for kids

Pumpkin Shape Matching

Pumpkin shape matching game

Shape Christmas Tree

Shape Christmas tree craft

Santa Shape Craft

Santa shape craft for kids

Shape Printables

Shape hunt printable

Shape Playdough Mats

Printable shape playdough mats

Shape Coloring Activity

Shape coloring activity for kids

Feed the Monster Shape Game

Feed the monster shape game

Printable Shape Crafts

Printable transportation shape crafts.

Transportation shape crafts

Printable Animal Shape Crafts

Printable animal shape crafts

Printable Dinosaur Shape Crafts

Printable dinosaur shape crafts

How to Draw Shape Animals

How to draw shape animals

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

30 Fun Shape Activities For Kids to Learn Shapes

We compiled this list of engaging shape activities for kids to save you time and make learning shapes fun! From low-prep printables to play-based learning, you will find a variety of shape activities that will excite kids in preschool and kindergarten.

Shape activities for kids in preschool, pre-k and kindergarten. Fun ways to learn shapes.

30 Fun Shape Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Learning shapes is an important math skill in preschool and kindergarten . Students will learn to name shapes, identify shapes as 2D and 3D, model shapes in the world, compose shapes and more. This list of shape activities is full of fun, engaging ways to teach these skills.

From shape hunts to art projects to puzzles, crafts, nature explorations and more, these activities are sure to add lots of fun and learning to your plans.

Find activities and ideas that will make learning shapes a fun, hands-on experience for the kids!

30 Fun Ideas for Teaching Shapes

2D Shape Clip Cards

1. This free  2D Shapes Clip Cards activity helps kids practice shape identification and builds  fine motor skills .

Magazine Shape Hunt

2. With this Magazine Shape Hunt kids will learn shapes while also practicing cutting, gluing and sorting.

Shapes Collage

3. Learning Shapes with Rainbow Walks – Make these shape rocks and add them to play for a fun, engaging way to explore shapes.

4. 2D Shapes Activity Digital Activity – This is a fun, interactive google slides / seesaw activity for learning shapes!

5. Trace the Shapes Art Project – Combine art with fine motor skills as your kids learn shapes!

6. Giant Shape Sorter – Your kids will have a blast learning shapes with this giant cardboard shape sorter.

Shapes Collage 2

7. Shape Bingo – Kids love Bingo! They’ll learn shapes while having a blast.

8. Roll a Shape Game – This is a quick and fun printable game that will help your kids learn to identify shapes!

9. Shape Books for Kids – Looking for some fantastic books about shapes for your kids? Here are 25 great books!

10. Transportation Shape Playdough Mats – If your students or kids love vehicles and play dough this will be a fun way for them to learn shapes!

Shape Games and Shape Printables

Shape Collage 8

11. Chalk Shapes Jumping Game – Your kids will love this fun way to learn shapes while playing outside. Draw some chalk shapes and get ready for gross motor fun!

12. Shape Play Dough Mats – Combine math and sensory fun by adding these shape play dough mats to your centers.

13. Fruit Themed 2D Shape Matching Game – This fruit themed shape matching game is a great way to practice recognizing and naming shapes.

14. Simple Shape Sorting Activity – Grab some tape and create this fun and simple shape activity that the kids are going to love!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

15. Shape Art Activity – Explore shapes while creating a cool piece of process art at the same time.

16. 2D Shape Puzzles – Add these shape puzzles to your math centers for a hands-on way to practice matching shapes.

17. Shape Monsters Collage Art – Create shape monsters with fun collage materials to help kids learn shapes!

18. Amazing Square Bubbles – These square bubbles are so cool. Invite the kids to build cool 3-dimensional bubble wands with this STEM project.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

19. Block Painting – Spark creativity and explore shapes with this unique process art shape activity.

20. Shape Match Sensory Bin – Hide shapes in a shredded paper sensory bin and invite the kids to find and match shapes.

21. Math Game: Geometric Shapes – This hands-on shape game is a great spatial awareness activity.

22. Feed the Hungry Shape Monsters – This simple and fun game helps kids practice recognizing and sorting 2D shapes.

Fun Ideas for Learning Shapes

activities for preschoolers with shapes

23. 2D Shape Puzzles – Kids will practice building and sorting shapes when they use these cool shape puzzles.

24. Paper Plate Shapes – Grab some paper plates and yarn so your kids can create this neat shape craft!

25. Shape Puzzles Freebie – Go on a fun shape hunt to find each match needed to complete the puzzle.

26. Shape Scavenger Hunt – Kids love scavenger hunts! Add this fun shape hunt to your plans for lots of fun and learning.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

27. Nature Shapes Outdoor Activities – Explore nature while learning about shapes.

28. Farm Theme Shape Activities – These farm theme shape building mats are going to add lots of engaging shape exploration to your plans.

29. Sponge Stamped Triangle Collage – Create art and explore triangles with this fun process art shape activity.

30. Sticky Shape Bugs Activity – Making shape bugs on a sticky scene is a great way to develop fine motor skills while learning about shapes.

I hope this saves you lots of time planning fun, hands-on shape activities for the kids! With these engaging ideas, they will be learning shapes in no time.

Taming Little Monsters

25 Shape Activities for Kids

Categories Activities

All of these Shape Activities for Kids introduce toddlers and preschoolers to shapes through play-based learning. 25 ways to recognise, create, and explore basic shapes.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Disclosure: Adult supervision is required for all activities at all times.

If you want to make your Shapes themed lessons a breeze, then check out the Shapes Activity Pack . It’s filled with math and literacy centers, fine motor activities and arts and crafts templates. All of which are aligned with preschool learning standards. Check it out today.

Table of Contents

  • Shape arts and crafts
  • Shape sensory activities
  • Shape STEM activities
  • Shape fine motor activities
  • Free shape printables

Shape Arts and Crafts for Kids

Block painting.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Blocks come in a variety of shapes. Circles, triangles, squares. Any picture can be broken down into these basic shapes. If your little ones are too young to make an actual picture, don’t worry, it’s still a lot of fun dunking the blocks in the paint and making shapes on a page.

Giant Shape Art for Kids

Giant shape art for kids. A fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn shapes. Include it in your list of shape activities for kids.

Giant Shape Art for Kids was a fun way to spend an afternoon with the kids. We used an old cardboard box and painters tape to create some fun tape resist art, exploring and learning all about shapes as we did it. If you’re teaching a toddler or preschool classroom, try this simple art activity, the kids will love it.

Black Glue Shape Art for Kids

Learn how to make Black Glue Shape Art for Kids. A fun and easy kids art idea for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning all about shapes

Black Glue Shape Art for Kids is all about learning 2D shapes. Toddlers and preschoolers love art ideas for kids that are fun, while parents and teachers love art ideas that are easy and educational. This activity ticks all of those boxes.

Either make single pages for home, or make large ones as a small group project in the classroom. This activity can easily be adapted for both parents and teachers.

Kandinsky Shape Art for Kids – Messy Little Monster

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Explore colors and shapes with your toddler or preschooler with this shape art for kids. This hands on learning art project inspired by Kandinsky. Is fantastic for kids of all ages.

Shape Stamp Painting

Try this shape stamp painting for kids. A fun and easy shape art and craft idea for toddlers and preschoolers.

Make your own shape painting using shape stamps . This is an asy way to use those shape sorting toys in a fun new way.

Recycled Shapes Process Art – Mosswood Connections

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Raid the recycle bin and use recycled items to make art. Kids will have fun discovering shapes with this Process Art Project.

Shape Sensory Activities for Kids

Shape sorting sensory bin.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This shape sorting sensory bin is loads of fun for toddlers and preschoolers. Get the FREE printable shapes and start teaching some math.

Shape Match Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape Match Sensory Bin is a fun sensory bin using shredded paper. It’s a fun and easy way to learn and practice shape recognition with your toddler or preschooler.

Fizzy Shapes Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shapes play ideas where science meets math will always be a hit with toddlers and preschoolers. Check out this fizzy shapes sensory bin.

Shape Button Sensory Bin – 3 Dinosaurs

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Have you seen those buttons that are different shapes? If not, go and grab them because you can create so many different play based learning activities with them.

Shape Sensory Squish Bag – Still Playing School

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Create a sensory squish bag for kids to learn shapes. Stick it on the window to see what happens when the sun shines through.

Shape STEM Activities

Building shapes – stem for kids.

Building shapes STEM for kids is a fun and easy engineering activity for kids. Help toddlers and preschoolers learn their shapes with some play based learning.

This Building Shapes – STEM for Kids activity is a fun, play based learning activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Engineering for kids can be both easy and fun, and includes more versatility than just building blocks.

Which Shape is Strongest – Science Sparks

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Did you know that under certain circumstances paper can be very strong? This easy investigation uses paper folded into different shaped columns to hold up books. Which shape will hold the most books, before crumbling under the weight?

3D Bubble Shape Activity – Little Bins for Little Hands

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Can you make bubbles different shapes? This is one of my favorite shape activities for kids because you find out how to make your own cool 3D bubble wands and explore the science of bubbles.

Floating Shapes Experiment – Active Littles

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Want to learn how to make the floating dry erase marker experiment work? Learn how to make shapes float around on the top of water, just like magic.

Magic Disappearing Shapes Activity – Gift of Curiosity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This simple shapes activity brings some magic to your child’s learning by disappearing at your child’s command. Not bad for paper towels and water, is it?

Shape Fine Motor Activities for Kids

Sticker shapes fine motor activity.

This sticker shapes fine motor activity is a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn shapes and develop fine motor skills.

This sticker shapes fine motor activity is a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn shapes and develop fine motor skills.

Mystery Shapes – Days of Grey

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Mystery Shapes is a fun fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Join the dots together to discover what shapes are hidden there.

Basic Shapes Work Station – Learning 4 Kids

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shapes play ideas provide children with the opportunity to explore and create with shapes. It teaches shape recognition and has the benefit of developing fine motor skills.

Sand Shapes – Gift of Curiosity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Sand shapes, a shape themed art, and fine motor activity kids will love.

Playdough Shapes Puzzle – Mama OT

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Help your child develop fine motor skills with this simple yet creative puzzle activity using shapes and play dough.

Shapes Free Printable Activities

Craft stick shape mats.

Get your copy of these FREE Craft Stick Shape Mats. Use them to teach toddlers and preschoolers math, fine motor skills, language and more.

Get your copy of these FREE Craft Stick Shape Mats. They’re perfect to help toddlers and preschoolers who are learning about shapes.  The children will develop fine motor skills, math, language, and more with this easy, low-prep activity.

Shape Playdough Mats – Fantastic Fun and Learning

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Use these shape play dough mats to help preschoolers and kindergarteners learn how to make 2D shapes and recognize shapes in everyday objects

Free Shape Lacing Cards – 3 Dinosaurs

activities for preschoolers with shapes

When you’re looking for shape activities for kids, make sure you include some shape lacing cards. This is a fun way to learn shapes with some hand-on learning.

Free Shape Flashcards – Look We’re Learning

activities for preschoolers with shapes

These free printable shape flashcards are a wonderful learning resource for toddlers, and preschoolers who are learning about 2-D shapes.

Free Shape Dot Marker Printables – 3 Dinosaurs

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Use this printable with dot markers, playdough or manipulatives. This simple printable is so incredibly versatile, your students will love it.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shapes Activity Pack

Educational printables for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners to teach them all about Shapes.

Are you going to try any of these Shape Activities for kids? Don’t forget to pin the idea for later.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

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Fun with Mama

Toddler and preschool activities

Shapes Activities For Preschoolers

These hands-on 2D Shape activities for preschoolers will make learning shapes simple for teachers, and FUN for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners. Did you know that learning shapes is a foundational skill? This can be done through having a preschool shapes theme week or by doing a shape of the week throughout the year.

In this post, I’m going to share with you my favorite shape resource that I’ve spent hours putting together so that you, my teacher friend, or fellow parent, don’t have to. I will also share my favorite free shape printables and simple activities you can do at home. You can check out my 2d shapes activity pack here.

shape activities for preschool

Please note that while these shape activities for kindergarteners and preschoolers can be used by various ages. Adult supervision is always required.

You can find our favorite kids activity pack supplies here.

colors and shapes activities for preschoolers and toddlers

This page will be updated constantly to add more shapes activities.

Did you know that preschool shapes recognition is an early math skill? You also may be wondering how to teach basic shapes to preschoolers or toddlers and what shapes preschoolers should learn.

The shapes preschoolers should know are:

Take it further by introducing more shapes:

With these activities, not only will they be learning basic preschool shapes they will also work on early math skills and even learn preschool colors too. We often sprinkle in some shape activities throughout our preschool themes and units because repetition is the key. Children are sponges and they learn through repetition. 

These activities will make teaching shapes more fun.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

The first few activities on this post are from our 2D Shapes Activity Pack

GET THE SHAPE ACTIVITY PACK HERE

activities for preschoolers with shapes

GET THE ABOVE SHAPE ACTIVITIES

2d shape posters.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Yes, hang those posters up! Children are more observant than you realize, so while they are learning shapes it’s a great idea to hang up some shape posters in your home or classroom.

Shape 3 Part Cards

activities for preschoolers with shapes

3 part cards, also known as Nomenclature cards, refer to

  • The picture only card
  • The word only card
  • The whole card <— also the control card that includes the picture and word.

These Montessori inspired cards enrich vocabulary, and reading and writing skills. They help build connections. Students will match the correct words to the correct whole card.

Playdough Shapes Cards

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Children learn better when we can incorporate more of their senses. We prefer to use hands on activities that encourage children to move their hands and bodies. Using play dough to make shapes will not only help them learn how to form a shape, it will also strengthen their fine motor skills, strengthen their hands, and work on their visual perception.

2D Shape Sorting Mats

2d Shape Sorting Mats

These shape sorting mats include basic shapes and for a more advanced child, I’ve also included some real life shape objects. Children can sort the shapes to their correct mat. With a younger child you may opt to only give the student 2 mats at once, while with an older child you can have them sort shapes amongst all 12 mats.

2D Shape Roads

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Beep! Beep! Let’s have some fun with those toys at home. Learning can be fun, especially if you pair your favorite toy with a learning activity. Children will use a toy car to drive around the shape. Add more of a sensory aspect to it by adding shaving cream to the mat (make sure to laminate the mats first.) Have them drive through the messy shaving cream and then, when they are done, dump their cars in a water bin for a carwash. This adds a sensory aspect to it, and we know how much kids love Water Play

2D Shape Lacing Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

2D Craft Stick Shape Cards

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Children love to build and create. Not only is this great for working on problem solving skills and creativity, but they learn math skills that will help them in the future. Have students build shapes out of popsicle sticks. You can opt to add velcro dots to the edges of each stick to make the pieces more sticky. When done building shapes, see what else children opt to create.

Shape Count and Clip Cards Math Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

First, identify the shape and then students will count how many shapes are on the card. Then they will clip the correct number.

Match The Shape Buttons

activities for preschoolers with shapes

I have a 2.5 year old at home, and one of her favorite activities is anything that incorporates stickers or these shape buttons. Children will match the color and shape button to the corresponding spot on the mat. Do your little ones enjoy working with shape buttons too?

Sticker Shapes

activities for preschoolers with shapes

While we are working on my toddlers (or is she a preschooler)’s favorite activity type I incorporated the pom pom shape activity. I normally offer this activity two ways. The first is with pom poms. Children will place the correct pom pom color onto each shape’s white spot. Then, once we are done with pom poms I give her some circle stickers and she can place the stickers on the white circles.

2D Shape Fish Tank Hunt

activities for preschoolers with shapes

These fish come in different shapes and sizes. Students will identify the fish with the matching shape and then cover them up. You can use goldfish crackers to mark the shape.

2D Shape Puzzles

activities for preschoolers with shapes

For young children, cut the puzzle into two pieces. For older children, cut the shape into 4 pieces. Then have students match the shape to the shape word heading.

2D Shape Hunt Shape Mats

activities for preschoolers with shapes

The detective is on a mission. He is looking for specific shapes. Children will need to help the detective find the shape and then write the number they found. If you laminate the page children can use a dry erase marker to write the number. Or, if you don’t, you can also have them use a magnetic number instead.

Snail Shell 2D Shape Matching

Match the shape shell to the correct snail. You can make this a file folder game. Laminate the page and add velcro dots.

2D Shape Foldable Book

Fold the book then follow the prompts on each page to color, trace, and draw the shape.

 2D Shape Patterns

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Yep, there’s those buttons again. Like I mentioned before, we love them and if I’m going to purchase a material, I want to make sure we get to use them over and over again. These shape buttons pair perfectly with the shape pattern activity.

I am an Amazon affiliate, affiliate links are used in this post.

You can get the above fun shape activities here:

GET THE ABOVE SHAPE ACTIVITIES HERE

Shape bestsellers in the shop.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

More FUN Preschool shapes activities

Shapes themed toddler activities as well as preschool activities , constantly make a reappearance in our home. 

colors and shapes activities for preschoolers

More Of The Best Preschool Shapes Activities

Mystery shapes.

Check out two of my daughters favorite shapes activities in her new YouTube video… have your child learn along with her.

Preschool Shapes Matching Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Make shapes collages using contact paper. This sticky shapes activity is a shapes sorting activity. The contact paper removes the need for glue and makes it easier for a toddler. This learning shapes and colors for toddler Printable activity looks as pretty as it is fun. My toddler had a blast placing the small stars in the big star.

Preschool Shapes Math Hunt Sensory Bin

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This puzzle shapes hunt activity works wonderfully with any puzzle you have at home. Kids will learn their shapes through a sensory experience. The Shapes sensory bin can be made harder by having your child close their eyes and feeling the shape. My toddler was impressed by my preschool shapes game.

Toddler Shapes Activity Fishing

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Preschool Shapes Paint Resist Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Try out this free printable  shape scavenger hunt.

12 Preschool Shapes Sensory Bins from around the web

Shapes Themed sensory bins for toddlers and preschoolers

We love sensory bins in our home and these 12 shapes sensory bins from around the web give you many different options on teaching your child shapes through sensory exploration.

Jelly Beans Color and Preschool Shapes Matching

Who can resist colorful jelly beans play? This activity works on shape and color recognition.

Shapes Fine Motor Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This activity is a little more advanced and works well for older preschoolers and elementary grade schoolers. I also enjoyed sewing and weaving with the kids. You can work on color recognition too.

Create a Preschool Shapes Stamp

Make shape stamps out of foam shapes and popsicle  sticks.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Make a Shapes Canvas Painting

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Bingo Colors Printable Game

bingo colors printable game

  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

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25 Creative Activities and Ideas For Learning Shapes

Triangles, circles, and squares… oh, my!

Five separate images of activities to learn shapes from paper to rocks.

Learning shapes is one of the earliest concepts we teach kids. This readies them for geometry in the years ahead, but it’s also an important skill for learning how to write and draw. We’ve rounded up our favorite activities for learning shapes, both 2-D and 3-D. They all work well in the classroom or at home.

1. Start with an anchor chart

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Colorful anchor charts like these are terrific reference tools for kids learning shapes. Have kids help you come up with examples for each one.

Learn more: A Spoonful of Learning / Kindergarten Kindergarten

2. Sort items by shape

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Collect items from around the classroom or house, then sort them by their shapes. This is a fun way for kids to realize that the world around them is full of circles, squares, triangles, and more.

Learn more: Busy Toddler/Shape-Sorting

3. Snack on some shapes

Learning Shapes Chieu Urban

Everyone loves a learning activity you can eat! Some food items are already the perfect shape; for others, you’ll have to get a little creative.

Learn more: Chieu Anh Urban

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4. Print with shape blocks

Learning Shapes Pocket of Preschool 2

Grab your shape blocks and some washable paint, then stamp shapes to form a design or picture.

Learn more: Pocket of Preschool

5. Go on a shape hunt

Learning Shapes Nurture Store

These “magnifying glasses” make an adventure of learning shapes! Tip: Laminate them for long-term use.

Learn more: Nurture Store UK

6. Hop along a shape maze

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Use sidewalk chalk to lay out a shape maze on the playground or driveway. Choose a shape and hop from one to the next, or call out a different shape for every jump!

Learn more: Creative Family Fun

7. Assemble a truck from shapes

Learning Shapes Little Family Fun

Cut out a variety of shapes (excellent scissors skills practice!), then assemble a series of trucks and other vehicles.

Learn more: Little Family Fun

8. Stretch out shapes on geoboards

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Teachers and kids love geoboards , and they’re a great tool for learning shapes. Give students example cards to follow, or ask them to figure out the method on their own.

Learn more: Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station

9. Drive on shaped roads

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Use these free printable road mats to work on shapes. Bonus: Make your own road shapes from sentence strips!

Learn more: PK Preschool Mom

10. Find shapes in nature

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Take your shape hunt outside and look for circles, rectangles, and more in nature. For another fun activity, gather items and use them to make shapes too.

11. Put together craft stick shapes

Learning Shapes Surviving a Teachers Salary

Add Velcro dots to the ends of wood craft sticks for quick and easy math toys. Write the names of each shape on the sticks for a self-correcting center activity.

Learn more: Surviving a Teacher’s Salary

12. Blow 3-D shape bubbles

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This is a STEM activity that’s sure to fascinate everyone. Make 3-D shapes from straws and pipe cleaners, then dip them in a bubble solution to create tensile bubbles. So cool!

Learn more: Babble Dabble Do

13. Prep a shape pizza

Learning Shapes Mrs Thompsons Treasures

Cover a paper plate “pizza” with lots of shape toppings, then count the number of each. Simple, but lots of fun and very effective.

Learn more: Mrs. Thompson’s Treasures

14. Construct shapes from toothpicks and Play-Doh

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This is an excellent STEM challenge: how many shapes can you make using toothpicks and Play-Doh? Marshmallows work well for this activity too.

Learn more: Childhood 101

15. Outline shapes with stickers

Learning Shapes Busy Toddler 2

Kids adore stickers, so they’ll enjoy filling in the outlines of the shapes they’re learning. They won’t realize it, but this gives them fine motor skills practice too!

Learn more: Busy Toddler/Sticker Shapes

16. Lace shapes

Learning Shapes Planning Playtime

Lacing cards have long been a classic, but we really like this version that uses drinking straws. Just cut them into pieces and glue them along the edges of the cards.

Learn more: Planning Playtime

17. Make shapes with LEGO bricks

Learning Shapes Pocket of Preschool

LEGO math is always a winner! This activity also makes a good STEM challenge. Can your students figure out how to make a circle from straight-sided blocks?

18. Categorize shapes by their attributes

Learning Shapes Susan Jones Teaching

Work on geometry terms like “sides” and “vertices” when you sort shapes using these attributes. Start by placing shapes into paper bags and asking students questions like, “The shape in this bag has 4 sides. What could it be?”

Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching

19. Count and graph shapes

Learning Shapes Playdough to Plato

These free printable worksheets challenge kids to identify shapes, then count and graph them. Lots of math skills, all in one!

Learn more: Playdough to Plato

20. Create a shape monster

Learning Shapes Fantastic Fun and Learning

Add arms, legs, and faces to create cheery (or scary) shape monsters! These make for a fun classroom display.

