25 Exciting Things To Do With Shapes For Kids

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Learning is part of life. Kids learn and grow at a rapid pace, it’s amazing to watch things happen from day to day! In this article we’ll cover 25 exciting things to do with shapes for kids.

The awesome thing about learning is there are SO many ways to do it. Yes, we could just pull out traditional flashcards and textbooks and try to squeeze something new into our kid’s brains. OR we could add to it and give them fun ways to experiment with learning and just maybe they’ll be able to remember it!

things to do with shapes for kids- shape activities

Who doesn’t like to get ready-to-rock ideas?! Shapes were one of my favorite things to teach as a classroom teacher because there are so many things you can do with them. Kids love playing with shapes and they are a tangible thing they can touch and work with. Take a look, pick some favorites, and get to having fun with shapes!

Every activity with an *asterisk* has a FREE PRINTABLE included in the Shapes Activities Bundle!

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#1 Pipe Cleaners/Chenille Stems

Grab some pipe cleaners then bend them into all kinds of fun shapes! Take it up a level and have your child create the shape you are describing with its attributes. IE. This shape has 3 sides and 3 corners or vertices. (A triangle!) you can also switch roles and have your child describe them to you.

Continue the fun by connecting the shapes created with the pipe cleaners to create new shapes.

#2 Q tips

Lay the q-tips flat on the table or floor and move them around to create each shape. To help the kiddos just beginning to learn their shapes, invite them to first lay the q-tips on top of shapes drawn on the page. As they start to recognize the shapes, have them make the shapes without the drawn shapes underneath.

thing to do with shapes for kids- Q tips shapes

Once they have figured out the right shapes, let them glue them down onto a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge. This activity will definitely work better with shapes with straight-edges;)

#3 Noodles

Use noodles, like noodles you cook with? …. with shapes? Yes indeed! Take a piece of paper (it works better with something heavier, like card stock). Help your kiddo draw/trace a shape. Add a line of glue onto the shape lines and press noodles down into the glue. Then let it sit flat for awhile until the glue dries. Your kiddo could then write then names of the shape underneath!

#4 Shapes BINGO*

BINGO is a game enjoyed by people of all ages! Your kids will have fun recognizing shapes and marking them off on their own board.

Download and print the colorful BINGO boards (there are 4 different pages!) and find a small item to mark it off with like skittles, marshmallows, beans etc. Let the good times roll!

things to do with shapes for kids- shapes BINGO

#5 Plastic Pattern Blocks

These are great and easy to use. As a teacher, my students loved using pattern blocks like these to learn about shapes. These are shapes they can pick up, turn over, trace, and create with.

They are a great tool with teaching your kids about sides and vertices (corners) because they can hold them in their hands and feel each side/corner. They are also super handy when you want to see how shapes fit together.

things to do with shapes for kids- pattern blocks

#6 Trace shapes

Grab a plastic shape (or other type of shape, whatever you have- though something harder will be easier to trace) and trace away. Tracing the shapes can help your kiddo strengthen their fine motor skills, boost their confidence (shapes can be hard to do free-hand!), and it’s fun! You might find that they get caught up in tracing and you’ll soon have pages of traced shapes to display on your fridge;)

#7 Compose/Decompose

Speaking of putting things together and taking them apart, here we come to composing and decomposing shapes. Say what?

Basically composing shapes is finding out what new shapes you can make by putting 2 or more shapes together. Decomposing shapes is the opposite, what happens when you separate shapes from one shape?

things to do with shapes for kids- compose/decompose

#8 Stickers

Another activity my students loved was creating their own pictures using shape stickers like these. We would usually start with plastic pattern blocks (like the ones above) that my students could move around and figure out what picture they wanted to make. Then they would take a piece of construction paper and re-create their picture using the stickers.

A fun addition to this activity was to write about the picture they created. (Yay for hitting two things at once…and it’s fun!)

#9 Make a Picture with Shapes

Use the plastic pattern blocks to create a fun picture. Draw the picture on a paper and count how many of each shape is used. Then color and decorate the picture however you’d like. All kinds of fun learning meshed together in one activity. 🙂

thing to do with shapes for kids- pattern block pictures

#10 Foam Shapes

Foam shapes could be used for all kinds of activities!

