Activities about shapes for preschoolers

40 Easy And Fun Hands-On Shape Activities For Preschoolers

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.

Shapes Activities for Preschoolers

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 download 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.

Shapes 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!

Follow my Shapes Pinterest Board for more great ideas!

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

Learning about 2D shapes is a must for every early childhood classroom.  I’m here to share with you my favorite, go-to 2D shapes 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.

Shape Manipulatives

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!

I love this 2D & 3D shape building set!  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!

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.

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!

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!  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!

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.

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!

 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.

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.

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 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.

We printed with wooden shape blocks too!

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!

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!

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.

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!

Love these shape activities? Pin this image!

Abstract of a lesson on the formation of mathematical representations for children of senior preschool age. Theme: "Geometric figures" | Plan-summary of a lesson in mathematics (senior, preparatory group):

Municipal budgetary preschool educational institution

Stepnoozersky child development center kindergarten "Golden Fish"

Blagoveshchensky district of the Altai Territory

Abstract of the lesson on FEMP

"Geometric shapes"

for children of senior preschool age

Author: Gamoley Lyubov Nikolaevna

Stepnoe lake village

Abstract of the lesson on the formation of mathematical representations

for children of senior preschool age.

Topic: Geometric shapes: triangle, square, rectangle, circle, oval.

Purpose: improvement of knowledge about geometric shapes.



- clarify and generalize children's ideas about geometric shapes: triangle, square, rectangle, circle, oval and their main features, continue to teach to find geometric images in the environment.


- expand and activate the dictionary through the names of geometric shapes; develop visual and auditory perception, figurative and logical thinking; improve communication skills; develop communication skills, fine motor skills.


- to cultivate interest in mathematics, active curiosity.

Types of children's activities: play, communicative, cognitive.


Handout: counting sticks, a set of planar geometric figures, landscape sheet, colored pencils.

Demonstration: presentation "Mathematics", images of objects of different geometric shapes.

Vocabulary: round, square, triangular, oval, rectangular.

Preliminary work:

- didactic games "Color and shape", "Pick up an object according to the shape"

Methods and techniques:

Visual: showing a presentation, pictures depicting objects of different shapes.

Verbal: questions for children, guessing riddles, describing geometric shapes.

Game: didactic games, specially organized situation, physical education, eye gymnastics.

Organizational moment

Good afternoon! I'm glad to meet you. Today you are waiting for exciting games and much more interesting things. I would like you to succeed and have a good mood all day long.

Course of the lesson:

1. SLIDE "Mathematics"


2. SLIDE. This morning I received a video letter from Dunno. Let's see it together: “Guys, my friend Znayka gave me tasks that I can’t do in any way, because I don’t know geometric shapes. Please help me complete these tasks.”


- Oh, this Dunno! Well, can we help? We'll have to help Dunno, he asks very much!

4. SLIDE. I propose to proceed with the first task.

I will make riddles, and you will guess.


Three peaks,

Three corners,

three sides -

who am I? (triangle)

5.SLIDE - Absolutely right! - Well done.

- I suggest taking counting sticks and making a triangle out of them. (independent performance of the task).

- In your set of geometric shapes, find triangles that are different in size.

- What do all these figures have in common? (show) How are they different?

2 - Riddle

It is my friend for a long time,

Each corner is right,

All four sides

Equal length.

I am glad to introduce myself to you,

And my name is (square). Correctly.


What interesting things do you know about the square? (Children's answers)

- Make a square out of counting sticks.

- In your set of geometric shapes, find squares that are different in size.

- What do these figures have in common? (show) How are they different?

3 - Riddle

Two squares - twins

Halves of their father.

Attach the sides,

Say the name of their father (rectangle).


- What interesting things do you know about a rectangle? (Children's answers)

- I suggest you make a rectangle out of counting sticks.

- In your set of geometric shapes, find rectangles that are different in size.

- What do these figures have in common? (show) How are they different?

- Oh, something is all mixed up in my head, so I suggest you take a break.

8.SLIDE - Fizkultminutka

The locomotive roared

And the wagons drove:

“Choo-choo-choo, choo-choo-choo!

I will rock you far!”

Green trailers

Run, run, run.

A round wheels:

Knock knock, knock knock, knock knock!

4 - Riddle

- What geometric figure do the wheels look like? (Children's answers)


- Offers to make a circle from sticks.

- Why can't you make a circle with sticks?

- What interesting things should we remember about the circle? (Children's answers)

- In your set of geometric shapes, find circles that are different in size.

- What do these figures have in common? (show) How are they different?

5 - Riddle

- Here is the riddle: I look like a circle, only slightly elongated, it turned out from a circle ... (oval).


- Can you make an oval out of sticks? Why? (Children's answers)

- In your set of geometric shapes, find ovals that are different in size.

- What do these figures have in common? (show) How are they different?


- Do you know that a rectangle and a square are quadrilaterals?

- Why can they be grouped together?

- Do you know the name of a figure that has 5 corners? (Children's answers)


which has 6 corners? (Children's answers)


13. SLIDE Well done!

14. SLIDE - Gymnastics for the eyes.

15.SLIDE - Task 2

- You have an envelope on the table, there are pictures in it. Choose an object from the proposed pictures and show me which is similar in shape to a geometric figure - a circle, a triangle, a square, an oval, a rectangle. (Children's answers) Well done!

- What do you think will happen if geometric shapes are put together? I suggest you come up with a picture and make it up from geometric shapes on an album sheet (Children complete the task on their own).

