Preschool is an exciting time to learn so many basic concepts that form the foundation of learning for later years. Having tools in your box per se is important to foster a great learning environment.
A lot of times we tend to focus on numbers, colors, letters, and counting but shapes are important too! Today, I wanted to discuss shapes charts, their functions and how I find them useful!
Keep reading for my favorite printable shape charts for preschoolers!
What is a shapes chart?
A shapes chart is a chart that contains different types of shapes. Some shapes charts are more basic containing only the 5 simple shapes, while some are more complex depending on the complexity they are ready for.
What are the 5 simple shapes?
The 5 simple shapes are: circle, triangle, rectangle, rhombus, square, and trapezoid.
These shapes are basic shapes that preschoolers need to know!
What are the benefits of exploring shapes for preschoolers?
Exploring shapes offers several benefits for preschoolers’ development. Here are some key advantages:
Cognitive Development: Engaging with shapes enhances critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Preschoolers learn to recognize, compare, and categorize shapes, developing their ability to analyze and make logical connections.
Math Readiness: Understanding shapes is a fundamental aspect of early math education. Exploring shapes introduces concepts like geometry, spatial awareness, and measurement, setting the stage for later mathematical learning.
Visual-Spatial Skills: Identifying and manipulating shapes enhances preschoolers’ visual-spatial skills. They learn to perceive and understand the relationships between objects, which supports spatial reasoning and visual perception abilities.
Language and Communication: Discussing shapes helps preschoolers develop their vocabulary, communication skills, and descriptive language. Describing shapes using attributes like size, color, and position fosters their verbal expression and comprehension.
Creativity and Artistic Expression: Shapes serve as building blocks for artistic creativity. Preschoolers can use shapes to create artwork, build structures, and engage in imaginative play, encouraging their self-expression and creativity.
Pre-Writing Skills: Learning shapes aids in the development of pre-writing skills. Drawing and tracing shapes help preschoolers practice fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and pencil control, which are essential for later writing readiness.
Pattern Recognition: Recognizing shapes supports the development of pattern recognition skills. Preschoolers can identify and create patterns using shapes, fostering their logical reasoning and foundational understanding of patterns in various contexts.
Problem-Solving and Spatial Reasoning: Manipulating shapes through puzzles or construction activities challenges preschoolers’ problem-solving abilities and spatial reasoning skills. They learn to think critically, plan, and visualize spatial arrangements.
Printable Shapes Chart for Preschoolers
There are several variations of printable shape charts for preschoolers. I want to share some of the best variations that I have found to use with your preschoolers.
I really like the simplicity of this shapes chart. Each of the shapes is easy to see and there aren’t too many. This shapes chart is great for kiddos that have mastered the 5 basic shapes and are ready for more.
As you can see this chart has lots of shapes! This chart is great for preschoolers that have mastered the basic and more moderate shapes and need something more challenging to work on.
This chart includes the 5 basic shapes plus an oval. I would use a chart similar to this to start teaching shapes.
If you are a teacher that loves an aesthetic look these neutral boho shapes posters are for you! I love that they give 2D shapes as well as 3D!
How cute are these happy little shapes. I find that kids love learning more when the materials are cute and fun.
This chart is great because it has a good variety of shapes!
This traceable shapes chart is so adorable and a great activity for little learners! You can laminate the sheet for an activity that can be done over and over again!
This is another great shape tracing printable. I like how it gives the example on the first shape so your preschooler can see how the shape should look when they are done.
This would be another great sheet to laminate.
These printable shapes chart is a great resource to have for preschoolers learning shapes. What I really love about it is the traditional shapes sheet and the real life shapes sheet!
This neon shape chart is fun if you have a rainbow class theme! These shapes chart is great and can help children remember their shapes better!
This printable shapes chart is super easy on the eyes. Your little ones will love the aesthetic tye dye theme!