Learn more: Fantastic Fun and Learning

21. Sift through rice for shapes

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Sure, kids can identify their shapes by sight, but what about by touch? Bury blocks in a bowl of rice or sand, then have kids dig them out and guess the shape without seeing them first.

Learn more: Fun With Mama

22. Craft an ice cream cone

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Ice cream cones are made up of several shapes. Encourage kids to see how many different ways they can make a sphere of “ice cream.”

Learn more: Extremely Good Parenting

23. Ask “What does the shape say?”

Learning Shapes Around the Kampfire

If you don’t mind the risk of getting that song stuck in your kids’ heads, this is such a neat way to combine writing and math.

Learn more: Around the Kampfire

24. Piece together shape puzzles

Learning Shapes Toddler at Play

Use wood craft sticks to make simple puzzles for kids who are learning their shapes. These are inexpensive enough that you can make full sets for each of your students.

Learn more: Toddler at Play

25. Feed a shape monster

Learning Shapes Teach PreK

Turn paper bags into shape-eating monsters, then let kids fill their hungry bellies!

Learn more: Teach Pre-K

From teaching shapes to long division and everything in between, these are the 25 Must-Have Elementary Classroom Math Supplies You Can Count On .

Plus, 22 Active Math Games and Activities For Kids Who Love to Move .

25 Creative Activities and Ideas For Learning Shapes

You Might Also Like

Geoboards

18 Clever Ways to Use Geoboards in the Classroom

Simple, classic, and fun. Every classroom needs these. Continue Reading

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Early Impact Learning

12 Fun Preschool Shapes Activities to Try

Exploring and identifying shapes is an important learning experience for preschoolers. Shapes are all around us and understanding them makes children make sense of the world. By learning shapes, kids develop their memory, visual recognition, spatial awareness and problem-solving. They should learn to identify basic shapes and recognize them in everyday objects from an early age.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Table of Contents

Creative Shape Activities for Preschool

There are many shape activities for preschool that you could engage in with your children to enhance their creativity and imagination. Young kids can explore shapes by building with blocks, sorting objects and playing shape-related games. Teaching shapes is a great way to learn new vocabulary and develop early math skills while having fun. Below are three of my favorite shape activities that I have used in my classroom. I love to watch as the children’s understanding grows while setting a strong foundation for future learning.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

1. Play Dough Shape Activities for Preschool

Prepare different colored play dough and some pictures or real shapes. Go through their characteristics by introducing words like corners and edges. Let the children explore shapes and play with them for a few minutes.

Then, ask the children to warm up the play dough and open and close their hands. Teach shapes by showing them how to make different shapes using the play dough. Can they make the basic shapes of a circle, square or triangle?

activities for preschoolers with shapes

2. Shape Collage Creation

For this activity, you will need:.

An A3 sheet for each child, colored cards, scissors and gluesticks.

Begin by introducing the concept of collage to the children. Explain that a collage is a piece of art created by putting different materials together, even if they overlap. Show them an example you created, and go through all the shapes you have already cut out.

If the children are older, they can draw and cut the shapes themselves.

Can they pick out a square? Can they find a yellow triangle? Go through all the names of the shapes you will work with.

After all the shapes have been cut out, model how to stick the shapes on the paper to create a collage.

Allow children to display their collages and talk about them.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

3. Shape Printing

You will need:.

Sponges or foam cut in different shapes, poster paint and sheets of paper or card.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape printing is a very fun way to teach shapes! First, explain to the children that they will be doing a fun geometry activity where they will be using shapes as stamps to create unique patterns and designs.

Engage them in a discussion about the shapes made from sponges or foams and see if they can recognize them. Change the colored paint you will be working with, too. Can children name all the colors? Do they know which colors can be mixed to obtain a different color?

Model how to dip the sponges in the paint and ensure they are evenly coated. Encourage children to experiment with different combinations of shapes, colors, textures and arrangements to express their creativity.

Can they create patterns?

activities for preschoolers with shapes

After the activity, open a class discussion on their creations and ask them about their favorite prints.

You can even create a collaborative shape print mural by sticking all the pieces of paper together.

4. Shape Block Towers

activities for preschoolers with shapes

For this shape activity you will need:

Building blocks in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Cuisenaire rods work fine, too.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

For older children, include shapes such as cubes, rectangular prisms, cylinders, and pyramids. Begin by explaining that they will be using different shapes of blocks to build towers.

Engage the students in a discussion about the different shapes of blocks. Show examples and let your little learners identify shapes.

Then model how to build a tower by using the shapes at hand.

Mix things up. Challenge some children by allowing them to use a certain number of blocks, include specific shapes, or build the tallest tower they can.

Can children use different combinations of shapes, create patterns, or alternate colors? Encourage discussion.

Once the towers are built, talk about the children’s creations. Ask questions, such as which shapes were the easiest or most challenging to work with, and what they learned from the activity.

As a plenary, ask children to describe their towers in the classroom. Expand on their imagination by asking them questions such as: ‘Who lives in your tower?’, ‘How many rooms does it have?’, ‘What is there around your tower?’

Problem-Solving with Shapes

Problem-solving with shapes in the classroom offers students an opportunity to develop critical thinking skills while learning shapes and exploring geometric concepts.

Here are some of my favorite shape activities I have used in my classroom:

5. Shape Puzzle Challenge

You will need different shape puzzles. Explain that they will have to fit different shapes in the correct gaps.

Gather age-appropriate puzzle pieces in various shapes and different puzzle boards. Discuss each shape, and talk about how they can fit together with another shape, or which gap they correspond to.

A tangram is a great resource to use, like in the picture below:

activities for preschoolers with shapes

For older children, introduce pentagons, hexagons and octagons.

Show the children how to fit the pieces together on the puzzle board. Distribute the puzzle pieces to the children or allow them to take turns selecting pieces. Encourage them to work together, guiding them as needed to fit the pieces together correctly.

Let the children explore the puzzles individually or in pairs. Observe and provide support as necessary.

As a plenary, ask children which shapes were the easiest or most challenging to piece together. Why?

This shape activity is great to develop fine motor skills .

activities for preschoolers with shapes

6. Shape Memory Game

Learning shapes can be enjoyable and engaging with the right activity, such as this fun shapes game.

Cards that have different shapes printed on them. You can make the cards yourself, or find them online and print them.

How to play this shape activity:

Start by placing the cards face down in a grid formation. Start with only 4 cards first, especially if the children are very young, then gradually increase to six or even eight.

The first player flips over two cards, trying to find a matching pair of shapes. If successful, they keep the cards and take another turn. If not, they flip the cards back over, and it becomes the next player’s turn.

The game continues until all the matches are found. The player with the most pairs at the end wins. This game enhances memory skills , shape recognition, concentration, and fine motor skills.

It can be adapted for different levels by adjusting the number of cards or introducing more complex shapes.

7. Shape Sorting Bonanza

This is one of the most fun shape activities for preschool that I recommend you try with your young kids or students.

Different shapes that are made from different materials eg. wood, plastic or card.

To play a shape-sorting bonanza game with preschool kids, gather a variety of objects or flashcards representing different shapes .

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Explain that they will have to sort the shapes according to different criteria, for example by color, material, shape, roughness, thickness, etc.

Make a list of all the different sorting criteria they could use. Then model the first example yourself.

After, spread the shapes on a table or play area. Guide the children to sort the objects into corresponding shape categories, placing circles with circles, squares with squares, and so on.

As a challenge and a creative twist for more able or older children, can they find shapes in their environment such as a round clock or a square pencil/case or a rectangular sharpener or eraser?

Ask them to gather all the shapes they can see around them and sort them into different categories.

8. Shape Jumping

Masking tape and a clear portion of the floor.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Make big shapes on the floor using masking tape. The children will be asked to jump from one shape to another one by one. Ensure you are teaching shapes by going through each one and making sure the children know the names.

Then ask the children to make a line and tell them which shape to jump on until they get to the other side. Alternatively, ask them to walk around the sides of a particular shape (on the masking tape) and ask them to count how many sides it has. Can they count the corners?

Learning Through Play

Children always learn best through play, and exploring shapes is no exception. When children manipulate shape puzzles, build with blocks, or create shape collages, they develop spatial awareness, problem-solving skills, and fine motor control. Playful shape activities encourage them to explore the attributes of shapes, compare and classify them, and understand their real-world applications. So let them learn shapes through play! Try these shape activities for preschoolers below:

9. Shape Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are amazing for preschool children . They usually can’t get enough!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Prepare a sensory bin by filling it with a base material like colored rice, sensory beads or pasta.

Add a variety of objects and materials that represent different shapes, such as foam or wooden shapes, plastic shape molds, or shape-themed toys. Introduce the shape sensory bin to the children, explaining that they will be exploring shapes through sensory play.

Sensory Exploration

Encourage the children to use their hands to feel and manipulate the shapes in the bin.

Let them sort the shapes, identify and name them, and describe their characteristics (e.g. sides, corners).

Shape Search

Hide specific shapes within the sensory bin.

Guide the children to search for and identify the hidden shapes.

Encourage imaginative play by letting the children create scenes or stories using the shape objects in the sensory bin.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Teach children the habit of tidying up the shape objects and returning them to the sensory bin.

10. Shape Scavenger Hunt

Begin by explaining the concept of a shape scavenger hunt to the children. Give them each a list of shapes to find and define the boundaries, whether it’s the walls of the classroom, the library or the garden. Explain that when they find a shape on their list, they have to bring it back to you, or collect it in a container.

Divide the children into small teams or pairs, ensuring each group has a list of shapes to find. Encourage the children to search the designated area for objects that match the shapes on their list.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Have each team share their findings and discuss the shapes they found. Celebrate their accomplishments and reinforce their shape recognition skills.

As an extra treat, offer small prizes or certificates to encourage engagement and participation.

11. Shape Detectives (I-spy)

Children have to spot the shapes which are mixed in with many different other objects.

Tell the children they do not move around the room. Put many small toys and objects in front of them. Tell them that they have to spot the shapes and take turns to pick them out of the pile of toys. They have to name the shape, pick it up and say its color and properties.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

This can be a timed activity, as children have to give their maximum focus for a limited time period.

12. Shape Hunt in Nature

Shape Hunt is similar to the scavenger hunt, but the twist is the location. Ask children to find the shapes you have previously hidden in a forest, park, or school playground.

Make the boundaries very clear, and ask the children to collect the shapes they find.

Come together at the end to talk about the shapes they have found.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

In conclusion, engaging preschool children in shapes activities offers a multitude of benefits. These activities promote shape recognition, spatial awareness, fine motor skills , creativity, and cognitive development. By incorporating playful and hands-on experiences, we can nurture their curiosity, ignite their imagination, and lay a strong foundation for their ongoing learning journey.

Stay At Home Educator

intentional teaching for purposeful learning

16+ Shape Activities for Preschool Lesson Plans

February 11, 2021 by Sarah Punkoney, MAT

In order to be ready for kindergarten, preschoolers benefit from learning their shapes . Here are 16+ shape activities for preschool lesson plans that are full of fun ideas and available in a FREE download at the end of this post. There are shape activities for toddlers, too!

Already-Planned-For-You Shape Activities for Preschoolers

all about shapes for preschoolers - free shape lesson plans for preschoolers, teach preschooler shapes

Learning shapes is the most basic skill within the geometry discipline of math, so it makes sense that we spend some time teaching our preschoolers about shapes. But there’s more to shapes than just their names. These preschool shape activities will take you beyond just memorizing shape names. Kids learn best with hands-on activities, and that is what these are! Toddlers and preschoolers alike, and even kindergarten students, will love these fun shape activities because of all that hands-on learning! They are easy to set up and require minimal materials.

These daily lessons in shapes for preschool include hands-on activities, engaging centers, and skill-based focus lessons.

FAQ About How to Teach Shapes to Preschoolers

The following are the most frequently asked questions about how to teach shapes to preschoolers and toddlers, including which preschool shapes are appropriate for learning. there are a lot of shape activities for kids that include free printables, like these lesson plans, making teaching shapes super easy!

In preschool, children learn to identify and name shapes by using materials such as posters, blocks, games hands-on manipulatives, and books. Learning shapes is a process and requires repetition and practice. Scavenger hunts, shape collages, and sensory bins all help children learn to identify basic shapes.

By the time a preschooler is bound for kindergarten, they should be able to identify the following shapes: ~ circle ~ square ~ triangle ~ rectangle ~ oval ~ rhombus ~ heart ~ star You can find this and more in my Toddler & Preschool Assessment & Portfolio Pack .

Shapes are the foundation of geometry ! In a preschool setting, geometry skills include identifying shapes, comparing shapes, differentiating between shapes, and creating shapes. Teaching shapes to your preschooler is more than just teaching them to name them. Learning shapes helps children identify and organize visual information, learn spatial awareness and visual discrimination. Learning shapes also helps children understand other signs and symbols, such as street signs or icons on a computer app.

There are endless fun pre-k shape activities for use in the classroom! We have included eight hands-on center activities and games in our lesson plans that teach shapes to preschoolers. Plus, we have created specific shape photo cards which encourage preschoolers to dive deep into a photograph and make connections to how shapes are all around us.

Related Reading

Shapes Lesson Plans for Preschoolers

all about shapes for preschoolers - free shape lesson plans for preschoolers, teach preschooler shapes

Hands-on Preschool Shape Activities

These shape activities are available in a download at the end of this post. They offer 16+ activities to complete over the course of a week and are a part of my Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans . To see more of my free Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans , just click below. >>> Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans Collection <<<

Or Get the Convenience Bundle

These weekly lesson plans for preschool can all be found for free on my site, but you can save time by grabbing the convenience bundle.

* Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans Bundle

Literacy Activities for a Shapes Theme

Building Letters & Shapes Using Pipe Cleaner s – Did you know that learning shapes help children recognize letters? Letters are very similar to shapes. The letter V is a triangle missing a side, and the letter O is just a circle. Using pipe cleaners, invite your preschooler to build some basic shapes. Can you turn any of those shapes into a letter or number with a quick tweak? What new letters/numbers can you make? Shapes and Letters Collage – Using an old magazine or two, invite your preschooler to cut out all different kinds of shapes. While looking for shapes, encourage them to look in the magazine for the letters in their names. Look for favorite toys or foods, too! Cut everything out and assemble it on a collage. Invite your preschooler to talk about their collage and name all the items they picked out. Then display it proudly!

Don’t Forget Picture Books About Shapes

When I first started teaching, there weren’t many picture books to help teach shapes to preschoolers. But things have changed! Here is a book list featuring my favorite shape books to read to my preschoolers.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Math and Science Activities for a Shapes Theme

Geometry Shape Train – Help your preschooler learn about the different properties of shapes by manipulating them to fit into a specific shape or design on paper. This activity develops spatial awareness and shape recognition. Print the train template and the shapes, and match the shapes to fill the train! Your growing engineer will love this activity! Shape Activities with Movement – Grab some painters tape and make a few large shapes on the floor. Encourage your preschooler to trace the shape with their hand (and foot!) and hop, dance, or slide across the shape. This is a good activity for rainy days, too. Which Shape is the Strongest? – Fold three pieces of construction paper into differently-shaped tubes. Fold one tube into a triangle, one into a square, and the other into a cylinder. Test which tube is the strongest when putting various items with a similar weight on top.

Playful Learning Activities for a Shapes Theme

Body Shapes – What shapes can you make with your body? Invite your preschooler to lie on the floor and try to make different shapes. What if you worked with a sibling or friend? What shapes can you make then? Take pictures of your preschooler and show them the shapes they made. Mirror, Mirror Game – Face your preschooler and have them attempt to copy all your movements. Be silly! Run in place! Act like a monkey! Then switch roles and copy your preschooler. Can you make shapes with your body or hands? Challenge your preschooler to name “new shapes” they might create with their bodies while you copy them. Sock Basketball – Help with the laundry by tossing clothes into the basket. Roll up clothes into a ball (or sphere) and toss them into the laundry basket. Two points for making it in on the first try! Make it into a fun game and gather all the laundry from around the house to be a big helper.

learn at home preschool shapes theme - all about shapes for preschoolers - free shape lesson plans for preschoolers, teach preschooler shapes

Social-Emotional Activities for a Shapes Theme

Kid Yoga – Devoting time to stretch, move, and center our bodies is great for people of all ages! Go to YouTube and watch the video Kids Yoga Alphabet . Join in with the instructor and encourage your preschooler to practice some of the alphabet shape movements. If they are hesitant, allow them to watch and begin when they are ready. Encourage taking deep breaths, trying to be calm and centered, and model making mistakes as you try different poses. Keep it fun and engaging!

Drawing Confidence – Go to YouTube and listen to the book A Drawing Game by Anitha Murthy. After listening, invite your preschooler to do just like the young girl in the book and think of the shapes when she intends to draw something. As children get older, they often struggle with their drawing not matching the idea in their head or get frustrated when it doesn’t come out as they had hoped. Encouraging your preschooler to always think of the shapes when drawing will help them feel confident and like a true artist!

Just Plain Fun Activities for a Shapes Theme

Shape Flower Craft – This fun craft allows your preschooler to get creative with shapes and colors. Cut out various shapes from construction paper…the more the better! Challenge your preschooler to use the shapes to make various flowers. How many different designs can they come up with? If you have a preschool class, make an entire flower garden of shapes to hang on the wall! Shape Pizza Craft – Kids love pizza! So why not make a shape pizza using construction paper? Invite your preschooler to draw various shapes on colored paper that represent the toppings. Circles for pepperoni, rectangles for cheese, triangles for pineapples…the options are endless! Glue them all down on a large circle for your pizza crust and have fun being a pizza chef! This is also a great activity to add to your Food and Nutrition Theme . Playdough Shapes – Get creative with playdough shapes! Make houses, pizza, cakes, cars, and more. What shapes are used to make these different items?

Playdough Shape Mats for the Entire Year

Our Favorite Toys to Teach Shapes

You don’t need specialty toys or manipulatives to be an effective teacher, but if you’re looking for some shape manipulatives, these are some of the most used in my own classroom.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Safe Online Activities for a Shapes Theme

Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong. As you are listening, review any unknown words with your preschooler. Encourage your preschooler to answer the questions on each page as you read to make this book even more interactive.

Learn Shapes with Pete the Kitty – Follow along with our favorite Pete the Kitty and learn shapes and colors! And who doesn’t love Pete the Cat?!

Shapes are Everywhere Song – This song offers a great way to help your preschooler identify the names of the shapes, as well as where we see these shapes in our everyday lives.

Get Your Free Preschool Shape Activities Here

These shape activities ate written up as lesson plans to be completed in about a week’s time, but you can use them any time of year! Grab your free Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans by clicking the image below.

You Might Also Like These Lesson Plans

This  Shapes Preschool Math Unit  includes everything you need to teach beginning geometry and shapes in preschool math! It gives you the lesson plans and the centers, as well as smaller daily math activities to keep your students learning. Not only will your preschoolers learn how to  identify basic shapes , but they will also develop spatial awareness skills .  From  matching and sorting   to   graphing shapes and tracing , your preschooler will gain a strong foundation in geometry with these lesson plans. With  four complete weeks of lesson plan s and over 36 hands-on activities, your preschooler will love math, too!

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Shapes to Preschoolers
Teach Your Preschooler Geometry with a Shape Train Activity
Space Rocket Ship Craft that Teaches Shapes and Geometry
Colors and Shapes Sorting Activities for Preschoolers

activities for preschoolers with shapes

I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

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2D Shape Activities for Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten

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2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Learning about 2D shapes is a must for every early childhood classroom.  I’m here to share with you my favorite, go-to 2D shape activities!  Some teachers may do a shapes theme or unit (like me), some may do a shape of the week, and some sprinkle in shape activities all year long.  These activities will work for all types of classrooms and teaching styles!  Grab your lesson plan binder, and let’s get started!  Want all shape printables now?  You can find them in my Shapes Unit on TPT HERE.

This post contains affiliate links.

2D Shape Activities

Shape Manipulatives

Favorite shape manipulatives. Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

When setting up a shape activity, the first thing I do is go into my supply closet and pull out all my shape games, manipulatives, and puzzles.  Pattern blocks , shape cookies , and shape magnet blocks are distributed into various classroom centers.  Students need to be playing, manipulating and creating with shapes all over the classroom, not just in the math center!

Slide6

I love this 2D & 3D shape building se t!  It’s a ton of fun and comes with shape cards.

Toothpick Shapes

Toothpick Shapes are a fun and interactive way to learn shapes!  Students can make shapes with toothpicks and play dough or marshmallows.  When teaching your little learners about shapes, it’s important to teach about the sides and vertices too.  Use those big vocabulary words!  Feel, touch and count the number of sides and vertices  a shape has.  Don’t forget that a circle doesn’t have any sides or vertices!

Slide4

In the Discovery Center:  Learning about math and science

In the discovery center, I set up a shapes exploration table.  The wall has shape posters with real photographs, the back of the table is lined with shape building cards and manipulatives and translucent shapes .  There is a sorting board with shape flashcards on top.  It’s just a poster board I made with tape.  Super simple!  The basket is filled with real objects and shape cards students can sort.  This exploration table gives students the opportunity to talk about, touch, feel, build, and manipulate shapes with a peer or independently.

Shapes exploration table plus more 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Shape Building Blocks Cards !  This is a close up of the building block shape cards .  Students use the blocks to create the shape on the card. After the shape theme is over, put the shape building cards in with your manipulatives or STEM drawers!

Shape lego cards plus more 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Geoboard shape cards !  I put these shape geoboard cards in my geoboard basket.  Students can make the shapes with loom bands on the geoboard. To introduce this activity, I put it out for table time as an arrival activity.  It’s also great to build those little fine motor muscles too!

Shape cover up! Plus more 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Shape cover up !  Cover up is a fun game to practice matching shape!  Students spin the spinner and cover the matching shape.  I love these translucent spinners for my math games.  This game is in my Shapes pack .  It comes in four different levels.

Shapes graph it ! This is another fun shapes game that my students love.  It’s also a great opportunity to talk about more, less and equal to.  Try using magnet bingo chips to cover the graph then using a magnet wand at the end to make the game even more exciting.

In the Sensory Table

This shape sensory table is filled with shaped manipulatives and a few cupcake pans for sorting.  It has foam shape beads , shape chains and translucent shapes .  Perfect for sorting, lacing, and linking together.  And you guessed it, it’s great for their fine motor, too!

Shape sensory table plus more 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Transition Activity

Shape sort !  Transition activities are the perfect time to do a quick assessment or learning check.  We have snack after music and movement time.  I always plan a transition activity for that time for several reasons. The first is so the whole class isn’t lined up at the same time to wash their hands, which is just asking for crazy behaviors to occur.  The second is because it’s another time I can squeeze in more learning!  What I do is call on a student and give them a card to sort.  It’s a quick and easy way for me to check and see if they know or don’t know a shape.

Shape sort! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

In the Library Center

Sand writing trays with shape flashcards !  Students can write and draw shapes in the sand.  This tray is from a lacing set but you can use any small tray you have.  I know some teachers use foil pie plates or kid plastic divided dinner plates for writing trays.

Shape mini books !  After we make a shape mini books together during small group or table time, I put them in the center.  They LOVE making them! Staplers scare me a bit with my little learners so I put in this stapleless stapler ! It’s amazing!

