Shapes: How to Teach Your Child to Identify Shapes

Untitled designLearning different shapes is very important for your preschooler as shapes are the key to maths, logic, reading and writing skills.

According to Prasad, an education counsellor at NJ Preschool, learning shapes help polish a child’s observation skills. He says, “To learn shapes a child uses basic education skills like recognising same and different objects. This logic behind learning shapes makes your child more capable of observing and describing the things clearly he/she encounters with.”

Learning through play is one of the easiest and effective ways of teaching anything new to your child. Scroll down to know few fun activities of learning shapes:

1) Match the shapes

Rucha is a crafty mommy who enjoys creating do-it-yourself (DIY) best out of waste educational games for her toddler. When I ask her about how her kid is able to recognise different shapes so easily, she says, “It’s fun to make DIY games for my toddler. I make him practice shapes everyday through  different DIY activities such as match the shapes, shapes into shapes.”

You can teach shapes to your kid with these fun activities:

Match Play

  • Just cut out basic shapes on a card board and draw the same shapes on chart paper.
  • Give the cardboard cut outs to your toddler.
  • Ask him/her to match the shapes on the chart paper shape drawings. Or simple draw big shapes on chart paper and cut out smaller shapes from inside.
  • Then give these smaller shape cut outs to your kid and ask him to match these.

Sensory play

To boost shape learning in your kid, Rucha says, you can make 3D shapes. “Children just love experiencing their tactile sensations. My son just keeps running his fingers on the soft book page of different shapes.”

“I drew different shapes on the cloth piece and made different stuffed shapes of the same size. I stitched velcro on the back side of stuffed shapes and on the cloth piece shapes too. My little prince enjoys even these matching activities too especially the attaching/ detaching velcro,” she adds.

You can even use sand paper, corrugated cardboard instead of the stuffed cloth shapes to let your kid feel different materials.

Have a good time matching the shapes with your little ones.

2) Reward your kids

Once, while at my friend’s place, I noticed her sitting down with a group of 3-year-olds—her daughter and her friends. My friend had a few chart paper cutouts in her hand. She started to play a game of describe: “which shape is it,” “what colour is it,” etc.

As and when a child gave the right answer, she gave him/her the cut-out as a reward.

I was just wondering how a small piece of chart paper can make the child so happy. However, I later realised that he was happy as he was praised and rewarded in front of his friends. He got the blue triangle which was cracked correctly only by him. This feeling was making him overjoyed.

Rewarding a child works wonders. You can also come up with similar kind of activities and every time reward your kid for right answer. A reward can be anything even a clap or your wide opened eyes with you saying, “wow!”

There are many other games you can play with your kid and her friends like search the hidden shapes in salt/ sand box. The one who gets all the shapes first is the winner and would get the reward.

3) Body movements

One day, while on walk with my child, I met a mother of two teenagers! When I asked her the secret of her fitness, she simply replied, “Exercise!”

She said that I could effectively work out with my child, at the same time teach her shapes. Wondering, how?

While you are exercising, use your body parts to form different shapes. Like form a semi circle by doing chakrasana, bending down to form a triangle, etc.

If you feel your baby is little younger, then use simple body movements like joining two palms to form a heart shape, form a circle and a square with your two hands.

Your little one would easily remember the shapes learnt by these workout activities. An added bonus: your body is fit.

4) Go crafty

“See aunty, I have got a new ornament!” My neighbour’s daughter coos at my door.

She is wearing a necklace made of different shapes created using paper. I like the idea of making shape ornaments to teach shapes to your kid.

All you need to do is cut out different shapes like star, square, triangle, etc. Punch a hole in the cut-outs and thread a piece of ribbon through it. It’s ready! You can even ask your toddler to decorate the cut outs with glitter pens, stickers, paint, etc. to give them feeling of their own creation.

As your toddler is wearing it, she is bound to see it frequently and remember the shapes.

5) Match sticks, ear buds

Another very effective preschool activity to teach shapes is to use match sticks or ear buds to form shapes.

Sit down with your kid and ask him/her to form different shapes using the ear buds or match sticks. Ensure that you supervise your toddler while this activity especially he has the habit of putting things in mouth.

6) Play dough

Farzana, a preschooler, was sitting after school and creating shapes using play dough as she learnt shapes in school today.

Play dough is also great way to teach shapes to your toddlers. Teach your child to press the play dough against the shape and tell her the name of the shape. Engage yourself too with your child in this fun learning activity while you observe her.

Stacking shapes7) Stacking blocks

Apart from teaching colours and improving motor skills, blocks are also wonderful for shapes learning. Get the blocks with different shapes and ask your toddler to stack up the blocks by the similarity of their shapes.

It is a guaranteed fun time for your kid!

8) DIY shape book

Formal education will make you a living ; self-education will make you a fortune. –Jim Rohn

Vandana, a preschool teacher from St Ann’s school, says, “Kids love to read and learn by using the self made materials. Kids in my class love their DIY book prepared by themselves.” Children learn while at play and don’t get bored to prepare this fun DIY shape book.

“I ask them to observe different objects in the class and at home and they have to draw or write the names of same shaped objects in a paper. Like apple, ball, ring—all round shaped on one page; TV, a pencil box, suitcase-all rectangle shaped on the other page; and so on. Kids find this easy and interesting.” Vandana adds.

Food art!9) Food time

The last, but effective way is the food-time learning. Transform boring food time into fun and enriching activity for your toddler. Prepare foods in different shapes like prepare triangle sandwiches, star cookies, heart-shaped chapatis etc. This will not only boost shape learning of your toddler, but it will also attract him/her towards food without any tantrums.

I am pretty sure that these sure shot shape learning activities will help you teach your child shapes.

Foster your kid’s shape learning abilities with these fun activities and games so that she can apply her knowledge of shapes in practical ways.

Have a fun time learning shapes with your kid!

Activity kit - TV

Do you know of interesting activities to help your child learn shapes. Share your idea with us in the ‘Comments’ section below.

Image Credits: woodleywonderworks; Brandon Atkinson; Sarah Joy

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Having been part of the faculty at St Ann's School, Hyderabad, Riddhi now is a freelance writer. With Masters in microbiology from MSU, Vadodara, she took to writing for online forums after joining the motherhood club. She defines herself as a person full of life. In her free time, Riddhi is found socialising, crafting, watching off-beat film, or any masala/romantic flicks for fun. She now blogs for the Flintobox blog.

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