Inside: Our toddler and preschool shapes theme includes lots of color activities, too. Lots of hands-on exploration while learning through play!
Shapes and colors are part of our toddler and preschool day throughout the school year. However, we decided to kick off the year with a shapes and colors theme as an introduction.
Each of our learning centers provided an invitation for play and exploration, including our shape and color window blocks, stamping chunky shape sponges at the easel, and hopping in and out of agility hoops.
👉 Note: I’ve provided free printable shapes and colors activities for you to download. Scroll down to find the links!
Toddler and Preschool Shapes Theme (Colors, Too!)
Science and Exploration
We placed these at our science and exploration table right next to a window so the children could hold them up to the light.
Related: Setting Up The Science Center
Exploring color at the light table is always fun! We had some plastic jars that had colored masking tape wrapped around them. I chose pom poms that were the same colors, along with color paddles. I also laminated the color sorting printable that you can find towards the end of this post.
I filled our sensory bin with red dyed rice and macaroni that was leftover from a previous sensory bin. I pulled the basic shapes from our sponge painting shape set and added them to the bin.
I am always happy to include our wooden rainbow stacker in our block area. It’s the most beautiful natural toy that our entire preschool shares.
Related: The Best Blocks Activities
We also added a variety of Duplos to our train table for some fun building.
When you’ve worked at the same preschool for 20 years, you find stuff hidden in the storage closet and you have no idea how they got there. Seriously. Stuff just shows up! I think my fellow teachers add to the collection, or parents graciously donate stuff to us.
So, I found these and just knew our 2 and 3 year olds would love them.
(And I cannot yet find them online to share a link.)
Since our shape this month is the circle, and our color is red, I decided to do an activity that used red paint and paper tubes.
You can read more about it here: Circle Art with Paper Tubes
Another circle painting activity involved spools.
You can read about it here: How to Put Together a Process Art Activity Using Spools
I colored our homemade playdough red for this month’s color and included chunky shape stamps and rolling pins.
You can find similar shape stamps here.
Related: Playdough Learning Activities
I cut felt into circles and hid them around the room, inviting the children to go on a circle hunt.
You can read more about it here: Get Moving on a Circle Hunt
Outdoors, we moved our bodies while hopping in and out of agility rings.
We traced shapes with our big shape stencils. (Someone donated these to our preschool so I am not sure where they were purchased, but they are wonderful!)
Related: Favorite Writing Table Materials
We used some of our sorting bowls to sort food by color.
Related: 25+ Dramatic Play Activities
Free printables for your shapes and colors theme:
More classroom theme ideas:
Toddler and Preschool Activity Plans
Looking for an entire year’s worth of learning activities? We’ve done the work for you!
I have helped create each of these packets, along with a team of talented educators and homeschoolers.
Easy to follow activity plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners.
Every theme comes with recommended reading lists, songs, material lists, and more.
Click on the graphics below for more details.
Toddlers (18-36 months):
Preschool (3-5 Years):