  • Make a fun picture (like the stickers idea above).
  • Make a picture then glue it down onto a page.
  • Matching the shapes to an attribute (IE. put all the shapes with 4 straight sides here).
  • Sorting the shapes by shape, color, or size.
  • Form letters with the shapes.

#11 Magazine Cut-outs

Hand your child a few old magazines with child-safe scissors and help them find and cut out each of the shapes. You can focus on shapes they are having a hard time with or just use it as a fun activity to reinforce what they’ve already been learning. Take it a step further and let them glue the cut-out shapes onto another page, maybe even creating a new picture all together!

#12 Make Words Using Shapes

We talked about this just a bit with using foam shapes to make words. Some other fun ideas:

  • Spell out a fun message like “Hi” or “I love you” using the shapes.
  • Practice spelling words by creating the letters with shapes. Some letters will definitely be easier to form than others!
  • Form the letters to spell each shape name.

#13 Sorting

Just what you’d picture it to be! Using any type of shapes (plastic, foam, paper, etc.) sort them by shape, size, color or characteristic.

For example, one way to sort could be to put all the shapes that have only straight sides into one pile (sorry circles!).

things to do with shapes for kids- sorting shapes

#14 Marshmallows and Pretzels or Toothpicks

Those who know me well know that I LOVE marshmallows. I don’t know why, but I have for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I would do anything for marshmallows, so needless to say I like any activities that involve them! This is an awesome way to combine your child’s creativity with learning and fun.

With marshmallows and pretzels (or toothpicks) in hand, sit down and make some shapes together. After the shapes are done, they will harden into place within a short time and hopefully hold their shape (that is if they don’t get eaten first!). This is a great activity that you can sneak a treat from as you go;)

#15 Draw Shapes with Paint

Pull out the paintbrushes, paint, and find a piece of paper (with newspaper or something underneath if you’d like to protect your table/floor). Have your kiddo draw shapes all over the page. This can be done in a random way, shapes drawn wherever or you can draw specific things depending on what you say.

If you wanted to use it as a way to see how they are doing with shapes, say things like “draw the shape that has five equal sides” (hexagon) or “draw a shape that has curves” (circle)

#16 Shape Match Up*

Match each shape picture to the description that matches it by drawing a line. Put the page into a sheet protector so you can write on it with a dry erase marker and reuse it!

things to do with shapes for kids- shape match up

#17 Draw Shapes in Salt

The drawing continues! Only this one doesn’t involve any paint (or ink for that matter). Take a shallow container (I used a pencil box) and fill the bottom of it with salt. Similar to other activities we’ve talked about, you can help your kiddo by giving them a shape to draw by its name, attributes, or anything else you feel will help them practice learning their shapes.

Draw the shape in the salt. When they’re ready for a new shape, gently shake the container so the salt covers the bottom once again. Do it as many times as you’d like!

#18 Shape Scavenger Hunt*

How can you make learning about shapes even more exciting? Going on a scavenger hunt of course! Sign up and download this one right now!

It is a fun way to get your kids looking inside and outside for shapes in the real world. After you print it out, I would recommend putting the page in a sheet protector so you can use it again and again!

things to do with shapes for kids- shape scavenger hunt

#19 Play dough

Play dough is too good to leave off the list! Roll it out and get to creating. This could be a fun way to make the shapes using your hands, but you could also use cookie cutters to press the play dough down into and make each shape. After making the shapes, have your kiddo create a new shape by putting two dough shapes together. What can they make now?

#20 Memory Game*

There are TWO games in the printable! One game is to match up shape pictures and the other game is to match the shape picture with the name of the shape.

Print and cut the pages out, mix the cards up, and flip them over so the top side is facing down. Have your kiddo choose two cards to flip over and see if they are a match. Are they both circles or did you find the picture of the circle to match up with the word circle? Nope! Flip them back over and try again. They would likely love to have an older sibling, a friend, or you to play the game with. Things are often better together;)

#21 Tape and Go

Tape shapes onto the floor and do all kinds of fun activities! You and your kiddo could walk along the lines that form the shapes and talk about what makes up each shape. You could pretend any space outside of the shapes is hot lava and hop from shape to shape, calling out the shape names. Find more ideas here.