Shape mini book! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

 Shapes emergent reader !  For a small group activity, students create their own shape emergent reader.  After they are complete and we have read them a few times together, they are put in the library center for students to read.

Shape emergent reader! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

In the Art Center

My students LOVE play dough trays so I try to make one for each theme we do. In this activity, they create play dough shape monsters.  Students use the shape cookie cutters to create the body.  Then add arms, legs, eyes and hair using cut up pipe cleaners, small popsicle sticks, toothpicks, and googly eyes.  The tray is from the Dollar Tree.

Shape play dough monsters! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Play dough shape mats !  Students can create play dough shapes on these shape mats.  They can make the shape by rolling play dough snakes or by molding the dough.

Shape play dough mats! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Shape Prints!   It’s great fine motor and makes beautiful pieces of art for your classroom. We cut up paper towel tubes for this circle printing project.

Circle printing! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

We printed with wooden shape blocks too!

Shape printing! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Shape collages! It’s important to provide activities for students to create new items using shapes.  In fact, it’s a learning objective/standard in many states.  Students need to be able to manipulate shapes to create new shapes, objects or pictures.  Shape collages are the perfect activity to address this learning objective.

Single shape collages!  You can also have students create shape collages using just one kind of shape.  One year my students were struggling with triangles so we created triangle shape collages.  Students were finding triangle shapes, talking about triangles (how they are alike and different), and making pictures with triangles!

Triangle collages! Plus 2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

Dramatic Play

You can change the dramatic play center to so many different things for a shape theme but my favorite thing to do is a Pizza Restaurant. There are shapes all over a pizza restaurant. The pizzas can be different shapes and the slices too! Then the toppings are so many different shapes too. You should totally try it!

How to transform the dramatic play center into a Pizza Restaurant and how to make tons DIY props.

Make learning about shapes FUN by providing your students with hands-on learning experiences and play!  Want all the 2D Shape printables in this post?  Click HERE to grab my 2D Shapes unit from my TPT store.  It’s packed with over 200 pages of shape building cards (legos, geoboards, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, play dough), posters, sorting mats, worksheets, games & MORE.

2D Shapes Unit for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten.

Learning about shapes is a fun theme and concept to do with little learners and you can check more fun shape activities by clicking on the image below!

How to make shape sensory bottles and a FREE shape hunt printbales using things you alredy have in your classroom. #shapetheme #sensorybottles #shapeactivity #preschool #prek

Want to see more 2D shape activities? Check out this video .

Learn about 2d shapes in your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten room

Love these shape activities? Pin this image!

2D Shapes activities for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Shape mats (legos, geoboards, etc), play dough mats, posters, sorting mats, worksheets, & MORE.

hey, i’m jackie!

I’m Jackie, your go-to girl for early childhood inspiration and research-based curriculum. 

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Shape Activities

By Shaunna Evans 2 Comments · This content may contain affiliate links.

There are so many ways to incorporate  hands-on math activities for kids into playful fun and learning. In this collection we’re specifically looking at creative shape activities to help kids learn about 2D shapes.

Shape Activities for Kids

Make  shape rocks  for kids to use for play and learning. Fun-A-Day shares some excellent ideas for using them.

Scavenger hunts are always a hit around here. Buggy and Buddy has a free printable to take along with you for a shape scavenger hunt at the playground.

Making shape collages like these from Homegrown Friends can be a great way to expose young kids to shapes. The process also promotes creativity.

Make your own geoboard with this tutorial from Crayon Box Chronicles. I love the use of fabric loops in this one!

2D Shape Activities for Kids

Toddlers and preschoolers will love the added sensory element of water and bubbles in this scooping shapes sensory bin .

Little creators can turn 2D shapes into a bird or another favorite creation in this 2-D shape art invitation .

Use play dough and these free printable shape mats to make shape pet “food” for pet theme math fun!

Turn shapes into collage art monsters in this creative monster art shape activity .

2D Shape Puzzles with real photographs

Help children begin to recognize 2D Shapes in real objects with these free printable photo shape puzzles .

Shape Activities 2

Fun-A-Day has another homemade geoboard that is super easy to make and great for letting kids create their own shapes.

This Foam Lacing Shapes activity is great fine motor practice and makes a great busy bag.

This Build a Bracelet activity is great for shape recognition and fine tuning your child’s fine motor skills.

This inexpensive Cardboard Shapes activity easy toddler craft is a cheap way to teach your toddlers shapes.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Learn to recognize shapes in everyday objects with these quick prep free printable 2D shape puzzles .

Shape Activities 3

This fun Trace the shapes art project is a great fine motor activity and a great way to do some art while learning shapes.

This simple Learn about shapes using paper plates and yarn activity is so easy to set up and will be so much fun for your little ones.

These Shape Play Dough Mats will teach your kids the basic shapes so they can start to recognize and learn them.

If you are looking to get your kids active and moving, you can’t go wrong with this Shape Hopscotch activity.

RELATED: 25 Shape Books for Kids

More math and science activities with fizz, pop, bang.

Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities  is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.

It includes 40 educational projects and 20 printables including a set of build-your-own 3D shape blocks, engineering challenge cards and a range of math games.

Learn more about  Fizz, Pop, Bang!  or you can  buy it now !

Buy Now-Fizz Pop Bang ebook with 40 projects for ages 3 to 8 and 20 free printable resources

Reader Interactions

Mary Catherine

February 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Thanks so much for including my rainbow rocks! I love seeing the other shape ideas you have here — can’t wait to check out the rest!

February 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Thank you for featuring our DIY Geoboard with fabric loops. So many great activities. Pinned.

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Published: Jul 23, 2023 · Modified: Jan 18, 2024 by Amy Rosier · All activities should be supervised by an adult. This post may contain affiliate links.

10+ Hands-On Shape Activities for Preschoolers 

Inside: A collection of 10+ fun and educational shape activities for preschoolers to help them develop their early geometry understanding. 

shape activities for kids

As preschoolers embark on their early learning journey, it's crucial to provide them with engaging experiences that promote their understanding of shapes. The following 10 shape activities for preschoolers are sure to encourage fun learning of basic 2D shapes and foster a strong foundation in geometry. Let's dive in and explore the exciting world of shapes together! 

The activities are recommended for children of 2 years and older.

When do children learn about shapes?

Young children as early as 1 year old can already see congruence between shapes and differentiate opposing ones. This means they can spot where two shapes are the same, before being able to name them. This innate visual perception forms the foundation of their understanding of shapes. Their next developmental milestone is classifying shapes based on their similarities. Interestingly, children can accomplish this task before acquiring the language skills to label them. Naming shapes eventually becomes the easier part of the learning process, as their conceptual understanding solidifies.

Related: Use this low-prep printable Snail Shapes Cut and Match Activity to help your little one to recognise shapes!

Using these shape activities for preschoolers to develop geometry, cognitive and fine motor skills

Once your child has reached the stage of naming 2D shapes, it's the perfect time to engage in the shape activities listed below. These activities provide opportunities for you to discuss the distinct properties of each shape. Encourage your child's analytical thinking by asking questions such as:

  • What makes a triangle a triangle? 
  • How many popsicle sticks will we need to make a square? 
  • Can we make a circle with toothpicks?

As they become increasingly confident in their shape analysis, they could progress to building composite shapes. For example, through play they might discover that two squares side by side make a rectangle. Additionally, they can explore the concept of symmetry when they are ready for the next challenge.

These activities have the added benefits of supporting the development of your little one’s fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. All of these shape activities for preschoolers begin as simple shape building exercises and progress to pattern or picture creation. By engaging in these hands-on shape activities, you are not only fostering your preschooler's geometry understanding but also foster development of their overall motor skills, spatial awareness and spatial reasoning skills .

Shapes Activities for Preschoolers

Shape activity 1: shape collages.

Use paper cut out shapes to create pictures

Having a selection of paper cut outs to create pictures from is a great way to begin to engage your child in discussion about shapes!

Shape Activity 2: Lollipop sticks

Use lollipop sticks as a shape formation activity for preschoolers 

Shape Activity 3: DIY paint stamps

make shape paint stamps with sponges and a lollipop stick

These require a little bit of preparation. Cut them out of a washing up sponge, then make a small indent in the top and insert a lollipop stick as a hand hold. 

Shape Activity 4: Pizza Shapes

An easy shape matching activity for the little pizza lovers! 

Shape Activity 5: Playdough and cutters

Playdough and cutters make a great shape learning activity for preschoolers

Using a rolling pin is a great way of developing your child’s bilateral coordination! Once they have tackled this part, they are ready to either use playdoh tools or cookie cutters to cut out shapes. 

Shape Activity 6: Toothpicks and playdough

Use toothpicks and playdough to make geometric shapes with children

This one is a little fiddly and will need support from a more nimble-fingered helper! Encourage your children to roll little balls of playdoh before they get started poking cocktail sticks in to assemble them.

Shape Activity 7: Geoboard

geoboards are great fun for making shapes

Another fiddly one but great fun for making 2D shapes and especially helpful for beginning to use vocabulary for corners.

Shape Activity 8: Shape Symmetry Challenge

Try this  hands-on activity using Duplo blocks to explore shapes and symmetry !

Shape Activity 9: Pipe cleaner shapes

bend pipe cleaners to make shapes with preschoolers

Shape Activity 10: Cotton Bud Shape Monsters

A cute monster theme activity for children to construct basic shapes with cotton buds !

Shape Activity 11: Go on a shape hunt!

Time to take your learning outside! Go on a walk outside and encourage your child to be a shape hunter and see what they can recall about their learning in a different environment. Can they recall properties of shapes when they see them in the world around them?

Shape Activity 12: Shape Sorting Suncatchers

An activity to get your preschoolers to sort the shapes and create beautiful suncatchers at the same time!

FAQ on Learning Shapes

Point out and name shapes in the environment around them, such as circles on clocks, squares on building blocks, or triangles on road signs. This helps children make connections between shapes and real-life objects. Building with blocks, playing with shape puzzles, or using shape sorting toys are great ways to reinforce shape recognition and spatial reasoning skills . Cutting out shapes from colored paper, creating collages using different shapes, or using playdough to sculpt various shapes can also help reinforce shape concepts while enhancing fine motor skills. Try our collection of hands-on shape activities for preschoolers to explore the world of shapes and geometry!

Daily life is filled with various examples of shapes. Encouraging children to observe and identify shapes in their daily lives can enhance their understanding and recognition of different geometric forms. Here are some common shapes that can be found in our everyday surroundings: Circle: Wheels, coins, clocks, buttons. Square: Windows, tiles, books. Triangle: Road signs or slices of pizza. Rectangle: Books, tables, doors. Heart: Valentine's Day cards, chocolates, drawings, decorations. Star: Flags, stickers, badges.

Learning shapes helps preschoolers develop visual discrimination skills, enabling them to distinguish and recognize differences in shapes, sizes, and spatial relationships. By exploring shapes, preschoolers begin to comprehend concepts like symmetry, patterns, and geometry, which are crucial for later mathematical understanding. Engaging with shapes helps children develop visual-spatial skills, including understanding positions, orientations, and spatial relationships. This lays a foundation for activities like reading maps, assembling puzzles, and later, advanced math concepts.

These shape activities provide the opportunities for preschoolers to develop their geometry skills while simultaneously enhancing cognitive abilities, fine motor skills, and critical thinking. Try these hands-on shape activities for preschoolers today and witness the joy on your child's face as they explore the exciting world of shapes and geometry!

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About Amy Rosier

Amy Rosier is a primary school teacher based in Cambridge, UK. She has eight years of classroom teaching experience in London, Cambridge and Shanghai. She is passionate about early childhood education and thinking outside the box to find creative and engaging ways to get children to overcome obstacles in their learning.

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Miss Kindergarten

Hands-On Shape Activities for Preschool

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Shape identification is one of my favorite concepts to teach preschoolers because are so many hands-on and engaging activities!  No matter the age of your young learners, there are multiple ways that they can explore and learn about basic shapes. Read on for some of my favorite hands-on shape activities for preschool!

Shape activities for preschool - Car shape tracing activity

Shape Matching Activities for Preschool

One of the first steps that I like to take in shape recognition is having students use their visual discrimination skills to match shapes.  It’s helpful for students to explore the differences and similarities in shapes as they identify matches. Here are some of my favorite ways to help students match shapes and explore shape orientation.

  • Task Cards:   For example, students can match the shaped wheels to the correct bus
  • Shape Boards and Puzzles: Explore shape matching and orientation by completing puzzles
  • Pattern Blocks : Students can match pattern block shapes based on pattern block cards
  • Concentration: Play a shape matching game, adjusting difficulty by adding or removing cards
  • Partner Up: Give each student a shape card, then have them find the classmate with a matching shape

Shape Building Activities for Preschoolers

Exploring shapes by building them is another great opportunity for preschoolers to learn about shapes.  A class of preschoolers often displays a wide variety of fine motor skills. This is why shape building activities are perfect for preschool! They provide additional fine motor practice before moving on to tracing and writing shapes. 

Two shape building cards are being used with play dough

  • Stick Shapes: Use popsicle sticks or toothpicks to build shapes
  • Play Dough Mats: Roll out play dough to create a variety of shapes with these free mats
  • Pattern Blocks: Build a larger shape using pattern blocks
  • Shape Building Mats: Use any manipulative you have on hand to create shapes on these mats
  • Geoboards: Explore shapes using rubberbands and geoboards 
  • Flexible Shapes: Build shapes with flexible materials like pipe cleaners or Wiki Sticks

Activities to Identify Real-Life Shapes

As students become more familiar with shapes, it’s important for them to see that there are shapes all around them!  Here are some fun activities for students to see shapes in real-life objects.

A shape center is in use on a desk, with real-life objects being sorted into groups based on their shape.

  • Shape Matching Cards: Match a picture of a real-life object with the corresponding shape
  • Play “I Spy” : Have students take turns thinking of a shaped object in the room while everyone else guesses
  • Show and Tell: Have a shape of the week to encourage students to see shapes in the world around them
  • Shape Hunt: Go on a shape hunt in nature or around the school grounds
  • Sensory Table Sort: Add buttons or other shaped objects to a sensory table for sorting

Shape Tracing and Writing Activities

We often think of paper and pencil when it comes to tracing and writing. However, there are many other activities that will help our young students practice proper shape formation before they ever need to pick up a pencil!  These activities are especially helpful for young students who are still developing their pencil grasp.

students love learning shapes with these car themed shape cards

  • Shape Roads : Shape road task cards help students explore the concept of tracing along a path. No cards? Use painter’s tape to create shape roads on the ground.
  • Water Painting: Draw shapes with sidewalk chalk, then have students water paint over them
  • Sensory Bag: Draw a shape on the outside of a sensory bag, then have students trace the shape with their finger
  • Paint and Outline: Stamp paint using shaped blocks or sponges, then have students outline with a marker once dry
  • Dry Erase Task Cards: Laminate shape task cards for tracing with a dry erase marker
  • Highlighting Shapes: Trace shapes with a highlighter
  • Cookie Cutters: Use cookie cutters as stencils or as a stamp and trace activity

Activities to Practice Shape Names and Attributes

As students explore shapes, they are naturally introduced to the shape names and will start to have a basic understanding of the shape attributes.  Depending on the age and needs of your students, they might be ready for more explicit instruction about shape names and attributes.  These fun activities will help them be kindergarten ready!

Three Shape Bingo cards with the corresponding cards for playing the game.

  • Play Shape Bingo: Call out a shape name (or describe the attributes only) and have students find the shape on their bingo cards.
  • Shape Hunt : Attach paper shapes to the bottom of a small box or activity tub, cover with salt, then have students use a paintbrush to hunt for shapes, naming each shape as they find it.
  • Mystery Shapes : Draw a variety of shapes on white paper using white crayon.  Have students paint their paper using watercolor paint, then name the shapes they see.
  • Shape Mini Books: Have students practice writing shape names and describing attributes with printable shape books.  They love to take these home to share with their families!
  • Shape Poems: Use these shape poems to help students remember shape names and attributes.  These catchy rhymes are always a hit in preschool classrooms!

Shape Activities for Preschool

Are you looking for hands-on shape activities that are ready to print and use in your preschool classroom?  I have some resources that you’ll love!

The first is a bundle of morning work tub activities for preschool .  This resource is full of engaging activities that are perfect for morning work!  Plus, these activities are grouped as beginning, middle, and end of year tasks that grow with your students.  In this bundle, you’ll find a variety of shape practice activities for your students, as well as literacy and math activities for preschool! You can find this resource in my shop .

Preschool Morning Work Tubs PreK Activities

Preschool Morning Work Tubs PreK Activities

Are your students ready for more of a challenge as they approach kindergarten age?  If so, you’ll love this 2D Shape Centers and Activities bundle for young learners.  These hands-on centers are perfect for young learners who are ready for more of a challenge as they prepare for kindergarten.  Students will be able to practice identifying, building, and writing 2D shapes in a variety of ways. This resource is also available in my shop .

2D Shapes Centers and Activities

2D Shapes Centers and Activities

Save these shape activities for preschool.

If you’d like to refer back to this list of shape activity ideas for preschool, be sure to save this post!  Just add this pin to your favorite preschool board on Pinterest so you can quickly find this post whenever you need it.

Shape Activities for Preschool

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ABCDee Learning

22 Shape Activities For Preschoolers (2024)

Are you looking for some fun shape activities for your preschooler.

Teaching shapes are best taught through play-based learning strategies! Children learn best through play, which is fantastic because that’s all they want to do, right?

Before we head into the shape activities, I wanted to show you my busy book that includes shape learning!

YouTube video

Click here to grab My First Busy Book .

Now, let’s get into my 22 ENGAGING Shape Activities that will get your kids excited to learn about shapes!

#1: Shape Art

Want to get your kids excited about learning shapes? Create a giant masterpiece by drawing shapes so they can paint on it!

Seems too easy to work, right? But, I SWEAR this was one of the best activities that we did with shapes.

shape painting

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: Easel paper, washable paint , paint brushes , painter’s tape , and a pencil.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

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2. Set-up: tape the easel paper on the wall or the ground using painter’s tape. Using a ruler draw the shapes that you want to include on the paper. You don’t have to mix the shapes as I did either! 

3. Activity: have the kids use washable paint to paint on the shapes! Before painting, have the kids identify the different shapes for review! If you have an older child, ask them how many sides the shape has as well!

#2: Shape Hunt

Making learning fun is my specialty. I try to get my kids not even to realize they are learning because they are having so much fun playing while they learn.

Shape hunt is a simple game that you can set-up right inside your house or your classroom!

post it shape match

1. Materials you need: post-it’s (my very best friend), construction paper , painter’s tape , and a marker .

post its

2. Set-up: on post-it’s draw a bunch of different shapes that you want to work on. On construction paper, draw a big version of each shape that you drew on the post-it notes. Tape all the pieces of construction paper on the wall near each other. Place the post-it’s all-around your home!

3. Activity: Have your kids search the house to find the post-its. Once they find one, have them take it over to the wall where the construction paper pieces are. Have them match the shape that they found on their post-it to the paper on the wall! In the end, see how many of each shape there are!

RELATED: 50 USEFUL Homeschool Supplies

#3: diy shape puzzles.

If you have read any of my other articles, you know I credit puzzles for teaching my children the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors!

The hands-on learning that takes place when you practice puzzles with kids is the BEST!

I am going to talk to you today about the DIY version. However, you can also use ones from the store; they are just as good 🙂 Either way, I highly suggest doing this activity on repeat!

kinetic sand puzzle

1. Materials you need: kinetic sand, plastic container , and shape puzzle pieces.

kinetic sand

2. Set-up: place kinetic sand in a plastic container and place the puzzle pieces in the kinetic sand. Push the pieces in so they will leave a shape in the sand! Take out all the pieces!

3. Activity: have your child use the puzzle pieces to do the puzzle! They should try to match the correct shape in the spaces you created! Afterward, they can play with the kinetic sand! It’s great for sensory play!

RELATED: The BEST 22 Sensory Bins for Kids

#4: sticky shapes.

Sticky wall activities are SO much fun! Kids are always amazed at how objects stick to the paper! It makes for great learning activities!

sun catcher

1. Materials you need: contact paper and cardstock paper .

2. Set-up: When I did this activity, I focused on three shapes. Create a border for each shape like you see in the picture above with cardstock paper. Then, place contact paper on the back of the border, cut off the excess. On cardstock, create small versions of each shape. Lastly, tape the shape to the surface so it’ll stay on the wall or window!

3. Activity: Your kiddo should pick out the shapes you cut out and match them on the sticky part of each shape! They will love seeing the shapes stick inside!

RELATED: 6 PROVEN Ways to Teach your Toddler Shapes

#5: shape dot-to-dot.

Dot-to-dot activities work on number recognition, counting skills, and in this case, they work on shape recognition!

Plus, any activity that involves Do-A-Dot markers always gets kids’ attention.

shape dot to dot

1. Materials you need: do-a-dot markers, easel paper , and a pencil.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

2. Set-up: Create each shape that you want on the easel paper with the dot-a-dot markers. Then, write numbers in order right next to the dots.

3. Activity: Have your child use a pencil/crayon/colored pencil to connect the dots to create the shape!

RELATED: 23 SIMPLE Number Recognition Activities 

#6: sweep the poms.

Practical life activities work on essential skills that children need to practice since they will use these skills for a lifetime!

When the kids are little too, sweeping is an activity that they want to do!

sweep the poms shape activity

1. Materials you need: painter’s tape , pom-poms , and a kid’s broom!

kids broom

2. Set-up: Create the shapes that you want to work on, on the floor with painter’s tape. Then, place pom-poms all around the floor near the shapes.

3. Activity: Your kiddo will use the sweeper to sweep the pom-poms into each shape. Have them identify the shape, and you can also work on counting skills by seeing how many poms are in each shape.

RELATED: 21 BEST Open-Ended Toys For Kids

#7: shape building mats.

What’s better than FREE worksheets? NOTHING!

These shape building mats are perfect for learning how to create shapes, identifying how many sides each shape has, and developing fine motor skills.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

1. Materials you need:  MY FREE Shape Mats and small manipulatives ( mini-erasers , pom-poms, Play-Doh balls , do-a-dot markers , or craft buttons ).

pom poms

2. Set-up: Print off the sheets and get your objects ready for the kids to use!

3. Activity: Your little one will use the manipulatives or do-a-dot markers to create each shape. Review the shape on each sheet! To make this a bit more complicated for older kids, you can have them create a pattern.

RELATED: Teaching Resources

#8: popsicle stick shapes.

Popsicle sticks are one of my favorite supplies to have on hand! They can be used for so many different learning and play activities!

This specific activity isn’t actually 100% about shapes. I do consider building letters though part of shape building. Children have to be able to create certain shapes to be able to build each letter!

popsicle stick alphabet building

1. Materials you need: popsicle sticks and my letter building activity worksheets .

colored popsicle sticks

2. Set-up: print off the alphabet popsicle worksheets and get the popsicle sticks ready!

3. Activity: let your little one build the shape right on the mat or have them create them to the side. You will have to cut some of the sticks to be able to create the shape so it looks correct!  For older ones, you don’t need the worksheet. Challenge them to make the shape of each letter of the alphabet on their own with the sticks!

RELATED: My 10 FAVORITE Learning Supplies For Kid’s Activities

#9: shape hop.

