Activity 6.1

mother and child


Recognizing shapes is a pre-reading skill as letters are just more complicated shapes. When they are first learning to read, most children will learn sight words based on their “shape”. When children practice drawing each of the shapes, they are learning the parts they will need to print letters. The ability to draw circles prepares kids for writing b,c, d and p and triangles help with w,v and z.

For some fun activities with shapes, try:

  • Drawing a random scribble on a piece of paper. Ask your child if they can make a real picture out of it. They might need some help to start, with some suggestions of what to draw. If your child enjoys this, they may like to do the scribble themselves with their eyes closed
  • Finding and talking about more unusual shapes, such as raindrops, eggs and curves
  • Lying down in the grass with your child and watching clouds. Talk about the shapes in the clouds
  • Using glue to draw various shapes on dark paper and ask your child to sprinkle sugar over them. Shake off the extra sugar to reveal each shape. You could try glitter instead of sugar
  • Calling out a shape, such as circles, and seeing how many items of that shape your child can find in your kitchen
  • Playing a memory card game with shapes
  • Playing a ‘What’s Missing?’ game: Cut out six or so different shapes from paper. Place them on the floor and ask your child to look at them. Then ask them to close their eyes, while you remove one shape. Ask your child to open their eyes and see if they can tell you which one is missing
  • Playing eye spy: Example: ‘I spy something that is an oval shape’. If your child needs some help, have some cut out shapes they can take with them to match up with the object
  • Making sultana shapes with toothpicks: Draw some shapes on a piece of paper, making their sides about the same size as a toothpick. Ask your child to make each shape using toothpicks and connecting each with a sultana
  • Cutting your child’s sandwiches into different shapes – squares, rectangles or triangles. You could use a small glass to cut circle shaped sandwiches. Ask your child which shape they would like each day