#22 Sidewalk Chalk

Head outside and draw away! You can draw the shapes once, then trace over them with a new color. Or try drawing the shapes using different colors to show the different lines. Drawing with sidewalk chalk is extra fun because even if you make a mistake, you can just slide over and try again on a new piece of cement. It’s hard to run out of sidewalk;) Then when the next rainfall comes, it will all be cleaned up for you. Easy peasy.

#23 Popsicle Sticks

Lay the Popsicle sticks out so they overlap to create the corners of the shapes. Once you have the shapes created, glue them together so they stay in their shapes!

things to do with shapes for kids- popsicle sticks

#24 Glow Sticks

This activity will “light” up your kiddo’s night! Haha, I couldn’t resist;) But seriously, glow sticks could be a blast! Get some different colors and create different shapes. Take a part away to show what happens when a piece of a shape is removed. Does it change the shape?

#25 Shape Hunt*

This one is a little like the scavenger hunt, except this time your kiddo gets to discover their own objects that have each shape!

The printable has a place to write the name of the object they find and draw a picture of it. You can also use a sheet protector for this activity, easy to reuse. 🙂

things to do with shapes for kids-shape hunt

Well There You Have It, 25 Great Things To Do With Shapes!

So much fun just waiting to happen! Your kiddo will love trying new activities and you will enjoy teaching them using tons of different ideas. Choose a few and get started!

things to do with shapes for kids- which activity first

Which activities are you going to try with your kiddos?

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16 thoughts on “25 Exciting Things To Do With Shapes For Kids”

  1. Thank you so much for the ideas. I have a 2 years old and he loves playing with his blocks. Lately he is into shape sorting. I have been trying to come up with ideas to teach him more about shape. We have used q-tips and noodles so far.  I totally forgot about using pipe cleaner. We have lots lying around the house. Thank you

    Reply
    • You are sure welcome! That is awesome you have been working on shapes and I’m happy I’ve shared some new ideas. Best of luck with teaching shapes and have FUN! Feel free to share your experiences with me, I’d love to hear about them!

      Reply
  2. This article is no less than a blessing for parents. Keeping the kids busy in this lockdown is so difficult. But this article has given so many options to not just keep them occupied, but even teach them with shapes. The best part is that most of the items used here are things that are mostly found in all households. You don’t need to buy anything fancy. Teaching the kids with toothpicks? Brilliant idea! The author’s innovative ideas are just ingenious. I can’t wait to try these tricks with my kids. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you have found new ideas and tricks for teaching shapes to your kids! It is true, you don’t have to spend tons of money to have fun teaching. I hope you can use lots of these ideas to help your kids learn about shapes and anything else you’d like to use them for. I’d love to hear how it goes!

      Reply
  3. A really enjoyable article which is so apt for the world we live in today. So many parents now having to home school these 25 different things to do with shapes is ideal. You have provided many tools and printables for parents to use to help them think about what they can do with their children. With these 25 exciting things I can see that your child would never get bored and over time will start to become very creative. The best one I like is with the play dough as it reminds me of my childhood.

    Great work!

    Reply
    • I am so glad you enjoyed it and found value in the ideas I shared! I am hoping to help make teaching a little easier and more fun for the parents and their children:) There are definitely many different ways to use these ideas! That is great the play dough reminded you of your own childhood. These activities will help our kids create their own fond memories of growing up!

      Reply
  4. Hi

    I am great believer that you need to actively engage a child in thinking and doing games, so that they can develop both at the same time. I must say that the 25 shape games you have come up with seem very practical and engaging  for young minds. I can see how they can be constantly used  and changed so that the young minds do not get bored. I am amazed how much had changed since my kids were young, as you were severely  limited.

    I am surprised that Lego thais not mentioned but then yet again it gets enough publicity. Have all these shape activities been designed with the child safety, so that they do not choke?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    Reply
    • I agree, it is so important that our kids are engaged with hands-on activities while learning. It will help them so much! That is a good point, I did not bring up Legos, but they are definitely a fun tool for creativity and learning!