Active learning activities are some of my favorites to do with the kids! I have been a physical education teacher for the past 10 years, so getting kids active is my passion!

Shape hop is a simple activity that you can pull off in just a few minutes!

locomotor shapes

1. Materials you need: sidewalk chalk

2. Set-up: Draw shapes a few feet away from each other with sidewalk chalk on your driveway or your sidewalk!

3. Activity: Shout out a shape that you want your child to start at. Then, call out another shape you want them to head towards. While they are going from shape to shape, have them hop! Want your kids to get a little more exercise? Space the shapes out a little further and have them perform locomotor movements!

Locomotor movements are skills like skipping, hopping, galloping, sliding, running, walking, marching, jumping, or leaping!

RELATED: 20 AWESOME Exercises For Kids

#10: shape monsters.

Do you love doing crafts with your kids? Let’s just say I’m okay at arts and crafts. I’m not the best artist in the world, but I could even pull this craft off!

I’ve also been loving incorporating some sort of craft or sensory play activity along with my worksheets. It gets the kids more excited about completing the learning worksheets when they have something that goes along with it that’s exciting to them!

shape monsters

1. Materials you need: cardstock paper , googly eyes, pipe cleaners , buttons , glue , pom-poms , or any other loose parts that you would want to use!

* You can also grab my monster learning packet here !*

googly eyes

2. Set-up: Cut different shapes from the cardstock paper for the body of the monster! Then, cut some pipe cleaners for the arms and legs. Have the other loose parts in a bowl for the kids to pick from.

3. Activity: Let the kids be as creative as they want when making the monsters! That was the great thing, I had no specific way I wanted them to turn out like, so they could just make them however they wanted. Talk about the shapes of the monster’s body and the shapes of the objects that you are using!

#11: Secret Shapes

The element of surprise is always exciting! Even for adults, am I right?

Secret shapes are one of my favorite activities because I always love the mix of colors that turn out on the sheet of paper.

secret shapes

1. Materials you need: white cardstock paper , white crayon , a pencil, watercolors, and a paintbrush .

watercolors

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2. Set-up: draw a few vertical and horizontal lines with a pencil to separate the shapes. With a white crayon, draw a shape in each square that you created ( make sure to go over it a few times with the white crayon, so it shows ).

3. Activity: have your child use watercolors to paint colors on each shape to reveal which one it is! They should tell you each shape once they finish painting each one altogether!

#12: Road Shape Mats

Do you have a little one that loves cars? My son likes cars and was really into this road, shape mat activity!

Half the battle is being able to find a resource or lesson that will get your kids to sit and learn, right? Sometimes it takes some time to see what is going to work!

road shape mat

1. Materials you need: MY FREE Road Shape Mats printable , reusable folders , and some toy cars

hot wheels cars

2. Set-up: print off the worksheets!

3. Activity: your little ones will use the cars to create the shape by wheeling the vehicle all around. Have them identify each shape as you go through it!

#13: Shape Writing Tray

I’m a big fan of creating writing trays for pre-writing skills. They are a fun way for kids to practice handwriting skills, and they don’t get frustrated because there are no lines for them to focus on.

Handwriting can be a tough skill for kids, adding in exciting activities like this now and then will help their confidence and give kids positive feelings towards the skill.

shape writing

1. Materials you need: an art tray/baking sheet, sprinkles , paintbrush , and my FREE Cut+Sort Shapes Printable .

art tray

2. Set-up: Dump sprinkles on a tray and print off the sheets.

3. Activity: Choose one shape to work on at a time. Your little one should use the paintbrush to create the shape that they see in front of them the best they can in the sprinkles!

RELATED: 15 FUN Handwriting Activities For Kids

#14: dot sticker shapes.

Dot stickers are one of the supplies that I always keep on hand. They can be used for simple learning activities, they are colorful, and they are great for fine motor skills!

dot sticker shapes

1. Materials you need: easel paper , painter’s tape , dot stickers, and a writing utensil.

dot stickers

2. Set-up: Put easel paper up on the wall or tape it on the floor with painter’s tape. Draw several shapes a few inches apart from each other.

3. Activity: your kids should place the dot stickers on the drawings of the shapes that you created. Discuss each shape, how many sides it has, and you can even have them count how many stickers it took to make each shape!

RELATED: 26 FUN Fine Motor Activities

#15: paper towel roll shapes.

All those toilet paper rolls may come in handy from the COVID toilet paper crisis!

This shape matching lesson is sure to be a hit with your little ones. You can do this activity with toddlers to help teach them shapes, and you can do it with older kids to teach pairing and shape building concepts!

toilet paper roll shapes

1. Materials you need: paper towel rolls, a marker, and a paper towel holder .

2. Set-up: Draw a shape on a toilet paper roll. Then, cut that shape in half, so you should have two pieces for each shape that you want to do!

3. Activity: For younger ones, show them the shape together and have them identify the shape, then have them put it on the paper towel holder to match the shapes together. Older ones can be challenged to try to pair all the shapes together and build them on the paper towel holder on their own!

#16: Popsicle Stick Shape Puzzle

My kids are really into puzzles. Our puzzles have gotten so much use, but to be honest, they are bored with them since they have done them for years.

Trying popsicle stick puzzles is a new and exciting way for kids to solve puzzles again!

shape puzzles popsicle sticks

1. Materials you need: popsicle sticks and markers .

popsicle sticks

2. Set-up: on a group of 3-4 popsicle sticks, draw one shape with a marker. Repeat this process for each shape that you want!

3. Activity: depending on how old your little one is, you can set just one group of popsicle sticks out for them to put together, or you can set all of them out for them to sort through to figure out!

#17: Magic Shapes

I’ve seen this fantastic paper towel trick all over the internet lately, and I knew I had to try it and turn it into a learning activity somehow!

The best thing about this is that it is SUPER easy to pull off, and your kids will love it so much! Isn’t it great when they don’t even realize they are learning while they play?

magic shapes

1. Materials you need: a piece of paper towel , a tray of water, and markers .

trays for kids

2. Set-up: on one side of the paper towel, draw the shapes that you would like to go over. I drew them in different colors to make it more colorful and also to help differentiate the shapes. Fold the other side of the paper towel over the shapes so they kids can’t see them.

3. Activity: Slowly drop the paper towel into the tray of water. The shapes will appear once it hits the water! Review the shapes that they see! Also, you can go over colors at the same time!

YouTube video

RELATED: How to Teach your Toddler Colors

#18: diy scratch off shapes.

Does anyone remember those black pieces of paper that you would scratch off, and rainbow colors would appear? I loved those as a kid! They were so much fun to make designs in!

Instead of making the sheet completely rainbow colors underneath, I created shapes for the kids to identify.

scratch off shapes

1. Materials you need: black acrylic paint, packing tape , dish soap , a piece of cardboard, art tray , markers , a paintbrush , and coins for scratching.

black acrylic paint

2. Set-up: cut a piece of cardboard into a square. With a marker, draw the shapes that you want to review (don’t use a black marker to make the shapes).  Cover the entire piece of cardboard with packing tape. Then, paint 1 coat of black acrylic paint mixed with a little dish soap all over the cardboard.

*You will have to let this dry for at least an hour before doing this activity!*

3. Activity: with a coin, have your little ones scratch off the acrylic paint. For easy cleanup, I suggest having an art tray underneath! They will reveal the shapes, and they can shout out which ones they see once they scratch the entire thing off!

#19: Salt Painted Shapes

We love salt painting over here! The colors turn out amazing.

What I love about salt painting, is that it’s relaxing. There’s just something soothing about watching the colors spread out on the salt. Then, the end result is amazing!

salt painted shapes

1. Materials you need: cardboard, glue , salt , and watercolors .

2. Set-up: on the black paper, draw the shapes you want with a pencil. Then, go over the pencil marks with glue. Dump salt on top of the glue ( make sure to have a tray underneath for easy clean up ). Let it dry.

3. Activity: the kids should identify the shapes and use a bunch of different watercolors to color the salt!

#20: Shape Sponges

I love experimenting with new ways to paint with the kids! These shape sponges did not disappoint!

The best part about these stampers was the popsicle stick addition that I added in. It was so much easier for them to handle.

shape sponges

1. Materials you need: sponges, sharpie, popsicle sticks , washable paint , paper, hot glue gun and glue , scissors , and a small knife .

sponges

2. Set-up: Draw the shapes you want on the sponge with the sharpie. Cut the shape out. Make a small slit in the middle of the shape with a knife for the popsicle to stick inside ( don’t let the hole go all the way through, or it’ll not work as good ). Put hot glue on each side of the popsicle stick and slide it inside the hole you created!

3. Activity: Let the kids have fun and make prints all over the paper! Review the shapes you created! To make this activity a little more complicated for older kiddos, have them create patterns with the stampers.

#21: Shape Scavenger Hunt

I specifically remember the time when we did this activity. It was March, and it was 3 weeks into the quarantine for COVID, and I needed an activity that was going to keep the kids active and excited.

So, I came up with this shape sorting scavenger hunt! This worked perfectly! So, if you have a rainy day where you’re looking for ways to keep the kids active and learning, try this one out!

shape sorting activity

1. Materials you need: painter’s tape

2. Set-up: create a whole bunch of shapes on the floor using painter’s tape.

3. Activity: the kids will walk, run, skip, gallop, slide around the home to grab objects of each shape. They will bring it back to the shape that it matches! They can grab anything in the house! This is an entertaining activity for kids of all ages!

RELATED: 28 ENTERTAINING Indoor Activities for Toddlers

#22: decorating shapes.

Creating an invitation to play is one of my favorite things to do for the kids. I love using my creativity to come up with new ways to get them excited to create, make, and play!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am not a good artist. So when it comes to creating these activities for the kids, I want them to be simple, so I don’t have to do too much.

decorating shapes

1. Materials you need: cardboard, glue, and some loose parts! I grabbed some rainbow rice that we had from before, pom-poms, and cookie sprinkles. You can use whatever craft supplies you have.

2. Set-up: Draw the shapes you want the kids to decorate on a piece of cardboard. Outline them in black, so it’s easier for them to see.

3. Activity: either you or the kids can put glue all over the inside of the shape. They can use their creativity and sprinkle the loose parts all over each shape! They will love seeing their masterpiece at the end.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Shapes are one of the first concepts that we teach our kids! My play-based learning strategies are sure to be a hit with your little one to help them begin to understand what each shape is.

Included in this article are 22 active, art, and hands-on learning activities that are sure to help your child learn! 

Do you have a great activity that you do at home to help teach your little one shapes? Let our community know about your ideas! I’d love to hear what works best for your little one.

Happy Learning!

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these are amazing! thank you for these ideas and giving some inspiration to this “run out of ideas” teacher!!

I am so happy that it’s helpful for you!!

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Home › Blog › Kids Activities › Preschool Activities › 47 Fun & Engaging Preschool Shape Activities

47 Fun & Engaging Preschool Shape Activities

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By Monica S

Published May 31, 2024

Let’s do shape activities! Today is all about shape recognition which is an essential preschool skill. We have 45+ preschool shape activities, perfect for little kids who are learning the different shapes surrounding them. It’s a great way to learn basic shapes in a fun way at home or in the preschool and kindergarten classroom.

Image shows a compilation of preschool shape activities from differente sources.

Best Shape Activities for Kids to Learn Shapes

Learning shapes is a very important skill for young children. Learning the names of the shapes as well as understanding what they look like is an easy way to help children identify visual information and learn skills in several other areas such as math, science, and even reading. These geometric shapes activities are a great opportunity for building a strong foundation that will prepare little learners for school at the same time it helps them enhance their fine motor skills.

Whether you are a preschool teacher looking for some ideas for lesson plans or a parent that wants a fun shape activity for their young kids, you’re in the right place. A lot of these activities are perfect for 3 year olds and above, but some might be easy enough for younger kids.

This article contains affiliate links.

Related: Easy! How to Make a Geoboard

Shape Activities for Preschool

1. math game: geometric shapes {hands on math}.

Image shows a kid playing with wood shapes. Idea from Kids Activities Blog

Blocks in geometric shapes can make a great learning tool! Here’s a great math game to help your child learn while having fun.

2. Math for Kids: Making Shapes

Image shows a yarn shape activity. From Kids Activities Blog

Let’s learn about shapes with this math activity for kids. It’s a great summer activity that you can do with simple supplies.

3. Paper Activity: Shape Monsters

Image shows a monster craft made with different shapes. From Kids Activities Blog

Here’s a fun little game for kids – let’s make our own shape monsters with colored paper, scissors, and glue!

4. 2d Shape Activities for Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten

Image shows a compilation of different shape games from Pocket of preschool

Learning about 2D shapes is a must for every early childhood classroom. Here’s a compilation of 2D shape activities for kindergarten students. From Pocket of Preschool .

5. Road Shape Mats

Image shows a road shape mat from Pre-K Pages

Pre-K Pages shared 22 printable road shape mats to help your little learners identify shapes.

6. 2D Playdough Shape Mats

Image shows a play dough shape mat with different shapes. From Pre-K Pages

Download these printable play dough shape mats to help them learn shapes in a fun, hands-on way. From Pre-K Pages .

7. “I Have, Who Has” Shapes Game

Image shows a kid with cards showing different shapes. From Prekinders

Nothing is better for learning than a fun shapes game! Here’s a printable game you can try with small groups. From PreKinders .

8. Teaching Shapes in Pre-K

Image shows a compilation of different figures made with simple shapes. Ideas from Prekinders

PreKinders shared a few games to learn about shapes, such as a memory game, a shape bingo, a shape collage, and more.

9. A wonderful way to introduce letters and shapes while building pre-writing skills!

Image shows a little girl making a heart shape in a big canvas. Idea from Teach Preschool

Here’s a creative and fun way to introduce tracing letters, shapes, and numbers around the classroom without a worksheet. From Teach Preschool .

10. Shape Hunt

Image shows a kid playing with shape figures.  From Teach Preschool

Explore shapes with a fun, interactive, and colorful game! From Teach Preschool .

11. Move and Learn Shapes with a Ball + Tape for Toddlers

Image shows a kid playing with shapes on the floor. Idea from Hands on as we grow

Try a fun hands-on activity for toddlers for a creative twist to learning shapes! You only need a ball, painter’s tape, and an open space. From Hands On As We Grow .

12. Geometry for Kids: Finding Shapes at the Playground

Image shows a girl sliding down a slide. Idea from Buggy and Buddy

Just print out this free shape hunt printable and go searching for shapes at the playground with this fun geometry activity for children! From Buggy and Buddy .

13. Geometric Shapes Math Activity for Kids

Image shows a kid creating shapes with popsicle sticks. Idea from Little bins for little hands

Learn by doing, creating, discovering, and exploring with a simple, fun geometry activity. From Little Bins for Little Hands . It also doubles as an art activity!

14. Gruffalo Themed Shape Animals Inspired by Author Julia Donaldson

Image shows paper animals made with different shapes.  Idea from The educators spin on it

Using playful shapes let’s explore the characters in the book created by Julia Donaldson to create Gruffalo Themed Shape Animals. From The Educators Spin on it .

15. Feed The Hungry Shape Monsters Sorting Game

Image shows a girl playing with paper shapes to create monsters. Idea from The Imagination Tree

Make a fun activity for preschoolers and school-aged kids with this feed the hungry shape monsters sorting game from The Imagination Tree ! So simple to make and great for teaching little ones to recognize 2D shapes in a hilarious way!

16. Sticky Shape Bugs Activity

Image shows some bug shapes made with paper. Idea from Fun learning for kids

These sticky shape bugs are a great way to develop fine motor skills and critical thinking skills while learning about shapes. From Fun Learning For Kids .

17. Learning Shapes with Spaghetti Noodles!

Image shows different types of spaghetti to make shapes. Idea from Teaching Mama

Here’s a very fun way to teach shapes using spaghetti noodles! This hands-on activity also is a great sensory activity. From Teaching Mama .

18. Build a shape match for an easy DIY activity

Image shows wood shapes such as a star, a triangle, and more. Idea from Busy Toddler

This shape match activity gives new ways to use an old toy, while helping toddlers learn shapes. It’s super easy, too! From Busy Toddler .

19. Chalk Shapes Jumping Game

Image shows a kid playing with chalk shapes. Idea from Craftulate

This jumping game is made by drawing chalk shapes outside. Perfect for gross motor fun while learning the shapes! From Craftulate .

20. Open and Closed LEGO Polygon Shapes

Image shows lego, a popsicle, and a button to create shapes. Idea from JDaniel4smom

We love LEGO activities! This game is great for learning fractions and exploring geometric concepts. From JDaniel4’s Mom .

21. Shape Sensory Squish Bag for Kids

Image shows a shape sensory bag. From Stillplayingschool

If your kids love sensory play, this activity is for them! This sensory squish bag has triangles, circles, and squares. From Still Playing School .

22. Stamping Shapes in Kinetic Sand

Image shows 4 different shapes in kinetic sand. Idea from StillPlayingSchool

Stamping shapes into kinetic sand is a great opportunity to work on shape identification, count the sides and corners, and compare and contrast the shapes. From Still Playing School .

23. Make a Truck from Shapes

Image shows a truck made with shapes. From Powerful Mothering

For this activity, you will need some shapes to trace, such as wooden blocks, paper and a pencil or pen. Preschoolers will enjoy making their own trucks! From Powerful Mothering .

24. Waldorf Square Geometric 3D Wooden Puzzle Blocks: DIY Toy for Kids

Image shows a 3D shapes painted with watercolor. From Rhythms of play

Make an easy DIY toy for kids made with wooden blocks and liquid watercolor paints. Children can exercise their geometric and spatial thinking while tinkering with this 3D wooden puzzle from Rhythms of Play .

25. Magazine Shape Hunt and Sort

Image shows piece of paper and magazines to learn shapes. Idea from Fun learning for kids

Kids will learn shapes while they practice cutting, gluing and sorting. It’s also an awesome way to work on critical thinking and observation skills. From Fun Learning For Kids .

26. Building Rockets with Shapes

Image shows a kid making a paper rocket with different shapes. Idea from Stir The Wonder

Building rockets with shapes is a fun way to review shapes and colors with toddlers and preschoolers! From Stir The Wonder .

27. Building on Outlines

Image shows a piece of paper with wood shapes to outline. Idea from Scotts Bricks

This wooden brick activity is a great way to help kids with shapes and spatial skills. You only need wooden shapes, paper and a pencil. From Scotts Bricks .

28. Sorting Shapes in our Sensory Bin

Image shows a sensory bin with shapes and textures. Idea from Learning 4 kids

Sorting Shapes in a Sensory Bin is a fun activity for children to learn about shapes and colors while developing their fine motor skills. Let’s play! From Learning 4 Kids .

29. Learning Shapes and Colors With Rainbow Rocks

Image shows rainbow rocks and from Fun a Day

Let’s make rainbow rocks to learn shapes and colors! For this activity, you need a collection of rocks and acrylic paint. It’s also the perfect addition to St. Patrick’s Day activities. From Fun-A-Day .

30. Simple Shape Collages

Image a collage of shapes. Idea from Homegrown friends

These simple shape collages are the perfect activity to create an enriching learning opportunity for your children with a few materials. From Homegrown Friends .

31. DIY Geoboard With Fabric Loops

Image shows a geoboard done with fabric loops to create shapes. From Crayonbox Chronicles

This DIY geoboard is educational and super easy to make. It’s a a great way to learn about more complex shapes such as trapezoids and right triangles. From Crayon Box Chronicles .

32. Shape Monsters Collage Art

Image shows a triangle monster for learning shapes. Idea from fantasticfunandlearning

Let’s create shape monsters to learn different shapes, through art! This activity uses simple supplies such as markers, glue, and fun collage materials. From Fantastic Fun and Learning .

33. Photo Shape Puzzles

Image shows a printable with figures and shapes. Printable from Fantastic Fun and Learning

With these free printable shape photo puzzles from Fantastic Fun and Learning , preschoolers and kindergarteners can practice shape recognition and identifying objects that match the various shapes.

34. Cardboard Shapes – Easy Toddler Craft Activity

Image shows a cardboard train made with shapes. Idea from My Bored Toddler

We love recycling materials for our kids’ activities! A few cardboard shapes provide a simple building and sorting activity for toddlers. From My Bored Toddler .

35. Trace The Shapes Art Project

Image shows shapes drawn by kids. Idea from Gift of curiosity.

This trace the shapes activity was a fun way to combine learning about shapes with art and fine motor skills development. From Gift of Curiosity .

36. Learn about shapes using paper plates and yarn

Image shows shape crafts made with paper plates and yarn. Idea from Laughing kids learn

We love this preschool activity because it only requires yarn, paper plates, and paint. From Laughing Kids Learn .

37. Shape Play Dough Mats

Image shows printables with figures to trace. Idea from Prekinder

These shape mats are perfect for a quick activity as you only need to print the mats and grab some play dough. From PreKinders .

38. Shape Hopscotch

Image shows a shape hopscotch on the floor. Idea from Housing a forest

We love this simple shape hopscotch game – it is a fun way to work on gross motor skills along side color and shape recognition. From Housing a Forest .

39. Shape Scavenger Hunt

Image shows a shape recognition activity printable. From Pink oatmeal

Adding movement to learning makes it fun and engaging – that’s why this shape scanver hunt from Pink Oatmeal is a great activity for the classroom.

40. Floating Dry Erase Rainbow and Shapes Experiment

Image shows a floating shapes activity done with markers. Idea from Active Littles

How does adding some science to your shape lessons sound like? This science experiment for kids is so much fun and will make learning the shapes easier for them. From Active Littles .

41. Nature shapes outdoor math activities

Image shows some rocks in a circle. Idea from Nurture store

Got a little one that loves the outdoors? Then this activity is perfect for them – and it won’t cost you a thing! This approach will also make it easier to learn about measurement and sizes. From Nurture Store .

42. Shape Sorting Sensory Invitation to Play

Image shows a sensory bag with different shapes. Idea from Stir the wonder

This activity incorporates early math skills such as identifying shapes and sorting, fine motor skills and tactile sensory input. What a great way to learn! From Stir The Wonder .

43. Learning Shapes: Sponge Stamped Triangle Collage

Image shows a compilation of triangles made with a sponge. Idea from Buggy and Buddy

In this simple art activity children will use sponges and tempera paint to make a triangle collage! From Buggy and Buddy .

44. Learning Shapes: Stuffed Shape Craft for Kids

Image shows a kid holding a stuffed shape. Idea from buggy and buddy

Here’s a fun craft for preschoolers that is perfect for fine motor practice and learning shapes– stuffed shapes, using household materials. From Buggy and Buddy .

45. Shapes Treasure Basket for Baby And Toddler Play

Image shows a toddler playing with a treasure basket with different shapes. Idea from Play learn every day

This shapes treasure basket is great for both babies and older kids learning about shapes. From Play & Learn Every Day .

46. Shape Necklace Craft for Kids Using Dyed Pasta

Image shows a necklace made with different shapes. Idea from Buggy and buddy

Who said food and learning didn’t go together? {giggles} We used dyed pasta and pipe cleaners to make a shape necklace craft for kids. From Buggy and Buddy .

