Teaching Shapes to Preschoolers

image by lindsay

Shape learning is included in the 2 & 3 Year Curricula to aid in the introducing of shapes, as well as strengthen fine motor skills through craft activities.

 

Shape Activities:

• Cut toast or pancake into various shapes.

 Shape Pumpkin Shape Pumpkin (Adapted from Mrs. E) 

Print the Shape Pumpkin.  Have the child color, count, and write the number of shapes on the lines.  Later in the week, allow the child to create her own Shape Pumpkin on the second page of the printable.
 
• Use various crackers at snack time to review shapes.

• Flies Swatter Game to Teach Shapes SWAT!

Place a few different items on table (sight words, letters, numbers, colors, shapes, whatever you're working on) then give the kids a *clean* fly swatter , call out an item and they get to hit it! I tried playing with both my boys together but it was better doing it individually at their age. Keep those over zealous swatters in line with rules like "swatters UP!" when they found their target and then only let them hit it one time and hold it there for a second.  Idea from Jen.

• Using play dough or cookie dough, cut various shapes using shape cookie cutters or a knife.

• Find shapes in everyday objects. Examples to include in your conversations - "Please open the rectangular door" or "What shape is this orange?"

• Draw ¾ of a shape and have the child finish the shape.

• Create shapes out of tinker toys or blocks, place on the ground, and throw bean bags into the "called" shape. (Thank you to Dina for this idea.)

Pretzel Shapes Pretzel Shapes
Use pretzel sticks (or toothpicks) and marshmallows (large works best) to make an oval, heart, rectangle, triangle, circle, square, star, and diamond.  Poke the ends of the pretzels (or toothpick) into the marshmallows to hold the shape together.
 

Heart Person Shape Family
Create a shape family by making the shape out of construction paper.  Accordion-fold long, thin pieces of paper to form legs and arms.  Glue to the shape.  Add a face with the shape for the eyes and nose.  May also add shoes, hands, hair, or other accessories. (Thank you to Dina for helping to create this idea.)

Shape Creatures Shape Creatures
Create a shape creatures by making the shape out of construction paper.  Accordion-fold long, thin pieces of paper to form legs and arms.  Glue to the shape.  Add a creature face with the googly eyes, and shapes for the eyes and nose.  May also add shoes, hands, hair, or other accessories. (Thank you to Barbi for sharing this image and idea.)

 

Shape Flashcard Activities:

Shape Flashcards Shape Flashcards - Print and cut apart the flashcards to use with Shape Walks (used in the 2 Year Curriculum). Created by Ann from LoveTwoTeach Clipart - Permission Granted

- Use with Shape Walks (used in the 2 Year Curriculum)

- Print two copies and play Memory

- Make four copies and play Go Fish

- Play hide and seek

- Mix with Color Flashcards for extra learning and fun

 

Free Shape Worksheets:

Shape Activity and Coloring Poster:

Solid Line

Dotted Line

Circle Poster Circle Dotted Line Poster
Square Poster Square Dotted Line Poster
Triangle Poster Triangle Dotted Line Poster
Star Poster Star Dotted Line Poster
Rectangle Poster Rectangle Dotted Line Poster
Heart Poster Heart Dotted Line Poster
Diamond Poster Diamond Dotted Line Poster
Oval Poster Oval Dotted Line Poster

 

Combined Shape Activity and Coloring Posters:

Solid Line

Dotted Line

Square and Rectangle Poster Square and Rectangle Dotted Line Poster
Triangle and Circle Poster Triangle and Circle Dotted Line Poster
Star and Rectangle Poster Star and Rectangle Dotted Line Poster
Heart and Rectangle Poster Heart and Rectangle Dotted Line Poster
Square and Circle Poster Square and Circle Dotted Line Poster
Square and Diamond Poster Square and Diamond Dotted Line Poster
Square and Triangle Poster Square and Triangle Dotted Line Poster
Star and Circle Poster Star and Circle Dotted Line Poster
Star and Heart Poster Star and Heart Dotted Line Poster
Triangle and Rectangle Poster

Triangle and Rectangle Dotted Line Poster 

 

Shape Computer Activities: 

Learn Colors and Shapes - For toddlers
Purpy's Shapes - This computer game is more advanced but very good for preschoolers.

 

Individual Shape Learning:

Click to discover shape songs, activities, worksheets, and learning for individual shapes.

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