Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: Fostering Shape Recognition in Preschool - Art, Activities, Games, Books & More

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fostering Shape Recognition in Preschool - Art, Activities, Games, Books & More

Preschool is a great time to introduce children to the basics - letters, numbers, shapes, etc. I try to weave these in to what we do each week but after noticing that some of my kiddos were confused about basic shapes, I decided to have some fun to help them with their recognition during a
 Preschool Shapes Week.

During shapes week I specifically focused on the following 4 shapes - circles, squares, triangles and rectangles

We had lots of Gross Motor Fun playing Walk the Line - Shapes Freeze Dance.  I used tape to make large shapes on the floor that we could walk/balance along. I turned on the music and the children had to dance (or walk) their way around the shape, freezing anytime the music stopped. It was lots of fun and I wish I gotten some pictures I could share, but alas I didn't.

The children were my Shape Detectives all week & did lots of hunting for our target shapes. This was always a hit and everyone was excited to "spy" objects that were circles, squares, rectangles or triangles. 

Here's how I broke up our shape hunts during the week -
Day 1 - circle hunt
Day 2 - circles vs squares
Day 3 - triangle hunt
Day 4 - triangles vs rectangles
Day 5 - all shapes

We did lots of Shape Stamping Art with real life objects like cups, blocks, legos, bottle caps, cookie cutters, toys, containers and tupperware, lids, bubble wrap, stamps, pom poms, corks and more. I searched high and low for anything I could get my hands on that would make a shape print.

We discussed each shape and compared how they were different - number of sides and length. I kept things basic by teaching the children that a circle has 0 sides, a triangle has 3 sides, a square has 4 equal sides and a rectangle has 4 sides - 2 short and 2 longer. 

We traced shapes in the air with our fingers and practiced Drawing Shapes on the chalkboard.

We also did some fun Shape Building using cotton swabs, tape and yarn.  I didn't get photos of the yarn shapes but we used yarn to make all four shapes. I pre-cut 1 large piece of yarn for each child to make a circle,  4 equal sized pieces to form the squares, 3 equal sized pieces to form triangles and 2 short/2 long pieces to form rectangles. It was a great way for little hands to build shapes.

I offered the children cotton swabs to make triangles and rectangles. The triangles were easy for them to form but the rectangles were a bit more challenging and took some time, trial & error and a few needed help from me to get them going but it was a fun activity.

We also made tape shapes. This was great practice in both cutting and making shapes. Sorry about the unclear photos from my phone. I didn't have my camera with me on this particular day. 

We worked on strengthening/building Fine Motor Skills with 
Button Shape Lacing

Button Sorting in muffin tins

The kids made Paper Plate Circle Collages 
using bingo markers, buttons, pom poms, foam shaped circle pieces and circle shaped sequins.

They distinguished between circles vs. squares
by sorting and classifying various stickers, buttons, sequins, tissue paper shapes, foam shapes and other odds and ends.

and created Shape Art.
I love how different each one turned out. It was lots of fun to watch them work and create something out of construction paper shapes. They made cars, playgrounds, houses, trucks, birds & so much more.

Here are the shape books we read this week -

It was a fun shape filled week!


  1. Great activities! Thanks for sharing this one!

  2. It looks like you had so much fun with your children during these activities. You gave me fresh ideas to teach shapes to my little pupils.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    (A French Teacher of 3 and 4 years old children)

  3. I have literally spent hours on Pinterest trying to find stuff I could actually use in class - you did an AMAZING job of pulling together some great ideas. THANK YOU! This was an ENORMOUS help to me!

  4. Great ideas! Thank you so much!

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  6. Love your post, you so creative, have everything, a lot of things to learn, thank you for sharing.

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