47. Math games – bake some shapes

Image shows a homemade playdough to make different shapes. From Nurture Store

Children learn through their senses, through hands-on play and through doing. This idea combines all three – let’s bake some shapes! From Nurture Store .

Want more activities for learning shapes?

  • This matching egg game is a great way to help toddlers learn shapes and colors.
  • Make a chickadee shapes craft with a few simple supplies.
  • This basic shapes chart shows what shapes your child should know by each age.
  • We have even more math shape games for preschoolers!
  • Let’s find shapes in nature with a fun shape scavenger hunt!
  • Check out these geometric coloring pages . What a fun way to learn about math and shapes!
  • Check out these shape coloring pages ! They’re fun and educational!
  • Check out these gross motor activities for preschoolers !
  • Take a look at these preschool rectangle worksheets !

Did you enjoy these preschool shape activities?

100s of Simple & Fun Activities For Toddlers Learning Activities Preschool Activities

activities for preschoolers with shapes

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

Empowered Parents

10 Hands-On Shapes Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

By: Author Tanja McIlroy

Posted on Last updated: 5 June 2024

Categories Early Numeracy

Teaching children about shapes should be a fun, hands-on experience. It is by experiencing concepts through the body and the senses that real learning happens in the early years.

Scroll down to the section ‘10 simple shapes recognition activities’ for some great ideas.

Why is it Important to Learn About Shapes?

An important part of child development, shape recognition is about more than just being able to spot the basic shapes. It’s important for building early maths , reading and other areas too.

Shapes are found all around us and take many different forms, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional.

Children learn that shapes have properties – such as lines, curves, sizes, lengths and positions in space , and that all physical objects have shape. 

They develop their visual perception (when the brain interprets what the eyes see) as they are exposed to shapes around them. 

Shapes are a part of mathematical concepts (like geometry) and are also used in many scientific and technical fields.

The recognition of shapes is crucial for learning to read and building early literacy skills . 

Letters are made up of shapes and children need to learn to distinguish, recognize and remember the specific shapes in order to read fluently. Shapes are the first ‘symbols’ children learn to interpret. [ source ]

Child making shapes with blocks

How Do You Teach Shape Recognition?

The best way for children to learn about shapes is through play. They need many opportunities to touch and see three-dimensional shapes in their daily lives.

These concepts can also be taught through shape recognition games and activities that are planned specifically to introduce the concept of shape.

Activities like tracing and worksheets are best kept for much older children as these are unlikely to hold a child’s attention for long, and they are not really meaningful to a young child.

It is more important to focus on doing hands-on activities during preschool so that a child fully understands the properties of shapes by experiencing them with their body and all their senses .

It is also important for parents and teachers to actively teach the vocabulary about shapes. They need to hear concepts such as:

  • Straight lines or curvy lines
  • Size – bigger, smaller, longer, etc.
  • Round, pointy
  • 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional
  • The names of shapes – oval, rectangle, triangular prism

This can be done in natural ways during a conversation:

  • Is your dinner plate round? 
  • What else is round in our house?
  • This picture of a tent looks like a triangle – it’s pointy at the top.

When teaching the shapes, remember children learn these in a concrete-pictorial-abstract way, as they do many other concepts. 

They learn the shape of a physical object, and then later learn to associate a picture of a shape with the physical object. After that, they can recognize an abstract representation of a shape.

An example of this is playing with a beach ball and learning that it is round; then understanding that a picture of a ball represents a round, circular shape; then identifying a simple circle drawn on paper.

10 Simple Shapes Recognition Activities and Games

Here are some simple shape activities to try at home or school.

1. Shape Sorting

Sorting is an important mental concept and it’s easy to do with shapes.

Provide a container of shapes – cutouts, wooden or plastic shapes – and get kids to sort them according to different criteria. 

Here are some examples:

  • Shapes with straight edges vs shapes with curved edges
  • Shapes with 3 sides and shapes with 4 sides
  • Shapes with corners and shapes without corners
  • 2D vs 3D shapes

Here are more fun sorting activities for preschoolers .

2. Body Shapes

Play a movement game with shapes. Say the name of a shape and ask children to make the shape with their bodies. 

Get them to straighten up into a tall rectangle, puff their arms out to the side to make themselves round, stand with legs far apart and arms pointed above you to make a triangle, etc.

Before you show or help with ideas, see if the kids can figure out on their own how to make these shapes. They may think outside the box and find new ways to make the shapes. 

This is a great activity for body awareness .

3. Block and Ball Play

Children need regular exposure to shapes by playing with blocks, balls and other toys during their free play time.

This is an activity that doesn’t need much regulation by an adult but is as important as planned shapes activities.

4. Playdough Shapes

Give kids playdough and shape cutters and let them explore different shapes this way.

Make a batch of easy homemade playdough and this will keep kids occupied for hours.

If you don’t have cutters in the form of shapes, then improvise with tins (round), plastic containers (square and rectangle), etc.

Preschooler playing with playdough

5. Yummy Shapes

For a tastier version of the above activity – that will leave a bigger imprint on kids’ memory – make shapes out of cookie dough and then eat them after!

6. Find the Shapes

Show children an example of a simple shape, such as a circle, and challenge them to find as many items as they can around them that have the same shape. (Here are more games about circles to try).

They could also draw pictures of all the things they can think of that have a circle shape.

This teaches kids that shapes are part of their world.

7. Build With Shapes

If you have plastic or wooden shapes that are relatively flat, let kids ‘build’ pictures out of them using the shapes. 

Children playing with tangram shapes

They could construct a house or a person, for example, by learning to use the shapes to substitute the various parts they need.

These shapes can also be made out of cardboard.

8. Feel the Shape

Use the same shapes from the activity above to do a sensory activity.

Blindfold a child, then give him a shape or ask him to pick a shape out of a bag. He must describe the shape (it is round and has no straight edges), then say what the shape is. 

If he guesses right, he can keep the shape. If not, it goes back into the bag. This can be turned into a game to see how many shapes each person can accumulate.

9. Shape Stamping

Provide poster paints on trays and get kids to stamp shapes onto them.

Use blocks for these shapes or make potato prints , sponge shapes, etc. Use your imagination.

10. Shape Pictures

A fun art activity, this can be attempted after children have had ample opportunity to make shape pictures out of real shapes. 

Provide lots of pre-cut paper shapes in various colours, white paper and glue.

Get kids to make their own shape pictures. Let them use their creativity and do not try to guide their creations. 

Definitely don’t give them a model to copy! This should be a form of process art , where the learning is in the doing, not the final product.

If you are looking for more creative art ideas, try these shape crafts for preschoolers .

“ Learning Through Play: A parent’s guide to the first five years ” , written by Jan Natanson.

“ Language and School Readiness ” , written by Martie Pieterse.

Blocks lying on a table. Text reads

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MKE with Kids

50 Best Shape Activities For Preschoolers to do at Home (2024)

Passing the time with a busy toddler or preschooler can be exhausting, and we can all use some fresh inspiration every now and then. Teaching shapes is a fun and productive way to spend your time at home, and it’s easy to incorporate into everyday life.

Whether you’re at home with a toddler, or teaching in a preschool classroom, these activities will fit the bill.

If you’re looking for a variety of simple, fun preschool shape activities, you’re in the right place! 

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Without further ado, here are 50 super-simple themed activities to practice shapes with your preschooler. No fancy supplies required!

The shapes activities you find here are perfect for 3-5 year olds, and perhaps will extend beyond those age boundaries depending on your child.

These activities focus on improving your child’s understanding of shapes that are 2d (two dimensional), but as your child gets older you can incorporate a discussion about 3d shapes, too.

Note to teachers: If you are a preschool teacher, these hands-on activities would be perfect for a math center! Kids can complete them individually or in a small group.

For your convenience, there are affiliate links in this post. Y ou’ll also find FREE PRINTABLES of shape worksheets at the bottom of this post!

Fun Shape Activities for Toddlers

1. shape scavenger hunt.

Scavenger Hunts are always an exciting way to learn about a new concept. During a shape scavenger hunt, your child will begin to see shapes within real objects in your home.

To start your Shape Hunt, ask your child to first tell you about all the shape names they know about. How many can your little one think of? Help them come up with a manageable list of 3-5 shapes.

Then, invite them to discover a specific shape in the different items your home. For example, did they ever notice that heir bed is a giant rectangle? The paper plates in the cupboard are perfect circles! The mirror might be an oval.

Perhaps there’s a special triangle-shaped window in your home!

How many shapes can they find in all? How many circles? How many squares? How many rectangles?

Talk about the number of sides each one has.

While they go on their shape hunt, they might want to snap some photos of the shapes they find, or draw them on a piece of paper.

You can also extend this activity outside of the home. For example, when you’re in the car, you can point out the shape of stop signs, traffic light, tree trunks, windows on homes and building, etc.

For older children, you can even begin to talk about the difference between two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. 

2. Hidden Shapes

Hidden shapes is a shape activity for preschoolers and toddlers. A heart is drawn on a white sheet of paper.

This shape activity is always a hit with the little ones. Learning shapes has never been more mysterious!

All you need is a white crayon and a white piece of paper.

With the white crayon, draw different shapes on a white piece of paper, the bigger the better. (Make multiple shapes if you’d like the activity to last a bit longer.)

Then, tell your child you found some magic mystery paper! There are hidden shapes on the paper that they have to find.

Next, give them a marker, water color, or finger paint and have them color over the paper.

The shapes you drew will magically appear! (Water color works best.)

What else can you hide on the paper? Can you reverse roles and have your child hide shapes from you?

3. Dry Erase Shapes

Dry erase market shape activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

This is sure to be one of your child’s favorite shape activities, because they get to draw on the walls! (Well, kind of.)

All you need for this activity is a dry erase markers and a window.

Work together to draw all the shapes you can think of on the window. Ask your child to say the names of the shapes during the activity so they can practice each shape word.

(That’s right, draw shapes right on the window! The dry erase marker will wipe right off, so there’s no mess for you.)

If you don’t have a dry erase marker, you can do this on plain white paper, taping it to the wall to make a “Shape Mural”.

4. Cookie Shape Time

Your kids will love this simple Shapes Cookie Time game on ABCMouse.com . Use the spatula to match the correct cookie shape pictures with the plate it belongs to. It’s such a cute game. 

5. Nature Shapes

Shapes in nature. Shape scavenger hunt with kids.

Head outside for a nature hike – with a shapes theme!

Building shapes is one of the best ways to learn about them. And one very easy way to build shapes is to use nature.

Invite your child to head outside for some fresh air. Begin collecting some rocks, sticks, acorns, and other natural materials. Start making shapes with the objects, and invite your child to do the same with new shapes. (This also works with letters and numbers!) It’s so much fun, especially because kids love getting a little messy.

If it’s too cold or rainy outside, you can do the same thing indoors with craft sticks, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, cheerios, legos, blocks, marbles – whatever you’ve got laying around.

Or, break out the playdough and check out these fun playdough mats from Fantastic Fun & Learning.

You can make even a shape necklace like this one from Buggy & Buddy.

6. Magic Paper Towel Shapes

This shapes activity is truly magical – and so easy!

First, fold one piece of paper towel in half so that it looks like a book.

On the inside of the book, draw a colorful shape.

Next, fold your paper towel book so that you can’t see your drawing anymore.

Finally, drop it into a bowl of water, and watch how your colorful shape magically appears!

See if your child wants to create their own magic paper towel shape!

7. Pattern Blocks

Pattern blocks and shapes for preschoolers and toddlers

Pattern blocks are very useful manipulative for preschoolers. You can purchase these pattern blocks from Amazon.

Your kids can do a number of things with these pattern blocks.

First, they can create patterns with the geometric shapes, which is a very important math skills.

They can also explore beginning symmetry!

Finally, they can create animals, a shape monster, or other favorite things out of the shapes.

8. Messy Mud Shapes

Messy mud shape activity with preschoolers and toddlers.

There’s no question that kids learn best when their senses are engaged. But instead of constructing a fancy, complicated sensory bin, just find some mud! 

To make messy mud shapes, grab a plastic container or two that you don’t care much about, some plain pieces of construction paper, and a handful of old paintbrushes.

Outside, scoop a healthy amount of dirt into each container, and then add a small amount of water and good amount of food coloring. If you don’t have food coloring, this will be just as fun with plain old mud. Some recipes call for dish soap to help prevent stains in clothes, but it’s optional.

Now you’re ready to paint some muddy shapes!

9. Shapes At The Zoo

What shapes do you see at the Zoo? Pick the correct shape on this fun ABCMouse.com game. The app is free for 30 days.

10. Paper Shape Love Notes

Paper heart shape activity for preschoolers and toddlers.

Here’s the perfect practice activity for little hands.

First, trace and cut out different shapes of paper in different colors, like a square, triangle, circle, star, and heart.

Next, write messages to family members and send them out to brighten their day.

If your child isn’t writing much yet, have them practice their name, or the first letter of their name, or a drawing.

This is a great opportunity to connect with loved ones and get in some extra shape practice.

11. Shape People

Make a new face out of shapes.

Sometimes a personal connection is just the thing to help a child learn a new concept.

To start with this activity, draw big shapes on a plain piece of paper. Invite your child to draw oval shapes for the face, then circles for the eyes, a triangle for the nose, etc. Then they can add hair, arms, legs, etc.

Of course, if they want to get silly and mix up the shapes and parts of the face, that’s fine, too!

Next, name your shape-person and hang it on the refrigerator. Be sure to say good morning to it first thing each day!

Another way to complete this activity would be to use sidewalk chalk and make giant faces out of the shapes you have learned about.

Or, download the free printables at the bottom of this post, including this “Make A Face” worksheet.

12. Catching Shapes

Playing catch shapes activity. Parent and toddler playing catch together.

This is one of the best activities for developing spatial awareness and learning shapes at the same time.

Ask your child if they’d like to go play catch.

First, find an open space, and simple practice playing catch with a regular old ball. Try throwing underarm, overarm, sideways, under your legs, and any other way you can think of.

Next, try throwing items besides a traditional ball. Can you spare an oval-shaped egg? What would it be like to throw and catch a wet sponge? A coin? A square pillow?

This is a great way for your child to learn naturally about spheres and 3D shapes, and get a basic understanding of how they move through the air.

13. Ultimate Shapes Memory Match

Ultimate Shapes Memory Match on ABCMouse.com is a fun way for kids to learn about shapes. It’s perfect for ages 2-6.

14. Salt and Sugar Shapes

Tracing shapes in a pile of sugar activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

This is one of our favorite preschool activities because it is so simple, versatile, and kids love it.

Simple pour some salt, sugar, sand, or something of a similar texture into a tray.

Invite your chilld to trace a variety of shapes into it. Simple tactile fun and sensory play!

15. Tracing Shapes in Nature

Heart traced in sand.

On your next hike, see if you can find the perfect drawing stick. You’ll want one that’s sturdy with a fairly pointy tip, and just the right length.

Next, find some dirt, sand, or snow and draw some large shapes!

Your kids will love the simplicity of this, and it’s a great way to learn shapes outside in the fresh air.

16. Tracing Bowls

Tracing is an important skill for preschoolers to master, as it helps them develop their fine motor skills.

In this activity, your child will be practicing tracing and learning about shapes at the same time.

First, grab some different sizes of circular or square objects from around your home. Bowls, cups, candles, and boxes work well.

Then, invite your child to trace them on paper.

After they’ve traced them, you can compare shapes and sizes, which is another important math skill.

17. Shape Constellations

Shape constellation activity for toddlers and kids.

Creating shape constellations is easy, and your kid will love seeing them glow in the dark.

First, trace shapes on a piece of paper.

Then, ask your child to poke holes along the lines you drew. (They can use a thumb tack, but be careful!)

When they are finished, shine a flashlight through the paper and see your shape constellations shine bright on the wall!

What other shapes can they make into a constellation?

18. Painting Water Shapes

Water bucket for painting shapes with toddlers and preschoolers

It doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Fill up a container with water, and grab a paintbrush. Head outside and water-paint some shapes on the driveway, fence, or house!

It feels like painting, but there’s absolutely no mess.

It’s a win-win for everyone!

19. Spin the Shapes Wheel

The ABC Mouse app has some awesome shape games.

For example, spin the shapes wheel on ABCMouse.com to learn about what objects have that shape. Collect tickets as you go!

The app is free for 30 days. Try it here .

20. Shapes Memory Game / Matching Shapes

One very effective way to learn shapes is to play the classic game of memory or a game of Matching Shapes.

For example, this online shape memory game is great for toddlers. And it’s free! Your child will simply click on a square to reveal a shape and try to find its matching pair.

If you prefer a non-electronic version, you can easily re-create this on paper.

Here is a great worksheet that uses a peanut butter and jelly theme for a matching shapes game.

And here are some great free worksheets, including a variety of free shape printables.

21. Shape Collages

Shape collages are a fun way to get creative and crafty, and your kids will be learning about shapes without even realizing it.

There are many different ways to create a shapes collage.

For example, you can cut out several copies of the same shape and simply practice pasting them on a piece of paper that is in the same shape. (For example, several circles pasted onto a piece of paper that is also cut out in a circle shape.)

Or, you could use many shapes to create an image. For example, use shapes to create a car or train shape, or a sunshine.

Finally, you can simply cut out a variety of shapes, and let your preschooler paste them where they may.

Be sure to chat about what the shapes are called and their features. The possibilities are endless!

22. Playdough Shapes

Play dough flower shape activity for preschoolers and toddlers.

If you’re the parent of a small child, chances are you have some play dough (or something like it) lying around the house.

The next time your child grabs for it, encourage them to make some of the shapes you’ve been learning about.

Talk about the names of each shape, and show them how they can make patterns.

To level up your playdough shape time, check out these fun playdough mats from Fantastic Fun & Learning.

23. Kinetic Sand Shapes

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Kinetic sand is regular sand that has been coated with silicon oil, and the result is a mass of sand that kids can form into different shapes, without the mess. The texture feels grainy and well, sand-like, but it doesn’t fall apart.

Just like making shape out of play-dough, making shapes out of kinetic sand is a fun way to learn. The best part? No mess for you!

24. DIY Shape Puzzles

This activity is especially effective to help children develop spatial awareness. There are plenty of shape puzzles on the market, but you can also do it yourself.

To create a shape puzzle, cut out different shapes from a piece of cardboard or poster board. Then, travel them on a large piece of cardboard or poster board.

Gather up the shapes and let your young child place them where they belong.

Afterwards, you can hang up your pasteboard or cardboard puzzles to make shape posters!

25. Shape Bingo

One of the best activities for learning shapes is Shape Bingo, and it is just what its name suggests.

Each player gets a card with different shapes on it. You can order a fancy one here , or make your own using online tools.

The caller calls out a shape. If a player has that shape, they cover that spot. The first person with a row or column covered, wins! 

To make the game more exciting, you can play Four Corners, where players must cover each of their four corners to win. Or, you can include diagonal bingos.

26. Shape Snack Time!

Bust out the crackers, cream cheese, fruits, and veggies. Work together with your child to build a house out of the crackers! They can use the cream cheese as a bonding agent to help their food stick together.

Best snack time ever!

27. Toothpick Shapes

Toothpick and marshmallow shape activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

For this simple activity, you just need some toothpicks and marshmallows. Show your child or student how to make a shape by poking the toothpick into the marshmallow and creating a square, triangle, etc.

28. Circle Painting

Paint circle shape activity.

To create a beautiful circle masterpiece, all you need is some old toilet paper rolls, paper, and different color paints. Dip the toilet paper roll into the paint and press firmly onto the paper. Repeat with several colors until you have a creative circle paint project!

29. Wooden Block Painting

You can also paint with wooden blocks. Gather wooden blocks of different shapes and provide different colors. Dip the blocks into the paint and press firmly onto the paper to stamp it. You can create patterns, too!

30. Chalk Shapes

Sidewalk chalk shape activity. Sun with sidewalk chalk.

Head outside and draw giant shapes with sidewalk chalk! You can create objects and people out of your shapes, or just practice drawing them and coloring them in.

31. Shape Rocks

Painting rocks shape activity toddler holding rainbow rock.

Go outside end find some large flat rocks. Give them a rinse and pat them dry. Now they’re ready to paint! Give it a solid coat of one color, and then paint your shapes onto them.

32. Shape Hopscotch

This activity is especially good on a rainy day! Cut out large shapes in various colors using construction paper. You’ll want 10-20 of each shape and color. Next, lay them out side by side in 5-6 rows. The idea is to have a large grid of shapes in all different colors. To play, tell your child to only hop on squares, for example. Next, you could ask them to only hop on green colors. The options are endless!

33. Mystery Shape

Put a blindfold on your child and hand them an object with a clear shape. Ask them to feel around it and name that shape! Repeat with different shapes. Then, let them blindfold you and test your shape skills.

34. Shape Sorting

Shape Sorter Activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Use a simple shape sorter like this one from Melissa and Doug to help reinforce your child’s knowledge and understanding of basic shapes. 

35. Wooden Block Building

Building with different shaped wooden blocks is a great way to increase a small child’s understanding of shapes, spatial awareness, and early engineering skills.

36. Shape Mural

Use masking tape to hang a large sheet of white paper or posterboard to the wall. Let your kids create their own shape masterpiece.

37. Sticky Shapes

Use contact paper to cut out all different shapes for your kids and let them stick them on the windows and walls. Chat about the shapes during the activity.

38. Popsicle Stick Shapes

Purchase or gather 25-50 popsicle sticks, plain or different colors. Start to create shapes and letters with your child out of the popsicle sticks.

39. Shape Hop with Sidewalk Chalk

Head outside and draw large shapes on the driveway or blacktop with sidewalk chalk. Shout out the shape you want your child to hop to!

40. Popsicle Stick Shape Puzzle

Gather three popsicle sticks together and draw a shape on them, so that the one shape is drawn across all three popsicle sticks. Repeat with different popsicle sticks and shapes. When you separate the popsicle sticks, you have a shape puzzle for your child to solve!

41. Salted Glue Shapes

Draw shapes with Elmer’s glue on a piece of paper, the cover them in salt. Once they are coated well with salt, you can paint with watercolor!

42. Shape Sponge Stamps

Cut up some sponges into different shapes and provide paint for your child to dip them into and stamp onto paper. So much fun!

43. Shape Monster

Cut up different shapes of all sizes and colors and create shape monsters together!

44. Draw the Missing Half

Draw the first half of various shapes and objects for your child, and have them draw the other half. It’s a great way to learn about shapes and symmetry. If you don’t want to do the drawing yourself, you can find lots of great draw-the-missing-half worksheets online.

45. Leaf Shapes

Gather leaves from outside, make observations and chat about them, and then bring them indoors. Cut different shapes out of them. From there you can punch holes into the leaves which will help your child learn about their texture, and you can provide glue stick to make a leaf shape collage.

46. My Shape Book

Help your child create their very own shape book. Fold some white computer paper in half and staple  the binding to create a DIY book. Then have them create a cover, and on each page they can draw a different shape that they know.

47. Clothespin Shapes

Gather some clothespins into a pile and create shapes from them. Squares and triangles should be easy, but can you create a star, circle, or oval?

48. Lite Brite Shapes

If you have a lite brite board, create some simple shapes together with the small pegs. You can also create a geoboard by placing the pegs strategically around the board, and using rubber bands to create shapes around them.

