5 Fun Activities to Teach Shapes
Ms. Em has really gotten into learning her shapes recently. She sees them on TV and yells out the shape. She sees them in the store and YELLS at the top of her lungs what the shape is. This however, is better than yelling to the entire restaurant about how she went poop AND pee on the potty as we exit the restroom. Either way, I am thrilled that she loves shapes so much and wants to learn about them. So of course, I put together this sweet list of activities to help you teach shapes to your toddler.
I have found that the best way for a child to learn their shapes (or anything), is by feeling them and playing with them. It is all well and good to memorize what the shapes are, but when a child gets to experience the shapes and have fun with them, the information sticks a bit more.
This actually goes to all people I believe. When I was in college, my friend was an engineer major. They had to memorize all sorts of vocabulary and math strategies and such. She always use to get on my case because while I was over on my side of the room creating a poster board about teaching weather, she had 150 vocabulary cards to memorize. I use to try to help, and the goofier my ideas on how to remember those dreadful words the better. Creating experiences with learning helps the information to stay memorable. Also, I do know quite a few engineering vocabulary terms, even after 10 years.
Anyways, onto the list.
Pattern blocks are a great tool to use to teach shapes. We have these super cool mats that create various things. It is somewhat like a puzzle, except you can create whatever you wish. Having a child hold and place the different shapes on a mat or even freestyle helps them to become comfortable with the shapes.
2. Shape Collage
First craft on the list, a shape collage. Teaching shapes is abstract yet concreate all at the same time. Shapes can be manipulated to create new pictures. Nothing shows this better than a shape collage. I pulled out one of my trays and cut various shapes out of paper. Since Emory is only 2, I stick to the basic shapes. Pink hearts, yellow stars, blue squares, purple rectangles, orange circles, and green triangles. I gave her a piece of paper and a glue stick and let her create. She had fun and was able to use shapes and creativity all at once!
3. Shape Box
We have the Melissa & Doug shape box, you can check it out here. It is sturdy and perfect for learning shapes. My girls love matching them all up. They are also good for enforcing colors. We have fun with it and it is a toy that is durable and will stick around for a long time. Emory got hers when she was 1 and it has been well loved.
4. Sponge Painting
Hopefully, you checked out my painting post. If not, click here for creative painting ideas. Sponge painting is one of my favorites. Sponges are fairly inexpensive and make a great painting craft tool. I cut mine in the 6 different shapes and let the girls go. They had fun layering the different colors and shapes to create their pictures. You could even cut them in neat ways that are not just shapes, or get different textured sponges for a real twist!
5. Shape Hop
We love to play this one outside. Mostly, because I draw the shapes with chalk. This is also a good activity for enforcing colors. Simply draw the shapes (same amount as people playing. 2 players= 2 circles) all over the driveway or space. Then call out the shape name and the child has to hop to that shape. It is fun and my girls love it.
Click here to receive the Shape packet for free! This is some extras that I created to help learn shapes. It includes 10 large shape cut-outs, 10 cards, and a write the room worksheet (My 5 year old loves these). PLUS, 5 ways to use the items! I am excited to use them with my girls and I hope you enjoy them as well!
Well there you have it. 5 of my favorite ways to teach shapes. Learning shapes and colors is best when using shapes and colors. They are able to create those experiences that lead to understanding. What are some of your favorite ways to teach shapes? I would love to hear your ideas! Share below 🙂