Shapes Activities For Kindergarten – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: June 3, 2021

Learning to recognize shapes is an essential skill for preschool education. All children learn to differentiate between the basic and advanced 2D shapes and eventually acknowledge their relationship with 3D ones later in their kindergarten studies.

Our article helps parents and pre-k teachers guide their children and students in that process. We introduce gamification via fun outdoor and indoor activities, tools, and printables.

Photo credit: kindercare.com

Great Shapes Activities For Kindergarten

All the activities in our book go along with kindergarten education guidelines, focusing on shape recognition and many other educational aspects.

These include practicing group communication, developing fine motor and sensory skills, and allowing the child to dab into the creative aspect of learning. Let’s see what we have in store for you this time.

Tactile | Creative | Fine Motor

1. Spaghetti Noodle Shapes

Right off the bat, we’re offering a fun and messy activity that will set your students in a bright and colorful mood.

The preparation for this game isn’t too difficult. You need a packet of noodles cooked according to the description on the bag. Next, use ziplock bags to part and dye the pasta. Make sure to use non-toxic food dyes in case the children accidentally eat them.


Once the noodles are ready, prompt the kids to pick them and “rebuild” the shapes on the printables you should have on hand. Here’s the list of materials you need to set up the activity:

  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Food dyes
  • Ziplock bags
  • A large container or paper plates (depending on if you want the noodles mixed or separated by color)

For more information about the process and setup, visit pre-kpages.com.

Logical | Creative | Fine Motor

2. Match 2D with 3D Shapes 

Using previous knowledge to gain more is one of the best ways to ease children into learning new things. This exercise uses 2D basic and advanced shapes and builds on them. It’s all about stacking 3D shape blocks on printable patterns to make pictures.

Once the kids are familiar with the square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, circle, and oval, they should recognize those in combinations to make compound shapes.

After this skill is developed enough, you can prompt them to match the shapes on printables with solid wooden or plastic versions.


Below are the items needed for this exercise:

  • Printables with compound shapes
  • 3D shape blocks

For more information about the products and teaching method, look at the adorable blog post at littlemindsatwork.org.

Sensory | Geometry | Creative

3. Playdough Shapes

All kids like playdough activities, and it doesn’t matter what you make out of it. This sensory methodology improves tactile perception and creates situations where the kid can develop creativity. They can also make mistakes and correct them easily.

This activity is possible using printable materials with shapes for beginners. More advanced students don’t have to use guidelines. They should roll the dough into a snake shape, cut pieces, and spread them on a plate or a laminated printable within the given form.


Here’s all you need for this activity:

  • Playdough and tools like roll pins for spreading it
  • Shape outlines or printables

To connect the shapes to real-world objects, you can suggest adding other attributes. Suppose the triangle represents a pizza slice – what can the child add to it to turn it into one?

Are you interested to learn about more shape teaching methods? Fantasticfunandlearning.com has more entertaining activities in stock.

Sensory | Geometry | Fine Motor

4. Geoboard and Reference Cards

A geoboard is a handy tool in learning. Especially combined with reference cards, it can teach children the basic shapes and ways to build them in various ways. It’s also an excellent sensory tool to shape a better understanding of reference points.

In addition to shape building, this activity promotes counting skills when the student compares the board to the reference card.


For this activity, you’re going to need the following specialized tools:

  • Geoboard with the rubber bands
  • Reference cards or laminated printables
  • Colorful markers, if you’re going to practice connecting the dots on the cards as well

Discover more 2D shape manipulatives at pocketofpreschool.com.

Tactile | Substitution | Fine Motor

5. Sensory Bin Shape Hunt

This is a simple activity targeted at toddlers who’ve just started learning the shapes and only need to recognize them. Its goal is to find a shape from a sensory bin and match it with the board with missing patterns.

This game is an excellent way to open up your kid’s tactile perception. While you can use specialized sensory sand, DIY-ing the activity will only require a bowl of uncooked rice or other grains. It can even be a mixture of different ones for more texture.

Hide foam or plastic shapes in the bin and let the kid fish for them using bare hands. Once they find one, they need to place it on a board where the original shape is missing.