49. Pipe Cleaner Shapes

Form shapes out of pipe cleaners and glue them to a small piece of cardboard. Have you child close their eyes, touch and feel the shape and guess what it is.

50. Body Shapes

What shapes can you make with your body? Take turn making shapes with your arms and legs. You may want to lie on the floor to make shapes. Can you make more shapes working together? This is great activity for kids who need to move around a lot.

Benefits of Learning Shapes:

There are many important benefits to learning about shapes:

First, shape recognition and discerning shapes provides the building blocks for a strong foundation in mathematical reasoning. When your child learns to discern the similarities and differences between basic shapes, they are using the same early math skills they need to recognize the differences between numerals. So, essentially, shape activities are also math activities for very young children.

Learning shapes helps develop another very important skill: spatial awareness. That is, it helps your child understand how things fit together.

Finally, manipulating 2d shapes helps little learners develop fine motor skills over time. 

Thank you for visiting mkewithkids.com , and happy learning!

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FREE PRINTABLES

We promised you free printables, and here they are! In this download, you’ll find coloring pages, fun shape activities like “Make A Face”, and inspiration for teaching your little learners. Have fun!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Calie Herbst, Editor-in-Chief of Milwaukee With Kids, has spent over a decade combining her experiences as a parent of three to create a hub for Milwaukee’s family adventures.

Her decade-long teaching career in Milwaukee Public Schools and academic background, including a Master’s in Teaching from Marquette University and dual B.A.s in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, fuel her passion for inclusive and engaging family content.

Calie is also a recognized voice in local media, contributing to WISN Channel 12 News, WTMJ Wisconsin Morning News, Fox 6’s Real Milwaukee, and B93.3.

Discover more about Calie’s journey and editorial approach on her About Page  and Editorial Policy Page .

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Shape Activities for Preschoolers to Do at Home

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Are you looking for shape activities for preschoolers to do at home? Then, you’re in the right place! If you’re teaching shapes to your preschoolers this school year, check out my printable shape activities to help you get started.

Then, keep the learning fun going with hands-on shape recognition activities and games. Learning about shapes is an important early math skill for preschool students. You can add fine motor skills practice and develop early literacy skills with fun shape activities for preschoolers and a few great books about shapes.

Keep going to discover tips for teaching shapes and get printable shape activities for preschoolers at home. Plus, get the scoop on some of my favorite resources and toys for teaching shapes to preschool learners.

shape activities for preschoolers at home

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from purchases made through links in this post at no cost to you.

How to Teach Shape Recognition at Home

I like to begin teaching shape recognition with simple shapes preschoolers see every day in their environment. At home, you can teach shapes by pointing out that doors are rectangles and toy balls are spheres. Ask your preschoolers to look around the room and find shapes they recognize too.

You can even go on a shape scavenger hunt around your home! It’s a great way to teach your preschool learners that shapes are everywhere. Find more fun ways to teach shapes through play in my How to Teach Shapes article.

My Favorite Printable Shape Activities

Looking for a fun way to practice recognizing different shapes with your little learners? Check out my favorite printable activities for practicing basic shapes. I just know you’ll find the perfect fun activity to help your preschool students learn new shapes!

Shape Coloring Pages

Coloring pages are an excellent way to help your kids develop concentration and critical fine motor skills. Each of these shape coloring pages includes real objects for kids to compare as well. It’s an easy way to show your preschoolers that shapes are everywhere.

shape coloring pages

Geoboard Shapes

Geoboard shape activities for preschoolers at home provide an engaging task that’s filled with fine motor skill-building opportunities. This printable geoboard shape activity is perfect for helping preschool learners develop coordination and spatial skills while creating various shapes. 

geoboard shapes are a fun way for your kids to make shapes

My Shape Book

Engage emergent readers and practice early literacy skills while learning about shapes at home with this printable shape book. This shape book is a great opportunity for young kids to practice shape identification and learning shape names. Preschool classroom teachers can print these cute little books and send them home for shape activities for preschoolers at home.

My shape book is great for teaching your toddler shapes in real life.

Want more shape books you can share with your preschool learners? Check out my favorite books about shapes to use with preschool shape activities in the resources section below.

Shape Playdough Mats

I love using playdough mats with preschool learners! Playdough shape mats are great for sensory play with young children. Manipulating and kneading the dough helps little hands build finger strength, coordination, and a strong foundation for handwriting later.

These playdough shape mats are a great way to teach your toddler shapes and build fine motor skills.

Shape Road Mats

My printable shape road mats are a wonderful way to practice forming new shapes! Kids will love tracing the outlines of shapes with toy cars. Then, practice shape recognition by identifying the real-life shapes at the bottom of the page with your preschoolers.

printable shape worksheets to teach your toddler shapes

Shape Dot Markers

Dot markers are so fun! They’re perfect for little hands that are still developing the dexterity needed to grip a pencil. Plus, there’s very little mess involved with dot marker activities. My dot marker shape printables are the best thing for building fine motor skills, getting creative, and encouraging kids to identify new shapes! 

Don’t have dot markers? You can do these shape activities for preschoolers at home in lots of different ways. Pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, or stickers can be used to form shapes with these printable shape templates too.

teach your toddler shapes with these easy shape activities and printables

All these printable shape activities for preschoolers at home are so much fun! You can get the bundle of 8 Great Shape Activities to get started developing these important skills with your preschoolers today. Plus, check out more of my favorite hands-on shape activities below.

Shape Activities for Preschoolers at Home

There are so many great shape activities you can do at home with preschoolers! Check out some of my favorite shape activities to do at home for practicing a variety of shapes with preschool learners.

To host a shape hunt for your preschoolers, have kids look for pictures and real objects that are different shapes. Learning how to describe shapes and discriminate between different kinds of shapes will help prepare your preschoolers for more complex math skills as they enter kindergarten and elementary school.

shape scavenger hunt preschool

Talk about their favorite things with them and the shapes they see in these objects. For example, what shape do you see in a coveted slice of pizza? What shape is their favorite storybook?

Construction Paper Shapes

This is a great activity for practicing shapes when you don’t have lots of prep time. Draw a simple two-dimensional shape on a piece of white paper. Let your preschooler choose a colored construction paper and a glue stick. 

Then, have your preschooler tear the construction paper into small pieces. Preschoolers will glue each tiny piece to form the shape on their paper. It’s a lot of fun and perfect for building fine motor skills too!

​Shape Crafts with Paper Plates

This simple shape craft is good for practicing scissor skills with little learners at home. You’ll need crayons or markers, paper plates, and scissors. Have preschoolers draw shapes in the center of the paper plates and color the entire plate. Then, cut out the shapes at the center for extra practice. 

Make a Shape Necklace

You can use wooden lacing beads to make shape necklaces for a simple shape activity for preschoolers at home. These shape necklaces will be so much fun for preschoolers to use as they practice their shapes each day!

Plus, they’ll develop strong finger muscles as they thread each bead on their shape necklace.

More Shape Crafts and Activities for Preschoolers

If you’re looking for more fun shape activities for preschoolers at home, you’ll want to try out my shape crafts for kids! Here are a few of my favorite shape crafts for preschoolers to make at home:

These aren’t just your ordinary hats. These printable shape hats are perfect for preschoolers to decorate with real-life shapes they cut out and color.

printable shape hats for kids

It’s a fantastic way for them to recognize and learn about circles, triangles, squares, and many more 2D shapes! The best part is you can download these hat crafts for free with my free shape printables.

So, grab some colored pencils, scissors, and glue let’s dive right into shape-filled fun.

Feed the Shape Monster

This shape monster activity is the perfect way to get your preschoolers up and moving! Give them a variety of shapes to feed the shape monster. I like to make a large shape monster out of cardboard and cut a hole for the mouth.

Then, your preschoolers can feed the shape monster according to your instructions. Give directions like “The shape monster only wants to eat circles.” It’s a great way to practice shape recognition with your preschoolers and test their mastery of two-dimensional shapes.

Seasonal Shape Crafts for Preschoolers at Home

If you thought those shape hats were fun, get ready to get crafty with my seasonal shape crafts!

Fall Shape Crafts

As the leaves start to change and that crisp fall air rolls in, we can use our trusty 2D shapes to whip up some spooktacular crafts.

Use a square and rectangle to form the face and neck of Frankenstein, and a triangle for a wicked witch’s hat.

teaching shapes

Witch Shape Craft

Frankenstein Shape Craft

Bat Shape Craft

Scarecrow Shape Craft

Winter Shape Crafts

Don’t pack away those 2D shapes when winter snowflakes start to fall. Shapes are here to stay and play!

Transform circles into a jolly snowman or perhaps triangles into a twinkling Christmas tree. Oh, and reindeer antlers made of simple shape rectangles!

shape recognition activities

Christmas Tree Shape Craft

Reindeer Shape Craft

Snowman Shape Craft

Santa Shape Craft

These simple shape crafts are total cuteness overload and easy shape activities for kids at home!

School Shape Crafts

When back-to-school season hits and you’re on the lookout for some classroom-friendly crafts, shapes got your back. A triangle-topped rectangle becomes the cutest pencil and circles and rectangles come together to form a bus ready to roll.

With a little creativity, the oval becomes a juicy apple waiting for its first day of school!

shape activities

Pencil Shape Craft

Apple Shape Craft

Bus Shape Craft

Johnny Appleseed Shape Craft

As you can see, you need to keep those shapes handy, because we’re crafting all year round!

Books, Toys, and Games for Teaching Shapes

In addition to the hands-on activities mentioned above and all the fun printable shape activities for preschoolers at home, check out the picture books and shape games below. These teaching resources and toys are easy to add to your everyday life with preschoolers and filled with shape learning fun!

Best Shape Books

Discover the very best picture books about shapes you can read aloud to your little learners in my list of  Shape Activities for Preschoolers . Some of my favorite titles include This Is a Book of Shapes by Kenneth Kraegel and My Very Silly Monster Book of Shapes by Tim Read.

Shape Memory Game

Memory games help preschoolers develop critical thinking skills and concentration. Practice shapes at home with a fun shape memory game to build thinking skills and practice early math concepts at the same time.

Kinetic Sand Shapes

Kinetic Sand is so much fun! Plus, it’s easier to clean up than playdough. You can use kinetic sand with my printable shape playdough mats .

Wooden Pattern Blocks

Have you tried tangrams with your preschoolers? Wooden pattern blocks like tangrams are great for practicing patterns and learning about shapes with young children. 

Did you find the perfect activity for learning about shapes with preschoolers? Do you have favorite shape activities for preschoolers at home?

shape activities for preschoolers at home

Share your favorite favorite new ways to learn about shapes in the comments. I can’t wait to read them!

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20 Shape Activities for Preschool

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Fun shape activities for preschool are an important part of how young children gain vocabulary and recognize the specific shapes they see in their everyday play . Shapes are everywhere in our environment and once we begin chatting with our kids about them, shape awareness explodes. Check out this list of my favorite shape activities for preschoolers and beyond!

RELATED : Play-based,  hands-on math activities  are just a click away! Open and pin to come back to explore.

Images with children exploring 2D and 3D shapes through hands-on activities.

What activities can you do with shapes?

2-d shape activities, 3-d shape activities, shape book list, how to introduce shapes, why teaching shapes is important, more shape activities, empower your child with skills to thrive., faq for teaching shapes.

Shapes are everywhere! And even though young kids are exposed to shapes daily, in and out of the house, it is important to start talking and engaging with these shapes. If you want ideas to help your preschooler learn about different shapes, I’m here to help! In this article, I will share my favorite 2-D and 3-D shape activities for toddlers, preschoolers, and Kindergarten students.

As your preschooler works on developing their shape awareness and recognition, they will become more confident. But remember, as always, keep their learning fun!

There are so many different ways to play, sort, build, and learn with shapes using these 2-D preschool shape activities for preschoolers !

Toddler matching magnetic tiles on the refrigerator to match the color.

Color & Shape Match: a Toddler Math Activity

A fun and simple color and shape-matching activity that introduces early math concepts right on your refrigerator!

Child pulling a craft stick out of an egg crate to see what shape it has.

Craft Stick Shape Match

Build fine motor skills, sorting, matching, and shape recognition by using an empty egg carton and a stack of either craft sticks or popsicle sticks .

Child following the dots with scissors to cut the line.

Cutting Lines; Preschool Scissor Practice

Follow this simple activity to help your preschooler improve their fine motor cutting skills and shape knowledge.

Child matching airplanes made from craft sticks on a paper with matching shapes.

Fly In Your Shapes – Toddler Shape Matching

Get your toddler moving with this active shape-matching and  sorting  activity.

Shape pictures from the story, The Gruffalo.

Gruffalo-Themed Shape Animals (The Educators’ Spin On It)

Create cute and silly simple shape animals using construction paper and glue.

Child putting together magnetic tiles with stickers to match the pieces.

Magnetic Tile Sticker Puzzle

Stickers and puzzles are such a fun way to mix up and challenge your preschooler’s shape learning – this activity combines both!

Shape snack with square cheese and circle tomatoes.

Make a Tortilla Shape Snack (Pre-K Pages)

Your toddler will love making their own snack while learning with this yummy and fun activity.

Preschoolers using Mega Bloks to fill in the shapes in front of them.

Mega Bloks Tetris 

Watch your preschooler build, puzzle , think, and play with this creative block activity.

Preschooler connecting dot stickers to form a new shape.

Mystery Shapes; a Fine Motor Activity

This shape idea combines counting, drawing, shape recognition, and a little mystery all in one! Your child will stay engaged while learning and strengthening their  fine motor skills . 

Child putting colored tissue paper on contact paper to make a colorful sun.

Sticky Summer Suncatcher

A bright and vibrant art activity that is sure to add a little sunshine to your child’s day! Create beautiful suncatchers out of various shapes of tissue paper to brighten your space.

Preschooler sorting magnetic tile shapes in a graph.

Shape Graph for Preschool

Another simple yet stimulating shape-sorting activity that can be set up in less than a minute!

Toddler putting stickers as eyes to shapes that are drawn to look like people and figures.

Shape People; a Toddler Counting Activity

Draw simple silly shape figures for your toddler to decorate with sticker eyes as they match and count.

Preschooler making shapes out of 2D colorful shapes.

Shape Pictures – A Fun Shape Activity for Preschoolers

Create simple, colorful shapes that mimic shapes found in the  Mouse Shapes  book by Ellen Stoll Walsh. 

Preschooler sorting 3D shapes with objects found at home.

Sorting by Shapes

This sorting shapes activity is about as simple as it gets, but it will keep your preschoolers busy and engaged as they find shapes around your house in everyday life.

Preschooler painting 2D shape people with watercolors.

Watercolor Shape Painting 

Integrate  painting , creativity, and shapes with this easy and colorful watercolor shape painting activity.

From messy shaving cream to playing shape games, there are so many simple and fun ways to introduce 3-D shape activities to preschoolers and older kids too!

Child blowing a bubble made with a 3D straws.

3-D Bubble Shapes Activity (Little Bins Little Hands)

A great activity for a sunny day where your child will build 3-D bubble wands to create incredible 3-D bubble shapes! 

Kindergartner making 3D shapes with play dough and craft sticks.

Kindergarten Shape Build

One of my favorite hands-on activities for older children! This fun STEM activity challenges their creativity to build 3-D shapes using various building materials.

Preschooler digging in a muffin tin covered with tissue paper to find 3D shapes.

3-D Shape Dig

A hands-on shape activity that involves curiosity, motivation, and surprise!

Child putting a 3D block on a board.

3-D Shapes Graphing Game (Gift of Curiosity)

Introduce graphing, sorting, and organizing to your preschooler with this simple 3-D shape game.

Sorted 3D blocks on paper.

3-D and 2-D Shape Sorting Activity for Kids (What Do We Do All Day?)

Another very fun way to simply sort and organize 3-D shapes using all those wooden blocks you have lying around.

Two preschool boys sitting outside putting together foam blocks with shaving cream.

Shapes & Shaving Cream

Let your little learners build 3-D shapes, towers, and buildings with this messy sensory play activity, using shaving cream (as glue) and foam building blocks.

Preschooler making 3D shapes with marshmallows and straws.

DIY Tinker Toys (Hands on As We Grow)

Use marshmallows and straws to create large 3-D shapes.

Incorporating  shape books for preschoolers  into your home library is also another win! Here are some of my favorite books about shapes that my kids and I have loved reading for years!

Days with Grey participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read more about these links in my  disclosure policy.

Preschool book about shapes called, Mouse Shapes.

Mouse Shapes

This classic book about shapes will not disappoint. It inspired this creative  preschool shape activity .

Preschool book about shapes called, Square.

Square (The Shapes Trilogy)

Curious how a square spends his day? You will now with this genius book about cubes and squares. Simplistic delight!

Preschool sticker book about shapes called, In the Wild.

In the Wild Paint by Sticker

This is a great sticker book to encourage shape building to create a design.

Shape activities for preschool need to be hands-on and spark curiosity. Introduce shapes to your preschoolers by helping them to identify these basic shapes:  

There is so much to learn and know about shapes. But let’s keep that for high school geometry class. Shape learning for preschoolers should be kept simple. Learning is always more fun when it is  play-based . As your toddler asks questions, mention terms such as sides and vertices without expecting mastery.

Learning how to recognize and name shapes teaches preschoolers so many essential learning concepts:

  • Classification
  • Early  math skills and concepts
  • Language and vocabulary
  • Letter recognition
  • Number recognition
  • Organization skills
  • Sorting skills
  • Spatial awareness

Early exposure to shape recognition is important because real objects are made up of shapes in our environment and surroundings. Shapes help to build a strong foundation for early literacy and math skills.

Once your baby starts growing into toddlerhood, they suddenly become more curious and aware of their surroundings. As they navigate the world around them, they begin to familiarize themselves with the landmarks around their house (like that coffee table in the middle of your living room that they keep bumping into, which you’ve been meaning to find a new spot for, wink wink) by labeling these everyday objects by shape names. This is the beginning of shape awareness!

  • 12 Sticker Activities
  • 50 Math Activities for Preschoolers
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  • Play Ideas for Magnetic Tiles
  • Stem Toys for Kids

Shapes are all around us. Introducing and teaching your preschooler about shapes is simple, fun, and a great way to keep your child engaged. Whether you simply talk about the shapes you see at the playground or spend a few minutes setting up an activity, shapes are an easy concept to involve your preschooler in with their surroundings. Try out some shape activities for preschoolers to get them excited about learning!

Child expert holding a parenting resource to help kids with social emotional skills.

24 low-prep activities and relatable conversation starters that equip kids for life.

  • Order the  easy-to-follow  activity cards.
  • Build the foundation for  social-emotional learning.
  • Notice a  shift in self-confidence and self-regulation  as you and your child implement what you practice.

It’s never too soon to start talking to your toddler or preschooler about the shapes around them. Begin the conversation by chatting about what shapes they see at home, at the playground, or even out of the car window. Use these  activities for kids  to inspire play and learning at home.

Start with a conversation. Talk about what your child sees in their familiar surroundings. Reading books is another great way to develop shape recognition and awareness. And of course, there are countless shape activities for preschoolers that help to develop shape knowledge, fine motor skills, and sorting skills.

Some of the best low-prep activities to teach shapes to preschoolers include crafts, building, and hands-on sensory. There’s always something for every preschooler depending on their interests, preferences, and learning style.

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Beth, creator of Days with Grey, simplifies routines and promotes play-based learning for young children. With a master’s in education and 13 years of teaching, she shares practical activities for early development. As a mom of three, Beth’s strategies resonate with her 275,000+ Instagram followers. Join her to enrich your child's daily adventures through play.

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Shape Activities for Preschoolers at Home

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Shape Activities for Preschoolers at Home 

Are you looking for a different shapes activities and printables for your preschoolers, here is a fun and simple little shape printable i created that is so much fun , not only are these shape recognition printables fun. your little will also be gaining fine motor skills benefits. , i’ll also be sharing even more shape activities for preschoolers at home and awesome shape printables we love, be sure to bookmark this page to come back to each year if you are a preschool teacher or a homeschooling mama. 🙂 , here is a free bug preschool activity we love: , i’ve added in shapes of all kinds: , there are 2d shapes. , shape names are included.  , some shapes have dotted edges. , some shapes are fully colored. , a few shapes include only text. , cut the shapes for a simple shape scavenger hunt. , place real objects such as shape objects for a fun game of matching. , yay for so many fun shapes activities, ** scroll to the bottom of this post for the freebie **, related: want to learn how to save over 70% on our printables in our preschool subscription check it out here , shapes activities for preschool, learning shapes can be so much fun, this free printable builds a strong foundation on learning shapes and it is one of our favorite ways to go about learning and problem solving the different shape collages within it. , this is an easy way to learn about specific shapes for little hands. , i love using this free preschool printable for practicing writing skills with the shape names. , it is a great opportunity to get your littles writing out words. , not only will they be learning shape names they’ll also be learning the names of the shapes along with new shapes which is fantastic , create a simple math center for little learners by adding various shapes for an easy and fun activity. , we love creating shapes out of construction paper and matching these onto this freebie. , what are some other fun ways to go about setting out a simple shape activity using these sheets share below, shape preschool activities   printable pack, teaching shapes, the differentiated set of shapes allow for different areas of learning about shapes. , you can match them with shape manipulatives , write them, trace them, match the shape to the shape word… , i hope you have as much fun with this shape activity as my 3 year old has , here are even more fun activities you may be able to try out for learning about a variety of shapes: , use playdough mats for learning about shapes, create an epic shape necklace, cut shapes out of paper and call them out, create diy geoboards, use shape blocks to talk about the number of sides each shape has, set out a sensory bin with 3d shapes toys, bring forth a set of diy shape puzzles, use sidewalk chalk to draw out shapes, learn about shapes with a shape pizza printable, use dot markers to learn about shapes – check out this freebie, create a shape game out of a poster board, borrow shape picture books from your local library to teach 3 year olds and young children, create a diy shoe box game like this one and learn about shapes with different sized shape buttons , use pattern blocks for learning the different shapes, go on a shape hunt with this set of free printables, the list goes on and on , what are fun shape activities you’ve tried in the past , as a preschool teacher or homeschooling mama, what are some great ideas or favorite things to bring out when learning about all types of shapes , maybe we can try them out too, have you check out our alphabet placemats printable these are great for preschoolers in learning the alphabet. find it here .

This post contains affiliate links. 