      I did keep children’s safety in mind as I created these activities. I would invite each parent to think about their child’s age when giving them specific items to use or activities to try. For example, a 2 year old may not do as well with cutting shapes out but they would love to sort plastic shapes. I wouldn’t hand a child under 2 any small objects, like the plastic triangles, because they are more likely to put them in their mouth.

      Thank you for asking a great question and for sharing your thoughts!

      Reply
  5. Hi there Heidi..what a great site about learning and development of the mind, I  work in a school but in a middle and I truly believe people should never stop learning.  I am 42 and still like coloring and drawing but on top of that, word searches and board games just to keep my memory sharp.  Thanks again for the Awesome website.

    Reply
    • I agree, there are always new things to learn and we should always keep learning! That is great you have found ways to keep your mind sharp.

      Reply
  6. Hi Heidi

    You have provided some great ways to help kids learn the different shapes. Not only did I enjoy reading your post, but I saw some new ways that we can use to continue test my grandson’s knowledge. My family members and I are teaching my four year old grandson, Azy to read, and our goal is to use fun ways to do it.

    He goes to daycare, so he was familiar with some of the shapes. To help building on what he already knew and to continue teaching him, we cut out different shapes, and asked him to identify them. He also uses magnetic building blocks, so while he is building something, we ask him to identify the different shapes.

    Azy loves to use his train tracks to make shapes. He makes circle, square and rectangle. He also used his Lego Bloks to make shapes. While teaching Azy shapes, we use them to teach him colors as well. In addition, we also use flashcards. So, I have to disagree with you that using flashcards is trying to squeeze something new into a child’s brain. I think it depends on how and when the flashcards are introduced into the learning process.

    Since every child learns differently, we should be opened to use various methods to see which ones help a child best. We use the shapes flashcards to test Azy’s knowledge. The cards are laid out on the carpet, and he takes up all of one shape, put them aside, then moves to another.

    While he is taking up each shape, he is telling us what it is and the color of it. Sometimes, his auntie plays a game with him to see who can find the shape first.

    We are planning to make a shapes board, so that will be similar to the Shapes Bingo. I love the idea of using Q tips and Noodles to make shapes. Very creative, and those materials does not cost much. We have the Popsicle sticks, but have not used them yet.

    Your list of 25 things to do with shapes, will definitely help kids to learn shapes in a fun way. Do you make the free printable that you are offering?

    Your article will help parents and others who are looking for ideas to help their kids learn shapes.
    Well done.

    Reply
    • You are doing an amazing job with your grandson! What a lucky guy to have family members like you that are so invested in his education and helping him learn all the time. It sounds like you have some fun activities you are already doing to help him continue learning, I’m glad I could add to your bag of tricks!

      I agree with you on the flashcards, it does depend on how you use them. I was referring more to when flashcards are the only method used. It can definitely make a huge difference when you use flashcards along with other activities to help the kiddos learn! Kids do learn differently, so as you said, it is important to try various things to help each one learn the best.

      Yep, I did make the free printables! I invite you to download your own free copy, your grandson may have a lot of fun with them!

      You mentioned you are also teaching your grandson to read, you might find these articles interesting because they relate to that very topic! How Do You Teach Your Child to Read and How To Teach the Alphabet; Mixing Things Up a Bit.
      Feel free to share any of these articles with anyone you know that could benefit from the ideas here.

      Thank you for sharing all of your ideas as well!

      Reply
  7. Shapes are indeed very useful even in our every day life. Learning shapes helps children in learning skills in other curriculum areas such as reading and even maths and science. The ability to use shapes to describe objects does help in enhancing a child’s ability to verbally communicate, it helps children to identify and organize visual informations. The usefulness of shapes for kids cannot be over emphasized.

    Reply
    • I agree! Learning and understanding shapes can help kids in many different ways. Thanks for sharing your comment!

      Reply
  8. The importance of Fun learning to any child cannot be over  emohasized,  i must say that this is really a post in due season for me,  as this is exactly what I have been looking for, i really have been using different fun methods to teach my 3 year old daughter and just last week he suggested our indigenious shape game for me and I thought of how I could make her learn from it,  and this post has privided me with every different option so I’m starting with the Memory game,  that will be just perfect for her.

    Reply

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