See also my pages for Circle, Triangle, Square, Diamond, Rectangle, Oval, Star, and Heart

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Songs & Fingerplays

Shapes - sung to "Frere Jacques"

This is a square.
This is a square.
How can you tell?
How can you tell?
It has four sides all the same size.
It's a square, it's a square.

This is a rectangle.
This is a rectangle.
How can you tell?
How can you tell?
It has two long sides and two short sides.
It's a rectangle.
It's a rectangle.

This is a circle.
This is a circle.
How can you tell?
How can you tell?
It goes round and round.
No end can be found.
It's a circle. It's a circle.

This is a triangle.
This is a triangle.
How can you tell?
How can you tell?
It has three sides that join to make three points.
It's a triangle.
It's a triangle.

What Shape is this? - sung to "The Muffin Man"

Do you know what shape this is,
What shape this is, what shape this is?
Do you know what shape this is
I'm holding in my hand?

~Submitted by Cheryl, Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Shape Poems

I'm Celia Circle- watch me bend. Round and round from end to end.
Ricky Rectangle is my name. My four sides are not the same. Two are short, two are long. Count my sides come right along!
Trudy Triangle is the name for me. Tap my sides- 1,2,3!
Sammy Square is my name. My four sides are just the same. Count one side, then count more. Count to 2,3, and 4!

Shapes Poem

Never ending.
Just like Mother's
Constant tending.

Two short, two long.
Remember this rule
And you won't go wrong

Four that are even.
Three named Suzy
And one named Steven.

Has three sides.
In the corner
She always hides.

A circle stretched out.
Making it longer
That's what it's about.

Two V's put together.
You can do it all day
In all kinds of weather.
~Submitted by Paulette

The Shape of Things - rhyming poem

What is a circle? What is round?
A quarter rolling on the ground.
A wheel is a circle, so is the moon,
A bottle cap, or a big balloon.

What is a square, with sides the same?
The wooden board for a checker game.
A slice of cheese, a TV screen,
A table napkin to keep you clean.

What is a rectangle, straight and tall?
The door that stands within your wall.
A dollar bill, a loaf of bread,
The mattress lying on your bed.

What is a triangle, with sides of three?
A peice of pie for you and me.
A musical triangle, ding, ding, ding,
A slice of pizza with everything!

These are the shapes seen everywhere:
A triangle, rectangle, circle, square.
If you look closely where you've been,
You'll surely see the shapes you're in!

Make a circle, make a circle,
Draw it in the sky.
Use your finger, use your finger,
Make it round as a pie.
Draw a square, draw a square,
Make the lines so straight.
Make a square, make a square,
Draw a box in the air.
Draw a triangle, draw a triangle,Always start at the top.
Make a tent, make a tent, Use three lines and stop!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Shapes In Motion

Provide a variety of paper circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, diamonds, hearts, and stars. Let each of your children choose a shape to hold. Have your children stand up and follow the directions as you sing the following song. Sing slowly to give the children time to think. After the song, have the children trade shapes and play again.

Shapes in Motion - sung to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

Hold your circles high.
Triangles touch the ground.
Put your diamonds on your head.
Let's all spin around.
Put your oval on your shoulder.
Hearts jump up and down.
All squares and stars and rectangles
Bend and touch the ground.
Shapes with curved sides fly up high.
Stars reach up to heaven.
Shapes with straight sides turn around.
Now let's sit again.

Variation: Ask older children to choose two different shapes and hold one in each hand as they play the game.

Arts & Crafts

Shape Collage

Construction Paper

Draw large shapes on construction paper. Have the children fill in the shapes using pictures cut from magazines. Fill a circle with circular shapes etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Shape Train

1 sheet blue construction paper per child
2 red rectangles per child
4 small black squares per child
4 small gray circles per child

Directions: Have the children glue on the 2 red rectangles on the blue construction paper to make a train. Next have them glue on the small black squares to be the windows of the train. Next have them glue on the wheels of the train. Have them draw black lines between the train cars to attach them. Next have them draw on the tracks. Also, they can draw scenery, trees, grass, etc.

~Submitted by Carole in TX

Gluing Paper Shapes

Give each child a piece of white construction paper and have him or her glue on various colored shapes such as squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, ovals, etc.

