When children enter kindergarten, they should have a basic understanding of shapes, their names, and the facts about them. Since they have the basics down, you can do lots of different activities to build on their knowledge.
As you do activities with your kindergartener, they will develop a really strong foundation for geometry and math later down the road.
Importance of teaching shapes in kindergarten education
Learning shapes benefits more than just learning shapes. When your child learns about things like shapes, it helps their brain to also learn how to organize information after seeing it.
Children also learn how to compare, contrast and classify when learning about shapes. They can tell that a square and rectangle have the same amount of sides, however the square has sides that are the same length and the rectangle does not.
There are many of real life principals that are learned and benefit from learning shapes that go beyond shape recognition.
Benefits of hands-on shape activities for kindergartners
Children learn immensely well through play and hands on activities. Here are a few benefits of doing hands on shape activities for kindergarteners:
- Hands on activities promote learning through experience
- Hands on activities promote hand eye coordination
- They are able to problem solve and pose solutions
- Hands on activities promotes learning with senses
- They are able to manipulate the objects
What is a shape activity for kindergarten?
A shape activity for kindergarten is any activity that helps them learn, recognize or build upon knowledge they already have.
What common shapes should we teach in kindergarten?
5 common shapes that we should teach in kindergarten are: circle, triangle, rectangle, rhombus, square, and trapezoid.
These shapes are basic shapes that kindergarteners need to know!
Why Should we do shapes activities in kindergarten?
Exploring shapes offers several benefits for kindergarteners’ development. Here are some key advantages:
Developing spatial awareness and visual perception skills
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.
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.
Enhancing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Fine motor skills are important for writing, drawing, using tools, getting dressed, etc. These skills are built by doing hands on activities.
Hand eye coordination is also important for kindergarteners. This is a skill that involves the brain communicating simultaneously between the eyes and hands.
Hands on activities help to strengthen the muscles in the hands, wrists, fingers and lower forearm. By ensuring that kindergarteners’ have good fine motor skills, every day tasks will come easier to them.
Promoting critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
By doing different activities with shapes, kindergarteners’ learn how to problem solve, plan, think critically. These activities activate different parts of the brain making the things that they are learning “stick” better.
Building a foundation for math and geometry concepts
The foundation for any subject starts at a young age. In order to understand concepts that are more complex, we must first understand the basics.
Building a foundation for math and geometry starts in the lower grade levels. This is where the benefit of learning shapes comes into play.
Like we discussed above, learning shapes is much more than just the shape; knowledge it’s also learning to process, organize and retain information.
Engaging Shape Activities for Kindergarten
There is something about teaching kindergarteners, whether it is a group or your own children. They are curious, observant, and have just enough knowledge and curiosity to start asking really good questions.
The trouble, though can be how to keep them engaged. I would say my biggest tip for keeping kindergarteners’ engaged would be to make things fun and don’t drag the activity on for too long once they show signs they are done.
Shape Games for Kindergarten
One of the best ways to learn is through games. These games will keep your kindergarteners’ engaged, learning and having fun!
The PlayRoute Shape pop up game is a classic Kids shape puzzle game but more exciting with its Duel Mode. Start a Shape Matching Battle with your friends anytime.
This game aims to infuse fun and learning in one exciting game!
Shape Bingo is a fun and engaging game for kindergarteners’. To make it more fun, you can have prizes for anyone that Bingo’s!
Flash cards help your children to learn and memorize shapes. These flash cards are double sided one with side having shapes and the other side tracing shapes.
Guess the Shape
Help to improve your child’s identifying and listening skills by describing different shapes and having them guess.
I am a shape that is made of a line that never ends (circle)
I am a shape that has 4 equal length sides (square)
Shape Puzzles for Kindergarten
Shape puzzles are a fantastic way to teach shapes to kindergarteners’ in a fun and engaging way! These are some of my favotites:
Help to build early shape, color, and number recognition skills, it can inspire children’s imagination as well as promote their physical and intellectual development.