Matching Shapes Printable ( At the bottom of this post )

Manipulatives such as shape links , shape buttons …, dry erase pockets, laminator and laminating sheets, dry erase marker , here are some of our favorite math activities : , how to put together: shape activities for preschoolers, once you have downloaded the shape matching printable, add the pages in a folder, binder or dry erase pocket ., i really enjoy using a dry erase pocket for these as we enjoy using a dry erase marker to trace the letters. , and, when your child is done tracing the letters, its as easy as 1-2-3 in erasing them to be used for for another time , talk about the properties of shapes and create simple preschool shape activities by using actual shape manipulatives to go along with this freebie. , even more great shapes activities to try out with preschoolers: , the shapes activities broken down … , what’s included: , tracing shapes, shape words , color shapes, fill in the shapes, shape matching, b&w shapes, the list is full of so many ways your child can learn about the basic shapes. , you can also improvise in so many different ways. , is there a fun way you used these printables with your child to learn about shapes i’d love to learn about it. , leave me a comment down below , another shape activities printable we love: , have you tried using kinetic sand to create shapes and call out of the names of shapes , hear is your favorite kinetic sand recipe tutorial we love , kinetic sand is a wonderful sensory play idea to use in small group settings for learning and playing simultaneously. , some of the other items we love using to create shapes are: , pipe cleaners, craft sticks or popsicle sticks, paper plates, pom poms , finger painting, markers and crayons, dot stickers, dot markers, glitter pens, these are just some of the ideas we love using. , pick and choose which works best for you and your little and go from there. , another fun way to use the montessori method is to use rocks, sticks and stones. , for a fun outdoor play idea, collect stones and sticks and create shapes. , in this same way you can create letters, add, subtract and create numbers all in a fun nature themed way., there is never a perfect time or a perfect way to go about learning about shapes. , there are literally so many different ways to go about learning, exploring and playing simultaneously. , and, these are just some ideas we have found to be super helpful. , tell me, what are some of your favorite shape activities that you may have tried in the past , i’d love to learn so maybe we can try it out too , related: interested in getting our preschool activity binder for free learn more about preschool themes, some ways we have used this shape printable…, we love these shape links for matching to the correct shape. it’s a great way to not only learn about shapes, but about colors too, these shape buttons are really cool too they come in all types of different colors and work very well in matching to the shapes. , the b&w shape printable sheet is great for your little learner to color in., once they are done coloring, ask them what colors they drew along with the type of shape, use the dry erase pocket for the tracing sheet this works well for teaching your preschooler how to trace in the lines. , you can use the shape words for with one of the shape sheets to create a matching game, even more shape activities and printables for young kids:, shape cookie printable, dot to dot shape printable, box of chocolates kids activity, sticky wall shape activity , turkey shape craft, shape popsicle stick craft, witch shape craft, fall tree shape activity , diy shape sensory bags, floating dry erase marker experiment, shape sorting activity , sponge painting shapes, shape cardboard cutout, shape pasta threading, some of these shape activities will work for snack time. , the best way we have found creating a great activity with this free printable is to use with your littles snacks. , call out the different shapes and add a snack to cover the shape that was called out. , this is a perfect way to bring in the real world into a fun game of learning about shapes. , around fall, we created a cute monster themed activity with a monster printable. , we used a shoe box to bring forth this simple kids activity. , you can check it out here., another fun way to go about this free monster printable is to create a diy shape monster activity. , how to go about this , use the shape manipulatives such as the shape links or cutout shape worksheets to insert into the tissue box for learning about shapes. , this is also great for learning geometric shapes and three dimensional shapes because the objects would be in 3d. , here are some of our favorite shape manipulatives we love to use in a pre-k and kindergarten setting: , this works well for kindergarteners for a more advanced approach., your kindergartener can also practice writing the shape words on a notebook using these shape word cards, what other fun learning activities can you think of with this shape matching game, will you give these shapes activities for preschool learning printable a try, pin it for later, if you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy these also:, shape printable’s activity, rainbow alphabet match printable, fun preschool shape activities, hands on shape pictures activity, preschool themes we love, preschool activities binder, toddler learning folder, kindergarten learning folder, get the shape activity freebie below: .

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25+ Shape Activities and Crafts for Kids

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Last week we did a pumpkin shape game and now my preschooler and toddler are really interested in shapes and are talking about them a lot. 

This week I compiled some of our favorite shape activities and crafts into one big post so that I can have easy access to them and hopefully they'll be useful to you too! 

Some activities are more general and some tie better to a holiday, so I tried to seperate them a bit. While putting this collection together I actually realized that we need to do a few more holiday shapes games to cover all of our favorite holidays!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

If you click on each ling below you'll be taken to a full tutorial for each activity which in most cases will also include much larger photos. You might find yourself doing shape activities and crafts for days!

Here are some General Shape Activities & Crafts... my favorite is Yoda!!

Building with shapes

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Building shape trucks with paper

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Caterpillar shape sorting

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Giant Shape BINGO

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Star Wars Yoda Shape Craft

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Tape Shape Art

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Building with paper strips

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape quilt

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Toothpick Shape Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Escape the Volcano Shape Game

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Truck Shape Pattern Puzzles

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape Town Busy Bag

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Thumbtack Shape Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Tape Shape Fun

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Tape Shape Matching Game

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape Flower Garden

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Envelope Sorting Shape Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Making Crayon Shapes

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Rocket Shape Collage Craft

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Rocket Shape Craft

activities for preschoolers with shapes

We also have some Holiday Shape Activities & Crafts... I am in love with our Pumpkin shape game!

Scarecrow Shape Craft

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Pumpkin Shape Movement Game

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Ghost Shape Walk

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Textured Shape Ghost

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shape Spider Craft

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Candy Shape Tree Activity

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Spring Shape Wreath

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Cracked Egg Shape Puzzles

activities for preschoolers with shapes

If your kids are really interested in exploring shapes like mine, you might also enjoy these 10 shape activities for toddlers  from Hands On: As We Grow and these 29 shape activities from No Time for Flashcards!

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Do you see any activities in this post that you want to try? Have you tried any of these yet? Tell me about it in the comments!

Other posts you might enjoy.

Counting Movement Stick Game for Kids

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November 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for gathering these activities into one place. I'm pinning them on my tot school board for when my son gets older.

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

123 Homeschool 4 Me

50 FREE Shapes Printables for Kids Worksheets, Activities & Games

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activities for preschoolers with shapes

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If your child is working on learning their shapes, you will love all these fun, shape printables . WE have  free shape printables for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. From  shape worksheets to  shape games  plus  shape puzzles and  shape playdough mats . Kids are sure to have fun learning shapes with these fun  shape activities   for kids !

If your child is working on learning their shapes, you will love all these fun, shape printables. WE have free shape printables for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. From shape worksheets to shape games plus shape puzzles and shape playdough mats. Kids are sure to have fun learning shapes with these fun shape activities for kids!

Shapes for kids

Is your child working on shape recognition? We’ve got  tracing shapes worksheets to help them learn to form circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, hearts, stars, ovals, hexagons, octagons, and more! These  printable shapes worksheets and fun  shape activities for preschoolers , toddlers, kindergartners, and grade 1 students are sure to make it fun and engaging! Plus you’ll love that these are all FREE!

Looking for a fun way to get children to learn shapes and practice fine motor skills at the same time? These do a dot printables include 7 shapes that kids can learn to identify as well as the shape name too. These dot marker printables are not only great for learning common shapes, but are loads of fun for kids to use bingo daubers (also known as dot markers and bingo markers) These dot marker printables free are great for toddler, preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten age students as an engaging shape activity for preschoolers to do with a shape worksheet. Simply print do a dot printables free pdf and you are ready to dab and learn!

Shape Worksheets

Looking for some simple, no prep  free shape worksheets to make practicing learning shapes fun? You will love these shapes worksheets for kindergarten and early learners:

  • These Do a Dot Printables Shape Worksheets use bingo dauber markers to make them perfect for young learners!
  • Watermelon tracing shapes worksheets pdf
  • Complete a HUGE variety of activities with these free shape printables pack
  • It doesn’t get much simpler that thes handy, FREE Shape Worksheets – pick a shape and trace the shape in different sizes along with learning the shape name too.
  • Handy Tracing Shapes Worksheets for Kindergartners learning their shapes
  • Christmas Cut and Paste Shape Worksheets
  • Or work on shapes with these cute Gingerbread Worksheets for Preschool
  • Circle the shape with these Spider Worksheets Preschool that work on shape recognition
  • Free shapes worksheets for kindergarten

shapes-emergent-reader

Shapes printables

We also have free shape printables from readers to shape puzzles, shape crafts, free printable shape flashcards, and more!

  • Shapes coloring pages to learn your shapes including real world objects to color, shape word to trace, and more!
  • Grab these Free Printable Shape Puzzles to work on 2d and 3d shape recognition with early learners!
  • Simple Mouse and Lion Strips allow kids to practice Tracing Shapes for Preschoolers
  • Work on Teaching Shapes to Preschoolers with this Pirate Shapes Printable Reader
  • Match the flower shapes with the correct shape word with this pretty, fun and FREE Flower Kindergarten Math Crafts
  • Learn Shapes while tracing, coloring, and making a fall leaf book with this Fall Kindergarten Activity
  • Fun Shape Flashlight Constellations activity for kids
  • Flower Shape Printable Clip Cards
  • Grab these handy shape flashcards to hang on the wall or use in shape games

Tracing shapes with cars

Free printable shapes

  • Drive your hot wheels on these Road Shapes Mats to learn your preschool shapes while having FUN!
  • Free Shape Matching Wheel Activity
  • Free printable shape activity for preschoolers with popsicle sticks, trace the shape word, and identify the shapes
  • Shape Buddy Preschool Shape Activities and Crafts
  • Christmas shapes printable activity

Shape Spider Mats

Shapes for kids printable

The following activities help kids work on grouping similar shapes together:

  • Super cute, hands-on Spider Shape Sorting Mats
  • Penguin Shape Sorting Activity for kids
  • Sort the fall leaves with this Free Printable Leaf Activities for Kindergarten
  • Balloon Shape Matching Activity
  • Happy Pumpkin Shape Matching Game for October
  • Popsicle Shape Sorting is a fun, engaging Summer Preschool Activities
  • Shape Activities for toddlers with printable cards and popsicle sticks
  • Hole punch the shape in this shape recognition activity
  • Kids love this free printable I Spy Shapes Worksheet

activities for preschoolers with shapes

Shapes Activities

  • Complete these super cute Preschool Shape Worksheets with playdough or laminate and trace with dry erase markers
  • Practice recognizing 2d shapes with this cute shape sorting printable free
  • Rabbit Shape Recognition Activity
  • Cut and Paste Shapes Printable Worksheets to use on their own or make into a shape book once you complete the pages
  • Tracing Shapes Activity with free printable

Make learning about shapes for kids fun with this super cute, Shape Bingo. This shape game will help kids go from knowing basic shapes to seeing them in the world around them. Use this shape activity for applying math with toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. Simply print free shapes printables and you are ready to play and learn with a shapes bingo!

Shapes activities for toddlers (printable)

Kids learn best when they are having FUN! Try one of these fun shape games that are completely FREE!

  • Match real world objects with their correct shapes in this super cute, fun Shape BINGO Game
  • Play this Free Shape Games with a printable gameboard
  • Work on shapes with this Groundhog day activities for preschoolers
  • Plant a Pumpkin Patch with this fun Pumpkin Shape Matching Game
  • Free Tanagram Shapes Printable
  • Work on learning shapes with this free Christmas Preschool Activities
  • Fish themed, free pritnable Shape Matching Game
  • Head out on a Shape Scavenger Hunt with our printable shape flashcards
  • Do you want to build a snowman? Build a shape Snowman activities for preschoolers
  • FREE Shape Pattern Block Printables

If your child is working on learning their shapes, you will love all these fun, shape printables. WE have free shape printables for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. From shape worksheets to shape games plus shape puzzles and shape playdough mats. Kids are sure to have fun learning shapes with these fun shape activities for kids!

Free shapes printables

Young kids learn best by doing and getting their hands involved! These shape playdough activities are a great way to not only learn shapes, but strengthen hand muscles too!

  • Super cute Monster Playdough mats for making shapes and learning shape names
  • Happy Pumpkin Playdough Mats for working on forming shapes
  • Trace & Erase or build with playdough Shape Activities for Preschoolers
  • Build a pretty spring flower while practicing making preschool shapes with these cute Flower Playdough Mats
  • Make a shape carrot out of playdough in this Spring Preschool Activity
  • Spring Rainbow themed 2D Shape Playdough Mats
  • Build some Shape Chocolates with this free printable valentine activities for preschoolers
  • Ready for some summer fun? Build some delious Ice Cream Shapes with this fun ice cream preschool activities

fun-shape-books-for-kids

Shapes printable

Plus, don’t miss these fun shape books for kids , cute s hape books for preschoolers , or these free printable shape scavenger hunt s

If your child is working on learning their shapes, you will love all these fun, shape printables. WE have free shape printables for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. From shape worksheets to shape games plus shape puzzles and shape playdough mats. Kids are sure to have fun learning shapes with these fun shape activities for kids!

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables – www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com. Beth studied at the University of Northwestern where she got a double major to make her effective at teaching children while making education FUN!

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15 Best Shape Activities For Preschoolers in 2024

Vector image of kids and shapes

1. Shape Hunt in Your Home

2. shape sorting game, 3. nature walk shapes, 4. playdough shape creations, 5. shape collage art, 6. shape puzzle time, 7. shadow shapes game, 8. shape bingo, 9. shape stamping, 10. shape obstacle course.

Do you ever look around and notice shapes all around you? You may see a round clock on the wall, a square picture frame, or even a triangle-shaped pizza slice! Shapes are everywhere, and guess what? They’re super important for kids to learn about when they’re little.

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SplashLearn inspires lifelong curiosity with its game-based PreK-5 learning program loved by over 40 million children. With over 4,000 fun games and activities, it’s the perfect balance of learning and play for your little one.

So, let’s explore some of the best shape activities for preschoolers. In this blog, we will discuss some simple and fun ways to help preschoolers understand shapes like circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and ovals. 

Shapes might seem like child’s play, but they’re a big deal. Learning about shapes isn’t just about knowing the names; it’s about sharpening young minds and setting the stage for learning all kinds of stuff in the future. So, let’s get started and make learning shapes a fun adventure for your preschooler!

Basic Introduction to Shapes

Have you ever played with your food, arranging your pizza toppings into a triangle or stacking your sandwich bread in a square? Shapes are like our secret code for understanding the world around us!

  • Circle: Think of round things, like a cookie or a bicycle wheel. They’re circles because they don’t have any sharp corners.
  • Square : Squares are like building blocks with four sides, all the same length. Picture a chocolate bar with four equal pieces – that’s a square!
  • Triangle: Triangles are those pointy shapes, like a slice of pizza. They have three sides and three corners, like a wizard’s hat.
  • Rectangle: Books are often shaped like rectangles – longer on one side, shorter on the other.
  • Oval: An oval is like a stretched-out circle, like an egg.

These shapes are all around us, from the sun in the sky to the windows in your house. Now, let’s have some simple and playful fun with them!

15 Best Hands-On Shape Activities for Preschoolers

Shapes are more than just simple figures children draw; they are foundational elements of mathematics that play a crucial role in a child’s cognitive development . According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), preschool teachers can create an environment where children are eager to explore and learn about math, particularly shapes and space. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) emphasizes the importance of children understanding shapes by the time they leave kindergarten , highlighting activities such as analyzing, comparing, creating, and composing these shapes.

With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of engaging prek shape activities, each designed to nurture their curiosity and enhance their spatial understanding. Dive in and discover the world of shapes with your little ones!

A young kid holding two balls

Transform your home into an exciting shape treasure hunt for preschoolers, encouraging them to find shapes in everyday objects. This engaging activity sparks curiosity and helps children recognize and distinguish various shapes.

Materials Needed: None

Instructions: Ask your child questions like, “Can you spot a square door or a round plate?”

Kid sorting shapes

Make learning shapes hands-on and enjoyable with this interactive game. In the Shape Sorting Game, preschoolers sort everyday objects by their shapes, reinforcing their understanding of circles, squares, triangles, and more.

Materials Needed: Small objects (e.g., toy cars, buttons)

Instructions: Prompt your child to sort items, saying, “Let’s gather all the circles here and the squares there.”

Kid walking with father in park

Combine outdoor exploration with shape recognition during a nature walk, making learning shapes a delightful outdoor adventure. Preschool shapes activities like this encourage children to spot shapes in leaves, rocks, and clouds while connecting with the natural world.

Instructions: While walking, identify shapes in leaves, rocks, or clouds, saying, “Look, a triangle-shaped leaf!”

Kids making shapes from playdough

Source: @5minutesformom

Have a blast with playdough as your little one shapes basic preschool shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. It’s a hands-on and colorful way to introduce and explore shapes while sparking creativity.

Materials Needed: Playdough in various colors

Instructions: Shape playdough into different forms and ask, “Can we make a rectangle or a triangle?”

A shape collage

Source: @pinterest

Shape Collage Art is a hands-on and artistic way for preschoolers to explore shapes found in the world around them. It’s a simple and enjoyable pre-k shapes activity that lets creativity shine. Create a beautiful collage using cutouts from magazines. 

Materials Needed: Old magazines, glue, paper

Instructions: Cut out shapes from magazines and arrange them to make a unique shape collage.

A handmade shape puzzle

Source: @proeves

Enjoy a fun shape activity for preschool as you create your own puzzles . Draw shapes on cardboard, cut them into pieces, and solve them together. It encourages problem-solving skills and helps preschoolers become familiar with basic shapes.

Materials Needed: Cardboard, markers, scissors

Instructions: Draw shapes on cardboard, cut them into puzzle pieces, and have your child assemble the puzzle.

Kid with parents using light to create shadow in wall

Source: @raisingchildern

The Shadow Shapes Game is a simple and one of the most fun pre-k shape activities that combines play and learning. Use a flashlight to create interesting shadows and guess the shapes they form. It’s a fun way to learn about shapes in the world around you.

Materials Needed: Flashlight

Instructions: Shine a flashlight on objects and have your child guess the shape of each shadow.

Shape bingo sheet

Source: @twinkl

Shape Bingo is an enjoyable and straightforward way to make geometry activities for preschoolers entertaining and educational. It turns learning shapes into a playful game that kids will love. Replace numbers with shapes on bingo cards and enjoy a fun-filled way to reinforce shape recognition.

Materials Needed: Bingo cards with shapes (you can make them)

Instructions: Play a simple bingo game, replacing numbers with shapes and enhancing shape recognition.

Shape stamp on paper using sponge

Source: @mothercould

Shape Stamping is an easy and enjoyable way for preschoolers to explore shapes and colors through art. It encourages creativity and helps them become familiar with various shapes.

Materials Needed: Sponges, paint, paper

Instructions: Dip sponges in paint and stamp them onto paper to make colorful shape art.

Kids playing shape obstacle course

Source: @rehabshop

The Shape Obstacle Course combines physical play and shape activities for preschoolers, making learning about shapes an active and enjoyable experience. It helps children associate shapes with movement and promotes gross motor skills .

Materials Needed: Tape, cushions

Instructions: Create a tape outline of shapes on the floor, and encourage your child to jump or crawl through them.

11. Shape Treasure Map Adventure

Kid looking at a treasure hunt map

The Shape Treasure Map Adventure adds an element of excitement and exploration to shape activities for preschoolers while making learning shapes feel like a thrilling treasure hunt. It’s a creative and engaging way to reinforce shape recognition skills in a playful manner.

Materials Needed: Paper, markers or crayons, small objects (as treasures)

Instructions: Draw a simple map with shape landmarks and have your child follow the map to find hidden treasures matching the shapes.

12. Shape Storytime

Mother reading to daughter

Shape Storytime is a simple and enjoyable way to introduce shape activities for preschoolers through the magic of storytelling . It helps children relate to shapes in familiar and engaging contexts while fostering a love for reading .

Materials Needed: Picture books with shapes

Instructions: Read a story with shape-themed books, pointing out and discussing the shapes you encounter.

13. Build with Blocks

Kid playing with building blocks

Build with Blocks is a hands-on, interactive, and simple way to engage in shape activities for preschoolers. It fosters creativity, shape recognition, and bonding through constructive play.

Materials Needed: Building blocks

Instructions: Build simple structures with blocks, discussing the shapes used in the process.

14. Shape Balloon Fun

kid playing balloon catch with parents

Shape Balloon Fun is a light-hearted and easy way to introduce shapes during playtime. It adds a fun twist to learning about shapes and encourages simple interactions that help preschoolers grasp the concept.

Materials Needed: Balloons

Instructions: Inflate balloons and talk about their shapes while playing catch.

15. Shape Cooking Adventure

kid cooking with mother

Combine shapes and delicious treats in a Shape Cooking Adventure that’s both fun and tasty. It’s a hands-on activity that brings the joy of baking into shape activities for kids.

Materials Needed: Cookie dough, cookie cutters

Instructions: Bake shape cookies together using various cookie cutters, and discuss the shapes as you enjoy your homemade treats.

These preschool shape activities and crafts are designed to be simple, engaging, and perfect for introducing your little one to the wonderful world of shapes. 

4 Extension Ideas and Variations To Teach Your Preschooler Shapes

Now that we’ve explored some exciting preschool shape activities, it’s time to take the fun and learning even further with some creative extension ideas and variations. These simple tweaks and additional concepts will add depth to your shape activities and keep your child engaged and eager to learn. Let’s delve into these innovative extensions:

1. Incorporating Colors with Shapes

Enhance the learning experience by incorporating colors into your shape activities. You can ask questions like, “Can you find a red circle or a blue square?” This combination of shapes and colors adds an extra layer of exploration.

2. Using Real-Life Objects for Shape Recognition

Take shape recognition to the next level by integrating real-life objects. When you’re out and about, point out things that match the shapes your child is learning. For example, “Look, that stop sign is an octagon!”

3. Combining Shapes to Create New Objects

Encourage creativity and critical thinking by combining basic shapes to create new objects or creatures. Challenge your child to make a house using squares and triangles or an animal using circles and ovals.

4. Incorporating Technology with Digital Shape Activities

Embrace technology by exploring digital shape activities and apps designed for preschoolers. Many interactive apps offer shape-recognition games and puzzles, making learning more engaging.

You can customize the learning experience to suit your child’s interests and needs by infusing these extension ideas and variations into your shape activities. These adaptations add depth, creativity, and excitement to the world of shapes, ensuring that your preschooler continues to explore and grow in their understanding of this fundamental concept.

Shapes and spatial reasoning are foundational blocks in early childhood education. Dr. Sue Gifford’s insights from NRICH emphasize the profound connection between a child’s ability to understand and manipulate shapes and their mathematical development. Activities that challenge children to analyze, combine, and rotate shapes, such as puzzles and construction play, are fun and pivotal in enhancing their spatial thinking. The language we use, whether discussing the ‘curviness’ of a circle or the ‘ edges ‘ of a square, significantly deepens their understanding of shapes. Furthermore, physical activities that involve navigating spaces, constructing routes, or even simple tasks like stacking help children relate to shapes in the world around them. 

Placing shapes at its heart is essential as we craft our early years curriculum. By doing so, we’re not just teaching children about geometry but equipping them with a comprehensive toolkit of cognitive skills that will serve them well in all areas of learning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you teach shapes in preschool.

Teach shapes in preschool through hands-on activities like shape sorting and creative playdough shaping.

What are the shape concepts for preschoolers?

Shape concepts for preschoolers include recognizing common shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles, as well as understanding their properties.

How do you make shapes interesting?

Make shapes interesting for preschoolers by incorporating games , art, and outdoor exploration to engage their curiosity and creativity.

activities for preschoolers with shapes

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Shape Matching Game Printable

By: Author Darcy Zalewski

Posted on Last updated: June 30, 2024

Black and white text on green and reddish orange background at the top says Free Printable Shape Matching Game. Preview of game cards is below that.

