Teaching Shapes to Preschoolers

Learning about shapes lays a crucial foundation for preschoolers to understand the world around them. Recognizing shapes helps with early math skills, letter and number recognition, and spatial awareness, which are essential for later academic success. Plus, exploring shapes through play and activities fosters creativity and problem-solving abilities.

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Shape Activities

Shape Pumpkin

Shape Pumpkin

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.   idea from Amy

Heart Person

Shape Family

Create a shape family by crafting each shape out of construction paper. Fold long, thin pieces of paper accordion-style to form legs and arms, then glue them to the shape. Add a face using the shape for the eyes and nose. You can also include shoes, hands, hair, or other accessories to personalize each member of the shape family. idea from Dina

Bean bag

Bean Bag Toss

Create shapes out of Tinker Toys, blocks, or painter's tape on the ground.  Throw bean bags into the "called" shape.   idea from Dina

Shape Flashcards

Shape Flashcards
Print and cut apart the free Shape Flashcards to use with Shape Walks, recognition, and play ideas on this page. 

Pretzel Shapes

Pretzel Shapes

Use pretzel sticks or toothpicks and large marshmallows to recreate the flashcard shapes. Poke the ends of the sticks into the marshmallows to hold the shapes together.

Flyswatter Game to Teach Shapes


Place a few Shape Flashcards on the floor. Give the child a clean fly swatter and call out a shape for them to find and swat! To keep those enthusiastic swatters in check, set some rules like saying "Swatters up!" to listen for the called shape. When the shape is found, have the child swat and freeze until told to move.  idea from Jen

Shape Posters and Cards

Shape Poems and Songs Digital Download

Because children learn through music and repetition, Shape Songs have been created to teach the eight shapes introduced in the ABCJesusLovesMe Preschool Curriculum.  Also enjoy fun shape posters for display or travel learning.

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Shape Walk

Using the Shape Flashcards with you on a scavenger hunt around the house or outdoors. Encourage your child to find objects that match each shape on the cards. It's a fantastic way to reinforce shape recognition while having fun! This activity is included in the 2-4 Year Curricula.

Shape Go Fish

Print two copies of the Shape Flashcards. Deal 4 cards to each player.  Place the remaining cards face down in a pile in the center.  The player to the left of the dealer starts and asks another player if they have a specific shape flashcard they need to complete a pair (e.g., "Do you have a square?"). If the other player has the requested shape, they must give it to the asking player. If the asking player receives the requested card, they get to place the pair down and take another turn. If not, they must "Go Fish" and draw a card from the pile. If the drawn card is the one they asked for, they can place the pair down. If not, their turn ends. Play moves clockwise, with each player taking turns asking for specific shape cards or drawing from the pile until all pairs are formed. The game ends when all pairs are formed. The player with the most pairs of shapes is the winner!

Shape Memory

Print two copies of the Shape Flashcards.  Shuffle the flashcards and lay them face down in a grid formation on a table or flat surface. The first player flips over two cards, trying to find a matching pair of shapes. If the shapes match, the player keeps the pair and gets another turn. If not, the cards are turned face down again, and it's the next player's turn. Players take turns flipping over two cards at a time, trying to remember where each shape is located. The game continues until all pairs are matched. The player with the most pairs of matching shapes at the end of the game wins!

Shape Hide and Seek

Designate 1-2 players as "hiders." These players will hide in a designated area Shape Flashcards while the remaining players close their eyes. Make sure the shapes are partially visible but still somewhat concealed. Once all the shapes are hidden, the seekers opens their eyes and starts searching for the shapes. When the seeker finds a shape, they call out the name of the shape they found and pick it up. If playing with multiple seekers, they can compete to find shapes or take turns searching.

• Cut toast or pancake into various shapes.

• Use various crackers at snack time to review shapes.

• 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.

Individual Shape Learning:

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

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