How To Teach Basic Shapes To Preschoolers

How To Teach Shapes to Preschoolers

Teaching basic shapes to children is essential. It’s one of the fundamental topics in preschool, that’s why you’ll most likely find it scheduled early in the curriculum. 

How To Teach Shapes to Preschoolers

Why Teach Basic Shapes

The topic about shapes is part of the mathematics subject, specifically in the logic domain. 

Basic shapes help children identify and orange visual information. It helps them process what they see and make better connections thus leading to higher retention of new information. 

For example, a child who has mastered shapes could easily make a connection between the uppercase A and a triangle because of how they resemble each other. In this case, knowing about shapes is proving to be a pre-reading and pre-writing skill.

In addition, learning about shapes also helps children make sense of other signs and symbols, e.g. circle- go, cross- stop, heart- love, etc…

Basic Shapes Learning Competencies

Knowledge about basic shapes targets/ or *may be connected to the following learning competencies:

  • Describe objects based on attributes
  • Group objects that are alike
  • Sort and classify objects
  • Identify sequence/ patterns
  • Complete patterns
  • Reproduce and extend pattern
  • Create own patterns
  • Tell the quantity of objects (counting)*
  • Practice one-to-one correspondence*

How To Teach Basic Shapes

1. Introduce shapes through classroom decors

Prior to teaching basic shapes, you may already display shapes flashcards on your classroom wall. 

Place basic shapes flashcards in high traffic corners at children’s eye level for maximum exposure. Seeing those “instructional materials” on display everyday can be an indirect way of teaching them.

2. Do storytelling

I highly recommend the following story books for children:

  • Big Box of Shapes by Wiley Blevins
  • When A Line Bends, A Shapes Begins by Rhonda Gowled Greene
  • Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald

3. Watch educational videos

My preschoolers’ favourite is the Fables by Shapes Folktales From Around The World. 

Beloved children’s stories are retold using colourful shapes that cleverly form animals and objects. 

4. Go on a shapes hunt

Cut out shapes out of paper and have fun searching your house/ school for objects that match the shapes.

5. Play hopscotch

Draw shapes on the ground and play hopscotch as usual. 

Level up by challenging your child to only land on specific shapes. 

6. Be a shape collector

Ask your child to gather different objects and sort them into piles according to shapes. 

7. Mold, Build and Make

Form different shapes using play dough, blocks, sand and other materials

8. Paint with Shapes

Cut out shapes out of foam and do painting or stamping. 

9. Bake a shape

Bake your favourite cookie recipe and have your child form the dough into shapes.

10. Draw a picture

Ask your child to draw a picture using basic shapes only. 

11. Play card games

Karuta is one of my favourite card games to play with my preschoolers. It’s an old Japanese card game with the goal of collecting as many cards as you can. 

How To Play Karuta

  1. Prepare game cards based on your topic (e.g. fruits, shapes, colors, etc…)
  2. Spread all the cards face up on a flat surface between the players.
  3. Teacher calls out a word.
  4. Students race each other to grab the correct card.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until no cards remain.
  6. Whoever has the most cards wins!
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Materials for Teaching Basic Shapes

This flashcards set features the following: circle, triangle, square, rectangle, diamond, oval, heart, and star.

These worksheets are great as pre-writing activity.

Test your child’s shapes recognition skills through this matching set.

If your child is ready for a more challenging activity which involves scissors, then this one’s right up his alley.

Help your child master counting and shapes through this pen and paper activity.

Check if your child can identify, complete and extend patterns with this preschool free printable.

Have fun with your child while learning about basic shapes through a card game using these karuta game cards.

How To Teach Shapes to Preschoolers

That’s it! Hopefully you learned something about how to teach basic shapes to preschoolers in this post. I have tried all the activities that I mentioned here and I can vouch that they work!

And I also hope that you find the materials that I compiled helpful. May these free worksheets and flashcards help your child learn about basic shapes. 

Again, learning should be fun. That’s why I have suggested varied activities here to choose from. 

But I’ve also found pen and paper activities as effective tools for learning. 

Always remember that worksheets are just supplementary materials. If your goal is to just keep your child busy for the sake of being “occupied” then you’re probably doing it wrong. 🙁 Of course, I trust that you know better. 🙂

Teacher’s Note:

Balance fun activities with paper and pencil work. 

Worksheets are supplements, and never the main goal. 

These Might Interest You:

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Lowercase Letters Tracing Worksheets Set 1

Small Letters Tracing Worksheets Set 2

Uppercase Letters Tracing Worksheets Set 1

Big Letters Tracing Worksheets Set 2

Numbers Tracing Worksheets

Numbers Tracing Worksheets for Preschoolers

1 to 10 Tracing Worksheets for Children

Trace and Color Numbers 1 to 10

Color and Trace Number Pages

Flashcards and Wall Cards Free Printables

A to Z Wall Cards

Letters Flashcards

Alphabet Flashcards with Pictures of Concrete Objects

Pencil Counters Numbers Flashcards

Ten Frames Numbers Flashcards

Yellow Pencils Number Wall Cards

Colourful Pencils Number Wall Cards

Or just visit my Free Printable Page for more!

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The Teaching Aunt- Teacher Nessy

Hi! My name is Nessy. I’m a preschool teacher and I’ve just recently added “doting aunt” to my title. I have tons of teacher-approved and child-friendly activities (as young as toddler years!) that I would like to share with you. Happy reading!




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