This set allows children to figure out what pieces make the designs and follow them to create different animals, bugs, birds and things. Pattern blocks are an effective way to training children’s imagination, improving eye-hand coordination and color/shape recognition.
This printable puzzle is a great resource to have with children trying to learn their shapes. You can easily laminate these puzzles for long term use.
Shape Activities for Kindergarten
If you are looking for fun and engaging shape activities for kindergarten, these are for you!
Kindergarteners’ will love using these shape viewers to be shape detectives! They will love this fun game and playing shape detective helps with shape recognition in regular objects.
Use painters tape (it peels up easily) and shaped bean bags to play the bean bag toss game.
Have your little one match up the shape of the bean bag and the shape on the floor.
Roll up marble sized balls of playdough and have your kindergartener use the toothpicks to make different shapes with them.
Shape playdough mats are a great way to incorporate hands on learning while also learning shapes!
Make dots on a page in the outline of a shape. Your child will use the dots to make the shape.
They may need guidance at first, but practice makes perfect. As time goes on, you can likely use less and less dots!
Shape Arts and Crafts Ideas
Arts and crafts bring out your kiddos creative and self expressive side! Arts and crafts are a fun and light hearted way to learn about shapes.
Make your own recipe for shape pizza with this fun, hands-on activity for practicing shapes and counting!
Use different shape cut outs to create different vehicles. This is a fun activity and allows your kiddos to utilize problem solving skills!
I am swoon over these cute shape buddies! They are fun and easy to make, plus they make adorable decor!
Sensory Ideas with Shapes
Sensory activities are fantastic for young learners because they are using multiple senses coupled with gaining new knowledge.
This makes information easier to process and learn for them!
Sensory bins are a fun and easy way to discover new things, including shapes. This sensory bin is make with cereal but you can use rice, beans, etc.
Shapes Sensory Hunt
When you have that sensory bin out, hide some shapes manipulatives in the bin. Ask your little one to find different shapes for you.
This will keep them engaged and having fun!
Make Play-Dough Shapes
Use play dough to make shapes whether that is using the cutters or making the shapes by hand!
Shape Worksheets for Kindergarten
I remember as a kid loving worksheets. I am not sure why, but I thought they were so fun!
Here are a few really great shapes printables.
The Math’s Diary page has a ton of printable shape tracing worksheets for preschoolers. Some are simple and some more challenging!
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.
Active Learning with Shapes
When learning is coupled with body movement, children tend to stay engaged for longer periods of time. I absolutely love seeing children improve their gross motor skills while simultaneously learning.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Try hopscotch, but with a twist. Instead of numbers in the squares, add shapes instead.
When they hop on the square, ask your child to call out the shape they landed on.
This is a fun one!
Before the race, you will need to have a poster for every different basic shape.Then you will want to have basic shape cut outs for each group of kids.
Separate your kiddos into teams. Each child will get a shape and have to run to the hanging posterboard that matches the shape.
You can have tape on the back of the shapes to help them stick. The team that gets done the fastest wins.
Do the twist with shapes twister! See how many shapes your kiddos can get to before they all fall down!
Incorporating Shapes into Daily Routines and Environment
As we know, there are shapes all around us. It is important for our kids to see this too!
Incorporating shapes into our daily routines and discussing them can make a huge difference in your child’s ability to understand shapes.
Discuss Shapes When Getting Ready
Simply pointing out the round buttons on their shirt or the square pockets can be very instrumental in your child understanding shapes.
Discuss Shapes at the Table
During meal time is a great way to incorporate shapes into your daily life.
What shape is the plate? Does your food have a shape? Can you see any shapes in the kitchen?
These questions will lead to lots of different conversations regarding shapes.
Ask Questions Regularly
While you are driving down the road, in the store, at the park you can ask questions and have conversations about shapes.
I find that children are so observant and inquisitive they can pretty much talk about anything!
Shape themed Circle Time or Morning Meeting Ideas
Circle time is fun for little ones. It helps collect thoughts and do a small activity before going to center time or whatever is next.
Have your kids see what different shapes that they can make with their hands. To keep this controlled and not crazy, guide them in starting with a circle, rectangle, triangle, etc.