Our fun shape matching game printable is designed to engage young minds and foster cognitive development. Like many of our printable games for kids , there is more than one way to play, making it a versatile activity for various age groups.

The game includes over ten shapes that children can match in different ways. This flexibility allows it to be easily modified for various skill levels, making it great for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. It offers multiple opportunities for learning and fun!

Black and white text on green and reddish orange background at the top says Free Printable Shape Matching Game. Preview of game cards is below that.

What makes this shape matching game truly unique is its multifaceted approach to learning.

With several ways to match—identical match, shadow match, word match, and two halves match—it caters to different learning styles and keeps children engaged.

This variety ensures the game is educational and entertaining for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners.

Its adaptability makes it ideal for use at home and in the classroom, providing an excellent resource for parents and educators to support early childhood development.

Whether seeking to enhance cognitive skills or simply looking for a fun activity, this game is a perfect choice.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and a participant in other affiliate programs, we earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

Counting Animals Toys Matching Game

Printable Matching Games for Kids

Our collection of printable matching games for kids features a variety of themes to spark children’s interest and keep them entertained. From adorable animals to colorful seasonal objects, we have something for everyone.

Perfect for home and classroom use, our themed matching games provide a delightful way for children to develop their memory and cognitive skills through play.

  • Farm Animal Matching Game Printable
  • Printable Football Matching Game
  • Popsicle Matching Game
  • Ocean Animal Matching Game
  • Printable Spring Matching Game

Is Matching an Early Math Skill?

Matching is crucial in early math skills, helping young children develop foundational classification and one-to-one correspondence concepts.

By recognizing similarities and differences between shapes, colors, and patterns, children learn to categorize objects, which is essential for understanding sets, sorting, and organizing data.

This skill enhances their ability to observe and compare details and builds a solid basis for more complex mathematical concepts such as counting, addition, and subtraction.

Developmental Benefits of Playing Matching Games

Playing matching games offers substantial developmental benefits for young children.

These games enhance memory retention and improve concentration as kids focus on identifying matching pairs. Additionally, they refine fine motor skills by physically handling cards or pieces.

Matching games also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving abilities by challenging children to recognize patterns, make predictions, and strategize their moves.

This engaging activity supports cognitive development and lays the groundwork for future learning in mathematics and literacy.

Mockup of game cards featuring 2d geometric shapes such as circles, stars, diamonds, pentagons.

What Shapes Should Preschoolers Know?

Before entering kindergarten, preschoolers should ideally be able to recognize and name a variety of basic shapes. These foundational shapes include circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and ovals.

Additionally, it is beneficial for them to be familiar with more complex shapes such as diamonds, hearts, stars, and hexagons.

Recognizing these shapes helps children develop visual discrimination skills and strengthens their understanding of spatial relationships. This knowledge prepares them for more advanced geometric concepts.

It supports their ability to navigate and interpret the world, from identifying objects in their environment to understanding early math concepts.

ABCaptain Counting Animal Matching Game with Sorting Cups

Does This Printable Game Help Teach Shape Recognition?

This printable game is a fantastic tool for teaching shape recognition. Through its various modes of play, it encourages children to identify and differentiate between multiple shapes.

Kids reinforce their ability to recognize distinct geometric forms by repeatedly matching shapes, a fundamental skill in early childhood education.

This repetitive and engaging process helps solidify their understanding of basic shapes. It enhances their visual perception and classification abilities, setting a solid foundation for future learning in geometry and other math-related areas.

Printable matching game cards with assorted geometric objects in different colors.

What’s Included in the Shape Matching Game Printable

The shape matching game includes over 60 printable game cards that can be used in various ways to support learning and play.

The set features 15 different colorful flat 2D shapes, providing a visually engaging experience for young learners.

To cater to varying skill levels, the game includes a set of shapes labeled with text and another without text, allowing for early reading practice and simple shape recognition. Here are the included shapes:

  • parallelogram

Additionally, there are shape silhouettes and cards with shapes split in half, offering diverse matching challenges that enhance cognitive and fine motor skills.

This comprehensive set ensures that children remain engaged and can explore multiple facets of shape recognition and matching.

Scotch Thermal Laminator and Pouch Bundle, 2 Roller System, Laminate up to 9

How to Play Shape Matching Game

To play the shape matching game, begin by laying all the cards face up on a flat surface. Encourage younger learners to focus on locating and identifying matching pairs by visually scanning and comparing the cards.

This approach helps them familiarize themselves with different shapes and enhances recognition skills. As children become more comfortable with identifying matches, you can increase the challenge by turning the cards face down.

In this version of the game, players take turns flipping over two cards at a time, trying to remember the location of each shape to find matches, effectively transitioning the activity into a memory game.

This progression not only adds excitement but also aids in developing memory retention and concentration skills.

The different card sets can also be mixed and matched to create varied matching challenges and sorting activities.

I strongly recommend laminating the game cards to ensure they withstand multiple uses and frequent handling in a classroom setting. Printing on cardstock paper is an excellent alternative if a laminator is unavailable.

Identical Shapes

Encourage children to examine each shape image closely and search for its identical match. This method helps reinforce shape recognition and matching skills.

You can also use these cards for a color-sorting activity. Group the cards based on their colors and challenge the child to sort them accordingly.

This enhances their ability to distinguish between colors while developing organizational skills.

Shape Shadows

The shape shadows set includes 15 cards featuring a gray shadow shape, designed to challenge children to match them with the corresponding colorful shape.

This activity encourages visual discrimination as kids learn to associate the outline of a shape with its full-color counterpart.

Children reinforce their shape recognition skills by engaging in this matching task and enhancing their ability to compare and contrast visual attributes.

This activity further supports cognitive development by prompting children to make connections and recognize patterns.

Digital mockup of printable game for young children. Colorful shapes, shadow versions, shape names and symmetry cards.

Shape Words

The printable includes 15 cards featuring only text, naming each shape. These cards are excellent tools for working on word recognition as children learn to associate the written word with the two-dimensional figure it represents.

Kids can practice matching the shape name to its corresponding image by using these text-only cards alongside the shape image cards.

This activity enhances their reading skills and reinforces their understanding of shape vocabulary, making it a valuable educational exercise for early learners.

Understanding symmetry is crucial in early childhood development, as it helps children grasp the concepts of balance and proportion.

Recognizing and completing the other half of a shape to create a whole sharpens visual perception and cognitive skills.

The shape matching game includes cards featuring all 15 shapes cut in half, providing a fun and educational way for children to explore symmetry.

By matching the two halves to form a complete shape, children enhance their spatial awareness and fine motor skills, laying the groundwork for more complex geometric and mathematical concepts in the future.

Preschool matching shapes game cards overlapping on a light orange background. Text across bottom says Free Printable.

What Ages Can Play Memory Match Games

Memory match games are suitable for a wide range of ages, from toddlers to older children. The versatility of this game allows it to be easily modified and adjusted based on age and skill level.

For younger children, using fewer cards helps them focus and achieve success without feeling overwhelmed.

As they grow more confident in their abilities, the number of cards can gradually increase to provide a more significant challenge.

For older children, incorporating more complex matches can keep the game engaging.

For instance, they might enjoy activities like identifying the corresponding name for a given half shape or finding three matching cards: one with a colored shape, one with its shadow, and one with the word.

This adaptability makes memory match games an excellent tool for cognitive development across various stages of childhood.

Fun Preschool Math Activities

Introducing a variety of fun preschool math activities can significantly enhance foundational skills such as counting, sorting, pattern recognition, and basic arithmetic.

These engaging activities are designed to make learning enjoyable while promoting cognitive development and problem-solving abilities.

Below is a list of exciting and educational activities that will help young learners build essential math skills in a playful and interactive way.

  • Dinosaur Counting Game
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Easter Count and Graph

Books About Shapes for Preschoolers

Reading together is an excellent way to expose preschoolers to shapes in diverse contexts, fostering both literacy and geometric understanding.

Children can see how these primary forms are integrated into various settings and everyday objects by encountering shapes in stories, enhancing their recognition and comprehension. Here are a few recommended books about shapes:

“ Mouse Shapes ” by Ellen Stoll Walsh: This delightful book uses playful mice to introduce basic shapes, incorporating them into creative illustrations and engaging storylines to help children understand how shapes are used in art and design.

“ Shapes, Shapes, Shapes ” by Tana Hoban: This book captures everyday objects and scenes through stunning photography, encouraging children to identify and name the shapes they see in the world around them.

“ Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes ” by Roseanne Thong: This vibrant, multicultural book uses rhyming text and colorful illustrations to explore shapes within a Latin American cultural context, making it a fun and educational read for young learners.

“ Shapes Are Everywhere ” by Charles Ghigna: In this visually appealing book, children are guided to discover shapes in various environments, enhancing their ability to recognize geometric forms in natural and manufactured spaces.

Mouse Shapes

Shape Crafts for Kids

Engaging children in shape crafts is an excellent way to combine creativity with learning, providing hands-on experience with geometric concepts.

Incorporating shapes into various craft projects can enhance their fine motor skills, boost their spatial awareness, and solidify their understanding of different shapes.

  • Shape Pumpkin Craft
  • Rocket Made With Shapes Craft
  • Popsicle Stick Star Wand Craft
  • Shape Turkey Craft

Matching games offer a delightful blend of fun and education, making them valuable to early childhood learning.

Children can enjoy learning while engaging in activities that enhance cognitive skills, visual perception, and shape recognition.

We hope you find these games as beneficial and entertaining as we do. To get started, you can fill out the form below to receive your free printables, which will be sent directly to your inbox.

Darcy Zalewski

Darcy is the founder of “Life With Darcy and Brian,” where she combines her love for education, board games, and crafting to create engaging learning experiences for kids. Her creative projects and writing have been featured in outlets like The Toy Insider, CafeMom, Mom.com, Parents.com, Country Living, and The Pioneer Woman.

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7 Screen-free summer activities your kids won’t hate

Keeping tweens and young teens entertained without screens can be challenging as summer rolls in. This is especially true if you’re searching for fun and unique activities that require little preparation or money. If you need inspiration, here are seven screen-free summer activities your kids won’t hate.

DIY escape room

Turn a room in your house into an exciting escape room adventure. Create a storyline, set up clues and let your kids solve puzzles to escape the room.

Use items you already have at home or print out free templates available online. This activity encourages problem-solving, teamwork and critical thinking.

It may take an hour or two to set up and create your DIY escape room for teens or tweens. Yet the cost can be as low as zero dollars and requires minimal parental supervision.

Build a fairy garden

Create a fairy garden using small plants, pebbles, miniature figurines and other natural materials to keep your kids engaged. You can make this project indoors in a pot or a large, upcycled DIY planter.

If you can, entice your teen outdoors to build this in a section of your garden. It will foster creativity, gardening skills and an appreciation for nature.

Suggest creating a fairy garden as an individual, ongoing summer project. Alternatively, this may be a relationship-building project for parents and teens to work on together.

Backyard Olympics

Getting preteens and teenagers off their screens and outdoors can be tough, even in the summer. Entice them with a fun group activity, including siblings, cousins or their closest friends.

Organize a backyard Olympics with various events, such as sack races, three-legged races, obstacle courses, bean bag throws, long jump, triple jump and water balloon tosses. Let the kids design medals and plan the events.

These backyard activities promote physical fitness, creativity and friendly competition. Just remember to choose activities that fit the available space and are safe for all participants.

A summer backyard Olympics requires minimal setup and investment. Choose a sunny day that isn’t too hot and includes fruit, water, popsicles and other summer treats. The Olympics can take two or three hours.

Neighborhood scavenger hunt

People of all ages love scavenger hunts. They’re a great way to encourage time outdoors and improve your observation skills.

“Organizing a neighborhood scavenger hunt is a great idea,” says Stephanie Edenburgh, CEO of Bizzie Mommy and mom to three children in the tweens and teens stage. “I’ve done this in our community, and it’s a fantastic way for kids to explore and interact with their friends,” she says. “They get exercise and have fun without even realizing they’re away from their screens.”

Send your kids individually or in teams on a scavenger hunt in your backyard, local park, neighborhood or nature reserve. Grab a printable scavenger hunt or list items to find. For example, a nature scavenger hunt could include specific leaves, rocks, flowers or insects.

Make a copy for each player, and offer a prize for the first team to finish the scavenger hunt. This activity encourages exploration and problem-solving.

Creating scavenger hunts for teens or tweens takes about an hour. Depending on your children’s ages and location, parental supervision may be required.

Cook-off challenge

Host a family cook-off where everyone gets involved in creating a dish. A cook-off challenge teaches cooking skills, encourages teamwork and results in a delicious meal.

With your kids, choose a theme, such as international cuisine or picnic foods and work it into this week’s meal plan. Give each child a specific task, such as chopping vegetables, stirring the pot or setting the table.

Make a shopping list for the items you’ll need. Expect to spend more time than usual meal prepping. Depending on the dishes you choose, your children’s ages and kitchen skills, this can be a high-supervision, screen-free summer activity for families.

Stargazing and storytelling

Make taking a screen-break a family affair in the evenings. Set up a cozy spot in your backyard with blankets and snacks for a stargazing session on clear summer nights.

Use a star map to identify constellations. Combine this with storytelling, where each family member adds to a story inspired by the stars. This activity sparks imagination and offers a relaxing way to end the day.

DIY science experiments

Many teens, tweens and even preteens enjoy hands-on activities and experiments. Choose these for screen-free indoor activities. Simple, fun science experiments include making a baking soda volcano, creating slime, or building a simple circuit.

Many experiments use household items and require minimal parental supervision. This activity promotes curiosity, independence, critical thinking and a love for science.

Depending on the experiment, you may need to add items to your weekly shopping list and provide moderate supervision to ensure the safety of your kids and your home.

Schedule screen-free summer activities

Plan ahead to encourage your kids to step away from their screens and discover new interests and skills this summer. Schedule some or all of these seven screen-free summer activities each week.

Your tweens and teenagers can enjoy their summer break while staying engaged and entertained. By providing various unique and enjoyable activities, you’ll help them make memories and make the most of it.

Sarita Harbour is a busy freelance writer and homeschool parent. Visit Thrive at Home for her tips, tools and printables for working homeschool moms.

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Diversionary Work Program (DWP)

The Diversionary Work Program (DWP) is a four-month program that helps Minnesota caregivers find jobs. The goal is to help caregivers quickly find work so that they do not need to go on the Minnesota Family Investment Program. Caregivers get help paying for housing and other bills, along with employment services, to help them find full-time work.

Caregivers usually start in the Diversionary Work Program before they are enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program.

Eligibility

Caregivers must meet an income test, have less than $10,000 in assets (minus deductions) and provide verifications.

Caregivers will get help with employment services and may be eligible for assistance with housing, uitilities and other personal needs.

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How to apply

The Diversionary Work Program is for families with children and pregnant women. To qualify, applicants must:

  • Meet an initial income test
  • Meet an initial asset limit of $10,000 (excluding one vehicle per member of unit who is age 16 or older).

Caregivers will get employment services and other assistance to help them while they find and keep employment. 

Employment services

Caregivers must seek full-time work immediately once approved. Caregivers will get employment services that include:

  • Help finding work that fits their employment plan
  • Help identifying and dealing with family issues that may prevent or delay them from getting a job
  • Limited training that they can complete in four months or fewer.

Other assistance

Caregivers may also get help paying for:

  • Housing costs
  • Personal needs.

Often, rent and other bills are paid directly from a family's monthly benefit to the landlord or utility company, for example. Money left after those bills are paid can be used by families to pay for personal needs.

Other cash and employment resources

  • Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • General Assistance
  • Minnesota Supplemental Aid
  • Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program
  • Refugee Cash Assistance

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Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

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SNAP Employment and Training

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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Joe Burrow Discusses Top Improvement in 2024: 'Be On The Field For All The Games'

Russ heltman | jul 3, 2024.

Injured Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks the field before the first quarter of the NFL Week 17 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

  • Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI —  Joe Burrow chatted with  Complex Sports recently  and dove into the biggest improvement he's looking to make in 2024: Staying healthy.

Burrow hasn't finished two of his four NFL seasons.

"Well, number one, I want to be on the field for all the games,"  Burrow said . "I know I'm going to play well when I'm out there. I'm at that point in my career where I've seen enough ball and I know myself that I can go out there and play as well as anybody in the game. The biggest strides this year are going to be my body and learning how to get through the season, get through practices with my body, and feeling tip, top shape. And so that's the main focus for the off-season."

Stay healthy, and a Burrow-led Bengals should win the AFC North, as they have in his only two full seasons. Learning to play the piano has been a nice development in that goal.

"I’m learning the piano right now, hopefully, I can get pretty good at that by next offseason," Burrow noted again about the new hobby. "I guess it'll be pretty tough during the season, but it's helped my rehab too for my wrist, so that's something I want to get good at... I've always wanted to learn how to play, but this was an opportune time to work on my hand and wrist dexterity while also learning that. So it was kind of the perfect storm."

Bookmark Bengals Talk for the latest news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more! For more on the Bengals,  subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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Russ Heltman

RUSS HELTMAN

Russ Heltman is a contributor for AllBearcats and AllBengals. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH.  Russ can be found on Twitter: @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at [email protected].

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What are some examples of child find activities?

Examples of child find activities can include:  For preschool- and school-aged children: Public awareness campaigns by the LEA or in partnership with a school’s parent teacher association that include information provided in languages spoken in the community and that target a wide audience, including parents and families, daycare and early childhood education providers, summer camps, medical providers, homeless shelters, religious institutions, and kindergarten roundup (i.e., events hosted by elementary schools to facilitate a child’s transition from home to formal education).

For older children: 

  • Locally administered assessments that measure student academic growth.
  • Screening private school students and home school students.
  • Meeting with mental health practitioners.
  • Sharing information with nonprofit organizations that focus on families and children.
  • Coordinating with State agencies that provide services to children and young adults.

Other activities can include the LEA’s outreach efforts and interagency collaboration with housing programs, such as those funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, that help to identify children who are homeless and may be in need of special education.

If the state is limiting Medicaid coverage to those services included in the IEP/Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), then child find services that do not result in an IEP/IFSP being issued are generally not Medicaid coverable services.  If the state has broader coverage beyond services described in an IEP/IFSP, then child find services could be coverable regardless of whether an IEP/IFSP has been issued. Managed Care 

ScienceDaily

How researchers are using digital city-building games to shape the future

Lancaster University researchers have come up with exciting and sophisticated new mapping technology enabling future generations to get involved in creating their own future built landscape.

They say, in their new research, that planners are missing a real trick when it comes to encouraging and involving the public to help shape their own towns, cities and counties for the future.

They also say that games platforms can be used to plan future cities and also help the public immerse themselves in these future worlds.

The researchers have modified Colossal Order's game 'Cities: Skylines' where players control zones, public services and transportation.

Real-world buildings and models can be imported into the game to create realistic cities and inform planning.

Players can manage education, police and fire services, health and even set tax policies, amongst other realistic simulations. The game dashboard even measures how happy citizens are!

Players must add infrastructure, manage power, water and think carefully about what is needed for their community.

Given that, according to Royal Town Planning Institute statistics, only 20% of younger people are interested in planning, the use of digital games, say the researchers, enables the public to 'play' real-world planning policies based on a 'real world' place, which creates a dialogue with planners.

Dr Paul Cureton and Professor Paul Coulton, from ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University's design-led laboratory, share their research in an open access article 'Game Based Worldbuilding: Planning, Models, Simulations and Digital Twins' published in Acta Ludologica , the peer reviewed scientific journal in the field of games and digital games.

Their research, funded by the Digital Planning Programme, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), cites a lack of public interest in planning issues and a need for 'urgent change' given, what they say, is a general lack of public interest in planning processes.

Gaming technology has been used in 3D planning models and what is called City Information Models (CIMs), and Urban Digital Twins (UDTs). Urban digital twins are virtual replica systems of an environment that are connected to real-world sensors such as traffic or air quality to enhance public participation and engagement in the planning process and generate future scenarios.

But, say the researchers, while this is a good step forward, the use of gaming technology for real-world applications is 'one-directional and misses opportunities' to include game design and research, such as mechanics, dynamics, flow, and public participatory' world-building' for future scenarios.

They believe the technology can be used for higher levels of 'citizen engagement' by making the process more enjoyable.

The method, they add, is cost-effective and can be rolled out across the UK by any local authority.

They have already conducted gaming workshops playtesting alongside Lancaster City Council with 140 children to 'play' and plan Lancaster in the UK, in an area to be developed along with Lancashire County Council and national house builder Homes England, previously earmarked for development as a new garden village for 5,000 homes.

Digital games have a long tradition of providing simulations of various systems of human activities, such as politics, culture, society, environment, and war. Urban planning has been simulated through various city-building games such as the Summer Game (1964), EA Games, SimCity (1989), and Colossal Order's Cities Skylines (2015, 2023), amongst many others.

While a range of future urban planning scenarios use gaming technology, they do not necessarily incorporate game design ideas such as mechanics and dynamics, levels, progress, flows and feedback as part of a game world, say the researchers.

And, they add, this needs to be more fully understood if such systems are to yield potential benefits in terms of citizen engagement more fully.

Dr Cureton and Professor Coulton created a reference tool for new planning models and ensuing case studies offer new insights into the opportunities for using game design and gaming technology in urban planning and digital transformation.

The article in Acta Ludologica develops an understanding of the role of worldbuilding games in urban planning, architecture, and design, developing a playable theoretical urban game continuum to illuminate both the various nuances of a range of precedents and scaffold future applications.

Cities and urban areas are complex systems, and games allow a player to explore the complexities of this landscape and simulate and model behaviour and realise scenarios.

Arguably, there is a restrictive incorporation of gaming technologies for real-world planning that misses opportunities to engage players in changing the rules of the system being replicated.

The researchers say this is much needed as new governments will look at what urgent change is required in planning if the shortfall in housing and stimulation of economic growth is to be addressed. To do this, planners will need support, skill development, and the tools to engage people.

Gaming technologies are intended for citizen participation and access, yet fundamental challenges remain unaddressed.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in the UK stated that : "Response rates to a typical pre-planning consultation are around 3% of those directly made aware of it. In Local Plan consultations, this figure can fall to less than 1% of a district."

Professor Paul Coulton is Chair of Speculative and Game Design at ImaginationLancaster and is internationally recognised for his speculative design work.

He says: "Whilst games and game playing are often dismissed as trivial or problematic they can serve as powerful tools in delivering information and understanding of how systems operate in a manner that can the lead to real world engagement in processes which previously seemed opaque."

Dr Paul Cureton is a Senior Lecturer in Design at ImaginationLancaster and a member of the Data Science Institute (DSI) whose work focuses on subjects in spatial planning, 3D GIS modelling and design futures.

He says: "Only 20% of 18-34-year-olds engaging in local plans, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute (2020). So few engage in how our spaces are being transformed, so there is space for gaming in this field to provide and help the public think like planners, play issues and use gaming tools for modelling future spaces."

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Story Source:

Materials provided by Lancaster University . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

  • Paul Cureton, Paul Coulton. Game Based Worldbuilding: Planning, Models, Simulations and Digital Twins . Acta Ludologica , 2024; 7 (1): 18 DOI: 10.34135/actaludologica.2024-7-1.18-36

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