Inside: Put together a week’s worth of shape recognition activities with these fun ideas for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printables included!
Looking for ways to expose your toddlers and preschoolers to shapes?
Each simple idea engages young learners while they identify and compare shapes.
Some ideas build other skills as well, such as fine motor and color recognition.
Make sure to check out these “A Week’s Worth” collections, too:
A Week’s Worth of Shape Recognition Activities
We’ve categorized these shape recognition activities to make it easier for you to plan your week!
How many of these activities you can do in a week will depend on your daily schedule. There are certainly enough activities in this collection to focus on shapes for longer than a week!
- Use shape toys for a fun art activity – super easy to set up!
Supplies: Shape sorting toys, paint, paper
- Stamp paper tubes into paint for a simple process art circle activity.
Supplies: Paper tubes, paint, paper
- Be creative and make a shape house out of construction paper. (My Mommy Style)
Supplies: Multiple colors of construction paper, scissors, white pom poms or cotton balls, glue stick
- Take your favorite nesting blocks and turn them into a paint stamping activity.
Supplies: Nesting blocks, paint, paper
- Explore shapes while using them to create a collage. (NutureStore)
Supplies: Tissue paper (circles and squares), old art or paper scraps, scissors, cardstock, glue, bowls, brushes
- Strengthen fine motor skills while clipping clothespins on the correct shape – free printable cards!
Supplies: Free Match and Clip Cards, clothespins
- Learn about the differences of each shape while wrapping them in yarn. (Laughing Kids Learn)
Supplies: Cardboard, yarn, scissors
- Make your own handled sponge stamps to use on paper. (It Happens in a Blink)
Supplies: Paper towel tubes, sponges cut into shapes
- Place objects on the outline of different shapes for some finger strengthening. (Learning 4 Kids)
Supplies: Washi or masking tape, colored card stock paper, scissors, small pieces
- Press foam shapes to the sticky side of tape. (Happy Toddler Playtime)
Supplies: Foam shapes, tape
- Play a fun shape hopscotch game indoors when the weather isn’t cooperating. (Housing a Forest)
Supplies: Colored paper cut into different shapes, tape
- Get the kids moving while going on a shape hunt. (Frugal Fun 4 Boys)
Supplies: Paper, marker, assorted toys and objects to find
- Put together a roll hop shape game that’s easy enough for toddlers, too. (I Can Teach My Child)
Supplies: Painter’s tape, large cube, marker or free shapes printable
- Toss bean bags into shapes that are taped to the floor. (Learn, Play, Imagine)
Supplies: Painter’s tape, bean bags
- After drawing shapes on the sidewalk, name a shape for the children to run and find. (Gift of Curiosity)
Supplies: Sidewalk chalk
- This shapes alphabet activity is an excellent way for young children to learn shapes … and colors! (Fun Learning for Kids)
Supplies: Card stock paper, dice, markers, permanent marker
- After reading Mouse Shapes, invite your children to spell their names using different shapes. (Growing Book By Book)
Supplies: Various colors of construction paper, scissors, large sheets of white paper, markers or crayons
- These free shape picture card puzzles work on simple symmetry and balance, as well as colors.
Supplies: Free shape picture card puzzles
- Put together a shape sorting activity that uses tape on your floor. (Busy Toddler)
Supplies: Masking tape, assorted objects in different basic shapes
- Put together a hands-on shapes sensory bin, inspired by the book The Shape of Things.
Supplies: Shredded paper, assorted colored foam cut into pieces, tweezers, containers
- Place shapes in bubbly water for some soothing sensory play. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Supplies: Assorted colored foam cut into shapes, soapy water, shovel or large sifting toy
- Work on fine motor skills while removing shapes from a sensory bin and then sorting them. (Stir the Wonder)
Supplies: Bin, black beans, shape buttons, fine motor tools, large tweezers, small muffin tin
- Grab some shape buttons and press them into playdough for a nice, calming activity.
Supplies: Playdough, large shape buttons, matchsticks (optional), matching colored plates or bowls
- Build 2D and 3D shapes with craft sticks and playdough. (In the Playroom)
Supplies: Playdough and craft sticks
- Press pattern blocks into playdough for some shape impressions. (Play, Teach, Repeat)
Supplies: Pattern blocks and playdough
- Add shape cookie cutters to your playdough table. (Nurture Store)
Supplies: Assorted shape cookie cutters and playdough
- Put together a fun shapes story time that includes lots of repetition. (Library Village)
- This collection of rhymes, actions songs, and finger plays add shape recognition to any circle time.
- Get the children up and moving during circle time with a circle hunt.
Supplies: Felt cut into different sized circles, felt board
- Make shapes disappear with this fun science activity that also targets fine motor skills. (Gift of Curiosity)
Supplies: Coffee filters, marker, dropper, water
- Make your own shapes bubble wands for some outdoor science fun. (Nurture Store)
Supplies: Wooden chopsticks, pipe cleaners, pony beads (optional), tape (optional)
- Test the strength of paper that is folded into differently shaped columns. (Creekside Learning)
Supplies: Paper and tape
- What happens when you freeze magnetic objects into ice shapes? (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Supplies: A magnet set, assorted objects that can be picked up by a magnetic wand, shape ice cube trays
- Make your own 3D bubble wands and see what happens when you use them to blow bubbles. (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Supplies: Pipe cleaners, straws, glue gun (optional), bubble solution
- Sort your snack by shapes using this free printable. (Weekly Hive)
Supplies: Free shape sorting printable; assorted snacks
More Shape Recognition Posts
- 15 Activities for Teaching Squares (with Free Printable Pack)
- 15+ Activities for Teaching Circles (with Free Printable Pack)
Come see how we set up our classroom for the shapes theme. Lots of hands-on activities!
Shapes Fine Motor Activities
Now available: Shapes fine motor activities pack. Fun activities that work on building fine motor skills all with a shapes theme!
Prep once and use over and over again.