How to Use a Shapes Chart to Teach Shapes to Preschoolers
Shape charts are a great way to teach shapes to preschoolers. Shape charts provide a great visual for children and can help to see different shapes during their daily school time.
Here are my favorite ways to use shape charts to teach shapes to preschoolers.
Introduce the Chart
When you are ready to start lessons on shapes, it is important to first introduce the chart and explain what it is.
You can explain that there are a lot of different shapes, but that the shapes on the chart are most common.
Start talking about the shapes. Compare them and explain what they are made up of, how many sides they have..things like that.
Talk about where we see shapes in our daily life and maybe what shapes they are naturally drawn to or think are neat.
Cover the chart with a cloth or paper and gradually reveal one shape at a time. Ask the preschoolers to name the shape as it is revealed. Repeat this activity a few times, gradually increasing the speed or difficulty level.
Shape Recognition Activities
Use the chart as a reference for various activities that promote shape recognition. For example:
- Point to a shape on the chart and ask the preschoolers to find objects in the room that match that shape.
- Give each child a shape cutout and ask them to find the matching shape on the chart.
- Play a “Guess the Shape” game by describing a shape’s attributes and having the children identify the shape on the chart.
Hands on Manipulation
Hands on manipulation is a great way for children to engage and learn about shapes. You can use things like shape puzzles that match the shapes on the chart.
Doing this helps children to correlate what they are seeing and learning.
Real Life Connections
Building real life connections is so important for little learners. Associating what you are learning with the world around you is such an important skill to have!
Take a shape manipulatives and have your preschooler trace it. As time goes on they will get better and they will probably find some great skills along the way!
Review and Reinforce
Fun Shape Activities for Preschoolers
Learning about shapes should be fun! I always say this, but it’s so true.
Children that are having fun, engaging, getting messy and using their brains are going to retain so much more information. They are also going to have positive memories around learning, which is such a win.
Have your kiddos color in the shapes. Encourage them to make designs, or pictures inside the shapes.
As they are coloring and being artists, discuss they shapes. Talk about their names, what they mean and all different aspects of what makes up a shape.
Shapes in Real Life
Shapes are everywhere! This becomes really evident when we begin to look around and observe.
Take some time to talk about shapes in real life. Have children point out the different shapes they can identify.
Use Blocks to Build Shapes
Using blocks or manipulatives to build shapes is a great activity. This teaches children that one type of shape can make another which is so neat.
Write Shapes in Salt
Practice drawing shapes by beginning with using salt. I like this method because if your little makes a mistake they can easily start over.
Make Your Favorite Shape
Give your preschoolers different objects like construction paper, toilet paper tubes, straws, etc. Let their imagination soar as they use random objects to create their favorite shape.
Draw a Picture
Draw a picture using only the simple shapes. They may need a bit of help with this one at first.
You may consider drawing an example picture so that they can get an understanding of the activity.
The Math’s Diary page has a ton of printable shape tracing worksheets for preschoolers. Some are simple and some more challenging!
Shapes in Nature
Take a walk and look for shapes that are in nature. Be sure to take a shape chart with you for comparison!
Have you noticed that kids go coo coo for bingo?
Shape bingo is a great activity to help master shapes. To make it even more challenging you can say “yellow oval” or “red circle”!
Help your little learners to cut out shapes with scissors. The Aussie Network has some awesome cutting templates for your preschooler.
Other Resources for Teaching Shapes Chart to Preschoolers
You can never have enough fun resources for teaching shapes to preschoolers. I want to share my favorite resources:
These are some tried and true websites I love with great ideas and resources:
Manipulatives are a great thing to have on hand in order to teach shapes to preschoolers. Here are some great manipulatives:
Shapes are an important part of preschool learning and they should not be overlooked. You can teach shapes so many different ways and I love how children start to make connections with shapes in nature and every day life.
I loved learning shapes as a young child and I feel like it’s because it made my teacher made them fun.
What are your favorite ways of teaching shapes? Let me know in the comments below!