Sing Silly Shape Songs
I have some fun shape songs below! Singing shape songs is a great circle time activity.
Duck, Duck, Shape
This game will get everyone giggling and having a good time.
Duck, duck, shape is just like the classic game duck, duck, goose but with a twist. Have your kids do duck, duck and then say a shape, but it has to be a different shape every time.
Keep a shapes chart close incase they need a bit of help.
Utilize a Shape Chart
I am a big believer in having visuals around the classroom. Shape charts are fun and great to have in the classroom by the circle center.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Happy Shapes Chart
- Neutral Shapes Chart
- Basic Shapes Chart
- Play Osmo Shapes Chart
- Black & White Shapes Chart
Read a Book About Shapes
I have some books listed below, but reading is a great circle time activity!
Shape Songs or Rhymes
There is something about songs that really help with memory! I remember that my kids had so many nursery rhymes memorized by 2!
Songs help us to organize and retain information.
Circles! Squares! Triangles! Rectangles! Your students will have so much fun singing along and learning all about the different shapes with The Kiboomers! Enjoy!
This song is so cute and helps children to realize that shapes are all around us!
Name the Shape Game makes naming shapes fun in this game show format. Jack Hartmann shows the shape and asks students to identify the shape, before he name the shape the first three times.
This catchy tune will have your children identifying shapes in no time!
Shape Book Ideas
I love using books to teach children. Using books also helps them to know that you can gain lots of knowledge from reading!
I spy with my little eye, something that is the shape of a…This fun and educational children’s ‘I spy’ shapes picture book helps teach kids 2 and 3 dimensional shapes through fun shape characters and everyday objects.
Find the suggested shape on the first page and then turn the page to reveal the answer to the picture puzzle.
When the neighborhood shapes go climbing on the park jungle gym the last thing they expect is a tangle. First the circle, next the triangle and then the square.
One by one soon all sixteen shapes are trapped. They push and pull and tumble and cry for help.
Who will save them? One special shape can set the others free. Can you guess which one it is?
Triangles, circles, squares. To most of us, these are just simple shapes.
But in the imaginations of Lulu and Max, these shapes found in a box take on exciting new meanings. What will you see?
Learning about shapes is very important to young children. This will help them with a variety of skills such as creativity, geometry, sorting objects, and communication improvement.
Also, learning about shapes at an early age provides a foundation for learning how to read and write. The super cute images in this book were designed to promote positive feelings and a fun learning experience.
Identifying Shapes in Real Life
The ability to identify shapes in real life is so important as children grow older!
Shape I Spy
Play I Spy, but instead of objects look for shapes!
Identifying Shapes During Reading Time
While reading a book, see what shapes your little one can find!
How Do You Adapt Shape Activities for Different Learning Styles?
Everyone learns differently, whether that is visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or in more diverse ways. When teaching a group of kinder students, having different activities that cater to each learning style is very important.
Visual Learners: Utilize visuals and manipulatives
Visual learners of course learn best by seeing a demonstration before jumping into a task. A few ideas for visual learners would be:
- Flash Cards
Auditory Learners: Incorporate songs and verbal cues
Auditory learners learn best by hearing. People that learn best by hearing tend to need activities like:
- Shape rhymes
Kinesthetic Learners: Provide hands-on and movement based activities
Kinesthetic learners learn best when moving, grooving, and using their hands. These learners I refer to as the “do’ers” and I am a do’er. These learners need activities like:
- Gross motor activities
- Fine motor activities
Inclusive Adaptations: Modify Activities for children with diverse abilities
Many children have diverse abilities. I have rarely run across a child that learns only one way.
The fact of the matter is that most people learn best 1 way, but everyone benefits from being taught in many ways.
Don’t be afraid to modify or make activities more complex depending on your student’s individual needs.
Exploring the world of shapes is so important for kindergartners. Through exploration comes learning, discovery, fostering independence and so many other valuable life skills.
How do you explore shapes with kindergarteners? I would love if you let me know in the comments below!