5 Shape Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

shape activities
Image via Mindi Stavish

As a working mom, I often have mom guilt that I'm not doing enough hands-on learning activities with my kids. Weekends are always jam packed with chores, birthday parties, and sporting events. Since starting to work in the public school system, I have had several days off due to snow storms. These days have been welcomed, as I took the time to share some hands-on learning activities with my toddler and my preschooler. During the last snow day, we spent much of the day learning and talking about shapes.  

{ MORE: The Gift of Boredom }

Here are some of the activities we enjoyed – hopefully you and your kids can enjoy them, too! 

tape shapes_
Image via Mindi Stavish

I started off the morning by putting blue painter's tape (masking tape works, too!) on the rug, outlining three different shapes. We talked about what shapes were on the floor and why each shape was different. Then I had them search for objects around the house that matched those shapes. They had a lot of fun discovering that a lot of their toys had many different shapes in them. Xander's favorite discovery was that his stuffed tiger had ears that were the shape of triangles. Noah's favorite find was the circle wheels on his train cars. After we were done collecting all the objects we could find, we practiced counting our objects. The boys then had fun jumping from one shape to another.  

3d shape
Image via Mindi Stavish

For the next activity, we used three-dimensional objects to create a shape collage out of Popsicle sticks, Q-tips, and pipe cleaners. The boys learned how circles could only be made with pipe cleaners and squares had four equal sides. Once the collages were dry, I showed the boys how they could trace the different shapes over the objects with their fingers. While tracing, we talked about the different textures that were present: soft, scratchy, and smooth.  

{ MORE: 15 Ways to Spend the Day With Your Toddler }

food shape painting
Image via Mindi Stavish

Before lunch, I set out finger paints and foods in various shapes. We used jumbo and mini marshmallows, grapes, bananas, square pretzels, circle crackers, and bread that I cut into shapes with cookie cutters. The boys had a blast dipping the food into the paints and using them as stamps.  

lunch shape
Image via Mindi Stavish

At lunch, they helped me pick out which shapes they wanted to cut their sandwiches into by using cookie cutters. We talked about the shapes of their fruit and crackers while they were eating. Halfway through lunch, Xander looked up at me and exclaimed, “Look, mommy, my circle is half gone! It almost looks like a moon!” It's so much fun to watch my kids learn new concepts.  

felt shape pictures_
Image via Mindi Stavish

After lunch, we created pictures with pre-cut felt shapes. Prior to this activity, I cut out many different-sized shapes and colors from felt. We then spent some time creating pictures using the shapes I had made. Once the boys were bored with creating pictures, I helped them glue together their final product.  

We enjoyed yet another snow day. Instead of lots of fighting and whining, they were busy and engaged.  

{ MORE: Outside the Classroom:10 Resources for Hands-On Learning }

What hands-on learning activities do you enjoy doing with your children?

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5 Shape Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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2 comments

  1. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    Great! I am so excited when my little one enters the world of toddlerhood. Yet part of me wants her to stay like the little baby I have months back!

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