- Tell us what geometric shapes you made (house, sun, Christmas tree, butterfly, flower, etc.)

16. SLIDE - Task 3

- I suggest you draw three cats using geometric shapes figures are not repeated. For example: my cat will have a round head and a square body (we circle the figures), draw the ears, tail and mustache. The second cat will be drawn from other shapes, and so on. (Children complete the task on their own).

- Tell us what geometric shapes your cats are drawn from.

Well done! Completed all assignments. Now I can send your answers to Dunno.


18.SLIDE - Well done!


Please tell me what you liked the most? What did you do well? What seemed difficult?

- I also liked that you were smart, attentive and active.

Now look at your palms, you have a smile on one, and joy on the other. Let's clap, let the smile and joy remain with us forever.

All the best to you! Goodbye!


Advice for parents: To consolidate knowledge about geometric shapes and colors. The development of attention, perception and logic in children, I suggest you play the game "Tangram", "Logic tables" an educational game - lotto.

Learning geometric shapes: games for preschool children

One of the important aspects of the development of mathematical concepts in preschoolers is the study of the basics of geometry. In the course of acquaintance with geometric shapes, the child acquires new knowledge about the properties of objects (shape) and develops logical thinking. In this article, we will talk about how to help a preschooler remember geometric shapes, how to properly organize games for teaching geometry, and what materials and aids can be used to develop a child’s mathematical abilities.

At what age can one start learning geometric shapes?

Many parents are wondering if young children need to get acquainted with geometric shapes. Experts believe that it is optimal to start classes in a playful, relaxed form from the age of 1.5. Until this age, it is appropriate to pronounce to the child the names of the shapes of objects that the baby meets in real life (for example, “round plate”, “square table”).

Introducing the child to geometric shapes, be guided by his reaction. If your baby started to show interest in them at an early age (by playing with the sorter or looking at pictures), encourage his curiosity.

At the age of 2, the baby should be able to distinguish between:

  • Circle;
  • Square;
  • Triangle.

By the age of 3 you can add:

  • Oval;
  • Rhombus;
  • Rectangle.

At an older age, a child can memorize such shapes as a trapezoid, a pentagon, a hexagon, a star, a semicircle. Also, children visiting the Constellation Montessori Center get acquainted with geometric bodies with interest.

How can I help my child remember geometric shapes?

Teaching a child geometric shapes should take place in stages. You need to start new figures only after the baby remembers the previous ones. The circle is the simplest shape. Show your child round objects, feel them, let the baby run his finger over them. You can also make an application from circles, mold a circle from plasticine. The more sensations associated with the concept being studied, the child receives, the better the baby will remember it.

Three-dimensional figures can be used to get acquainted with the forms. It can be made by a designer, a sorter, lacing, frame inserts. Since at an early age the visual-effective type of thinking is most developed, various actions with figures will help to remember them better.

How children of different ages perceive geometric figures

The operations that a child can perform with geometric figures and how he perceives shapes depend on the age of the baby. In accordance with age characteristics, the following stages of training can be distinguished:

  1. In the second year of life, the baby is able to visually recognize familiar figures and sort objects according to shape.
  2. At 2 years old, a child can find the desired shape among a number of other geometric shapes.
  3. By the age of 3, babies can name shapes.
  4. At the age of 4, a child is able to correlate a three-dimensional figure with a flat image.
  5. At the senior preschool age (and sometimes even earlier) it is possible to start studying geometric bodies (ball, cube, pyramid). Also at this age, the child can analyze complex pictures consisting of many shapes.

Regardless of the child's age, try to pay attention to the shapes of surrounding objects and compare them with known geometric shapes. This can be done at home and on the go.

Games for learning geometric shapes

For a child to be interested, learning geometric shapes should take place in a playful way. You should also select bright and colorful materials for classes (you can buy them in a store or do it yourself). Here are some examples of games and tutorials for learning geometric shapes:

  1. Sorting. Games with a sorter can be started from the age of 1. Invite the child to find its window for the figure. So the child will not only memorize geometric shapes, but also develop fine motor skills, thinking and spatial representations, because in order for the part to fall into the hole, you need to turn it at the right angle. You can also sort any other items, such as building blocks, Gyenesch blocks, or counting material.
  2. Insert frames. In fact, this manual is similar to a sorter. For each geometric figure, you need to find its place.
  3. Geometric lotto. To play, you will need a field with the image of geometric shapes and handout cards with each figure separately. A child can take small cards out of a chest or bag, and then look for their place on the playing field. This game also perfectly trains the attention of the baby.
  4. Geometric appliqué. Cut out various geometric shapes from paper and, together with your child, make a picture out of them (for example, you can make a Christmas tree from triangles, a house from a square and a triangle).

  1. Drawing (including stencils).
  2. Modeling.
  3. Laying out figures from counting sticks.
  4. Geometric mosaic.
  5. Laces with geometric shapes.
  6. Games with cards.
  7. Guess by touch.
  8. Active games. Draw geometric shapes on the pavement with chalk. Ask the child to imagine that the figures are houses that you need to run into on a signal. Next, you name a geometric figure, and the child runs to it.

In addition, educational cartoons can be used to study geometric shapes. Here is one of them:


Learning the basics of geometry at preschool age is an important part of developing a child's mathematical and sensory representations. Acquaintance with the figures should occur gradually (first, simple figures - a circle, a square, a triangle). To keep your child interested, study geometric shapes in a playful way. Your assistants in this can be such educational aids as insert frames, mosaics, lotto, sorters, sets of geometric shapes and bodies, stencils.

Learn more