Build A House - (square, rectangle, triangle) Give each child a large square (this is the house) and let them glue it onto a piece of white or blue paper. Now give them a triangle, this is the roof of the house. Now glue on two squares as windows. Glue a rectangle on as the door. A small circle as the doorknob. Children can now decorate the background to add a sun (circle).

Clown Face

Cut out a large circle for each child. Cut out several small circles, triangles, rectangles, and diamonds from various colors of construction paper. Let the children paste them to the white paper to make a clown face.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Shape Book

Give each child a piece of paper with the name of a shape written on the bottom. Now give the child several shapes and let them glue the right one onto the right paper. When done and all the shapes are glued on the right pages, give them another paper but on it write "My Shape Book". They can decorate this cover if they want. Now staple all the pages and cover together. Kids can take this home and read their Shape Book to their parents. I also do this with Colors.

Shape People

I make a circle out of red construction paper (I combine colors with shapes here), make white ovals for eyes with black circles inside, make short rectangles for arms and long rectangles for legs, hearts for hands and triangles for feet, all in different colors. I do the same with triangles, squares, and rectangles. I cut all the shapes out but I let the children glue them together. Gluing is another teaching experience. We hang them in the room for the rest of the week and they take them home the following week.

Creating Clowns

Cut circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and other shapes out of construction paper in a variety of sizes and colors. Let children glue shapes on construction paper to create clown faces.

Square Collage

Cut squares of various sizes out of colored construction paper and gift wrap. Help your child brush glue all over a large piece of white paper. Then help your child arrange the squares on the glued surface to make a collage.

In The Kitchen

An activity that I enjoy doing at the end of a unit on shapes is to have a party with snacks cut into the 4 basic shapes. I cut sandwiches into triangles, use square crackers or graham cracker squares with peanut butter, round crackers with cheese and rectangular wafer cookies. I encourage the children to tell us what shape they are eating and we also brainstorm other shaped foods (pizza, cake, cucumber/carrot slices, etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Theme Ideas

Give each child a small cutout of the shape you are working on. Sing this song -- "Shape Shake" sung to "Hokey Pokey"

You put your ________(shape--circle, square, triangle, etc.) in,
You put your ________(shape--circle, square, triangle, etc.) out,
You put your ________(shape--circle, square, triangle, etc.) in,
and you shake it all about. . . .
That's how the shape shake goes!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Shape Walking

Cut out different shapes--circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares--from foam about 3/4 inch thick. (This can be obtained from an upholstery shop.) Place them on the floor and have the kids "cross the river" only walking on triangles or squares or another specified shape. Cut from foam they can walk on them without ruining them--they should last for several years. Add to your set each year.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


1. Put shape blocks (or attribute blocks) in a bag. The child puts a hand in the bag and picks a shape. The child attempts to identify the shape without looking at it. Have them justify the guess before removing the shape from the bag.

2. Put shapes in the bag. Instruct child to find a _______ without looking. Again have them tell why they think the shape they have is the correct one.

3. Give each child a shape -- shapes could be clothes pinned to the child or on a piece of yarn (or put a shape on each table). Give instructions related to the shape -- circles stand up, triangles hop, rectangles crawl under the table and the favorite -- squares get ON the table. etc.!

4. Hide a shape in your hand, give clues (one at a time) and have the children guess/tell what the shape is/could be. (ex. the shape has straight sides, there are 4 sides, 2 or short and 2 or long).

5. Use shapes to make patterns on paper or in pocket charts. Children practice the names of the shapes by reading the pattern (circle, triangle, circle, triangle).