Here are a few items you’re going to need for the setup:

  • A medium-sized bowl
  • Rice or a mixture of other grains
  • Small shapes cut out of foam, plastic, or other material
  • Shape puzzle board or printable

Funwithmama.com suggests a lot more exciting shapes teaching games, activities, and tools.

Spatial Awareness | Creativity | Social

6. Scavenger Hunt with Shapes

If you’re too busy or lazy to organize a special activity and just need a casual game as a distraction for your child, this is what you need.

Hunting for shapes at home can be a rewarding activity for your kid and a creative blast for the whole family. The only thing you need is imagination. Prompt the kid to find five rectangular objects around the house. All shapes and sizes count!

You can add a complication layer, tilting the game towards sequencing, another important skill in kindergarten education. Ask the child to order the found objects from the largest to the smallest.

This way, the kid will develop an awareness of the surroundings and warm to the notion of basic shapes building compound ones. The activity doesn’t require any dedicated equipment or manipulatives.

Control the chaos with more easy and fun distractions from everydaychaosandcalm.com.

Math | Creativity | Fine Motor

7. Picture Composition Using Shapes 

This exercise is a bit more advanced for little ones. They should already be comfortable with the idea that you can make complex pictures with basic shapes.

This activity also tests kids for other skills such as shape cutting, creativity, and counting. You can have a fun worksheet and color-coded shapes printed on construction paper. This will give children space and tools for creating an image by placing the components on the whole picture.


Here is the list of items you’re going to need:

  • The worksheet
  • Printed shapes to cut out
  • Scissors
  • Glue

If you plan to take this activity as a test and put up a showcase, the glue is essential. Have the kids make the picture by sticking the shapes on a printout.

For shape sorting and other composition ideas, scroll through the blog post on planningplaytime.com.

Memory | Sequencing | Pre-Reading

8. Memory Game Using Shapes

For the students who don’t yet know how to read, this exercise could substitute any activity that involves drawing and writing. This is pure gamification that will help the child recognize shapes and remember sequences.

Put block shapes on a tray (depending on the kid’s level, you can use two or more basic forms). Let them remember the objects, then cover the shapes, take one away, and ask the child to name the missing one.

If this is too easy, add a difficulty layer by changing the sequence or using more shapes.


This activity doesn’t require much preparation:

  • A tray or a table
  • Shape blocks
  • A screen or a cloth to cover the play area from the child during gameplay

This idea comes from prekinders.com, which has a lot more unique activities on their blog.

Outdoor Fun | Social | Pre-Reading

9. Shape Maze

If you have a bright and free afternoon at hand, you might as well take the kids outside for this learning activity. They’re going to like the sun and learn a couple of things in the process.


This exercise only needs:

  • Colorful chalk
  • A free sidewalk or a driveway
  • Patience

Once the driveway is set up with colorful patterns, the activity is ready. Call the kids and announce the rules. There are a few ways to play this game:

  • Stepping on a given shape from the start to the end of the maze in one direction
  • Calling out the next shape and finding the way out while being guided before each step

You can color-code each shape (all squares are red, all triangles are blue, etc.). Making the same shape of various colors will add to the difficulty of the game. To get a detailed explanation of the composition and the whole game, visit handsonaswegrow.com.

Similarity Recognition | Pre-Reading | Geometry

10. Matching Shapes on a Worksheet

This is a worksheet that can develop pattern recognition and drawing skills essential for later geometry studies. It contains the basic shapes in two columns and allows for gaps in between. Students have to connect similar forms with lines.

If you don’t like the messy lines cluttering the worksheet, you can also use colorful markers to indicate the same shapes on each column.

For more information about the worksheet and other similar free printables for kindergarten students, browse k5learning.com.

Conclusion 

Learning shapes is fun with the suggested activities in this article. Don’t miss any fun; check out more games and entertaining ideas from provided links. If you have a unique game or activity you’ve not seen listed, don’t hesitate to let us know!

Good luck in learning and playing!

Photo credit: murrieta-daycare.com

People Also Ask

Now that you’re familiar with these fun shapes activities, let’s answer a few more questions to set you on the right track.