6. Put toothpicks on the table and instruct them to make various shapes (ask them to make a circle and see how many actually try!)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Friendly Shapes (felt board)

Little Cindy Circle rolls along the ground;
She has no corners - she just spins around! (circle)
Sammy Square is his name;
He has four sides, all the same....1,2,3,4! (square)
Danny Diamond is shaped like a kite;
He has four points - I know that's right....1,2,3,4! (diamond)
Tracy Triangle with corners three;
Count the corners now with me...1,2,3! (triangle)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Shape Detective

Take a plain sheet of paper. Down the left-hand margin, draw a circle, square, triangle, and rectangle. Now it's time to be a shape detective and go on a shape hunt. Walk slowly through your classroom and school. Each time you find something that matches one of the shapes, make a check mark next to that shape. When you have finished your shape hunt, count all of the shapes you found. Which shape did you find the most times? Which did you find the least? How many shapes did you find altogether? This is an excellent visual discrimination activity in which children pick out shapes hidden in common objects. Beginning detectives may want to focus on only one shape at a time.

One of the fun activities that I do in my kindergarten class when we are learning about shapes is to give each child a brown lunch sack to take home with this note attached: "We are learning about shapes. Please help your child find objects around your house in the shape of a circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval and diamond. The objects must all fit into this bag. We will share their "Shapes in a Sack" on Friday." It was fun for the children to discover common household objects in the various shapes; both parents and children enjoyed the activity and we had some very original items!

Shape Matching

From construction paper, cut an assortment of the shapes your children have been learning. Cut one shape per child, plus several extras. Put them in a paper bag. Make larger felt figures of each shape. Have each child select a paper shape from the paper bag. Put one of your felt shapes on the flannel board and sing the following song. Have the children whose shapes match yours hold up their shape. Change the shape on the flannel board and sing again. Repeat for every shape. If desired, have the children trade shapes with each other and begin the game again.

I Have a Shape - sung to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"

I have a triangle, look and see.
If you have a triangle, show it to me.
Substitute the name of the shape found for the triangle.

Chenille Stem Shapes

Draw shapes on large index cards, one shape per card. Hand out several chenilles stems to each of your children. Show a card to the children and ask them to name the shape and then construct it with chenille stems.

Making Shapes

Challenge your children to make various shapes (circles, hearts, diamonds, squares, rectangles, and triangles) using just their hands and fingers. Now challenge them to use any body parts to do the same. They might make a triangle by pushing their elbows into their sides and bringing their fingertips together.

I'm Part of a Shape

Show your children how to cooperate with others and use their bodies to make shapes. Arrange three of your children on the floor so their bodies form a triangle, with each child's head touching the feet of another child. Have the remaining children gather around and count the sides (chests) and corners (heads and feet) of the shape. Let each child have a turn being part of the triangle. Repeat on other days for square, rectangle, circle, heart, and diamond.

Hint: To speed up the activity, use two or more children for each side of the shapes you are making.

Extension: Take a photo of each shape and use the photos to make a group book.

Counting Shapes

On chart paper, make a graph with eight rows. Label these "Circle;' "Square," "Triangle;' "Rectangle," "Star," "Heart;' "Diamond;' and "Oval:' Have your children point out items in the room that belongs in the various categories. Draw a small picture of each item in the appropriate row. Some items may belong in more than one row. For instance, a square clock may have a round face. Count the items in each row and discuss the graph. Which shape was found most often, Least often, Do any two categories have the same number of items? Add to this graph on other days when you are reviewing shapes.

Folding Shapes

Collect an assortment of square handkerchiefs or washcloths, one for each child. Put these in a pillowcase and let each child reach in without looking and select one. Have your children place the handkerchiefs flat on the floor. Discuss their shape. Challenge children to fold their handkerchiefs in half. Ask them what shapes they have created. (Depending on how they folded, they may have rectangles or triangles. Either answer is correct.) Have them count the sides of their shapes. Now have them fold these shapes in half and see what new shape is created. Depending on how they fold, they may have rectangles, squares, or triangles. Again, discuss the resulting shapes. Shake out the folds and begin again.

Shape Pictures

Give each of your children an assortment of felt shapes and a carpet square. Let the children use the felt shapes to create other objects a square and a triangle for a house, a rectangle and a circle for a lollipop. Let the children share their results by holding up their carpet squares.


Shapes Activities for Preschoolers - Pre-K Pages
Preschool and Kindergarten Shapes Lessons, Activities, and Crafts - KidsSoup
Shapes Free Printables - Kidsparkz
Assorted Shapes - A Kid's Heart
Shapes Buddies - DLTK
Preschool Shapes Theme - Everything Preschool

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