22 Shape Activities For Preschoolers (2024)

Are you looking for some fun shape activities for your preschooler?

Teaching shapes are best taught through play-based learning strategies! Children learn best through play, which is fantastic because that’s all they want to do, right?

Before we head into the shape activities, I wanted to show you my busy book that includes shape learning!

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Click here to grab My First Busy Book.

Now, let’s get into my 22 ENGAGING Shape Activities that will get your kids excited to learn about shapes!

#1: Shape Art

Want to get your kids excited about learning shapes? Create a giant masterpiece by drawing shapes so they can paint on it!

Seems too easy to work, right? But, I SWEAR this was one of the best activities that we did with shapes.

shape painting

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: Easel paper, washable paint, paint brushes, painter’s tape, and a pencil.

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2. Set-up: tape the easel paper on the wall or the ground using painter’s tape. Using a ruler draw the shapes that you want to include on the paper. You don’t have to mix the shapes as I did either! 

3. Activity: have the kids use washable paint to paint on the shapes! Before painting, have the kids identify the different shapes for review! If you have an older child, ask them how many sides the shape has as well!

#2: Shape Hunt

Making learning fun is my specialty. I try to get my kids not even to realize they are learning because they are having so much fun playing while they learn.

Shape hunt is a simple game that you can set-up right inside your house or your classroom!

post it shape match

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: post-it’s (my very best friend), construction paper, painter’s tape, and a marker.

post its

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2. Set-up: on post-it’s draw a bunch of different shapes that you want to work on. On construction paper, draw a big version of each shape that you drew on the post-it notes. Tape all the pieces of construction paper on the wall near each other. Place the post-it’s all-around your home!

3. Activity: Have your kids search the house to find the post-its. Once they find one, have them take it over to the wall where the construction paper pieces are. Have them match the shape that they found on their post-it to the paper on the wall! In the end, see how many of each shape there are!

RELATED: 50 USEFUL Homeschool Supplies

#3: DIY Shape Puzzles

If you have read any of my other articles, you know I credit puzzles for teaching my children the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors!

The hands-on learning that takes place when you practice puzzles with kids is the BEST!

I am going to talk to you today about the DIY version. However, you can also use ones from the store; they are just as good 🙂 Either way, I highly suggest doing this activity on repeat!

kinetic sand puzzle

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: kinetic sand, plastic container, and shape puzzle pieces.

kinetic sand

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2. Set-up: place kinetic sand in a plastic container and place the puzzle pieces in the kinetic sand. Push the pieces in so they will leave a shape in the sand! Take out all the pieces!

3. Activity: have your child use the puzzle pieces to do the puzzle! They should try to match the correct shape in the spaces you created! Afterward, they can play with the kinetic sand! It’s great for sensory play!

RELATED: The BEST 22 Sensory Bins for Kids

#4: Sticky Shapes

Sticky wall activities are SO much fun! Kids are always amazed at how objects stick to the paper! It makes for great learning activities!

sun catcher

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: contact paper and cardstock paper.

2. Set-up: When I did this activity, I focused on three shapes. Create a border for each shape like you see in the picture above with cardstock paper. Then, place contact paper on the back of the border, cut off the excess. On cardstock, create small versions of each shape. Lastly, tape the shape to the surface so it’ll stay on the wall or window!

3. Activity: Your kiddo should pick out the shapes you cut out and match them on the sticky part of each shape! They will love seeing the shapes stick inside!

RELATED: 6 PROVEN Ways to Teach your Toddler Shapes

#5: Shape Dot-to-Dot

Dot-to-dot activities work on number recognition, counting skills, and in this case, they work on shape recognition!

Plus, any activity that involves Do-A-Dot markers always gets kids’ attention.

shape dot to dot

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: do-a-dot markers, easel paper, and a pencil.

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2. Set-up: Create each shape that you want on the easel paper with the dot-a-dot markers. Then, write numbers in order right next to the dots.

3. Activity: Have your child use a pencil/crayon/colored pencil to connect the dots to create the shape!

RELATED: 23 SIMPLE Number Recognition Activities 

#6: Sweep the Poms

Practical life activities work on essential skills that children need to practice since they will use these skills for a lifetime!

When the kids are little too, sweeping is an activity that they want to do!

sweep the poms shape activity

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: painter’s tape, pom-poms, and a kid’s broom!

kids broom

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2. Set-up: Create the shapes that you want to work on, on the floor with painter’s tape. Then, place pom-poms all around the floor near the shapes.

3. Activity: Your kiddo will use the sweeper to sweep the pom-poms into each shape. Have them identify the shape, and you can also work on counting skills by seeing how many poms are in each shape.

RELATED: 21 BEST Open-Ended Toys For Kids

#7: Shape Building Mats

What’s better than FREE worksheets? NOTHING!

These shape building mats are perfect for learning how to create shapes, identifying how many sides each shape has, and developing fine motor skills.

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need:  MY FREE Shape Mats and small manipulatives (mini-erasers, pom-poms, Play-Doh balls, do-a-dot markers, or craft buttons).

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2. Set-up: Print off the sheets and get your objects ready for the kids to use!

3. Activity: Your little one will use the manipulatives or do-a-dot markers to create each shape. Review the shape on each sheet! To make this a bit more complicated for older kids, you can have them create a pattern.

RELATED: Teaching Resources

#8: Popsicle Stick Shapes

Popsicle sticks are one of my favorite supplies to have on hand! They can be used for so many different learning and play activities!

This specific activity isn’t actually 100% about shapes. I do consider building letters though part of shape building. Children have to be able to create certain shapes to be able to build each letter!

popsicle stick alphabet building

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: popsicle sticks and my letter building activity worksheets.

colored popsicle sticks

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2. Set-up: print off the alphabet popsicle worksheets and get the popsicle sticks ready!

3. Activity: let your little one build the shape right on the mat or have them create them to the side. You will have to cut some of the sticks to be able to create the shape so it looks correct! For older ones, you don’t need the worksheet. Challenge them to make the shape of each letter of the alphabet on their own with the sticks!

RELATED: My 10 FAVORITE Learning Supplies For Kid’s Activities

#9: Shape Hop

Active learning activities are some of my favorites to do with the kids! I have been a physical education teacher for the past 10 years, so getting kids active is my passion!

Shape hop is a simple activity that you can pull off in just a few minutes!

locomotor shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: sidewalk chalk

2. Set-up: Draw shapes a few feet away from each other with sidewalk chalk on your driveway or your sidewalk!

3. Activity: Shout out a shape that you want your child to start at. Then, call out another shape you want them to head towards. While they are going from shape to shape, have them hop! Want your kids to get a little more exercise? Space the shapes out a little further and have them perform locomotor movements!

Locomotor movements are skills like skipping, hopping, galloping, sliding, running, walking, marching, jumping, or leaping!

RELATED: 20 AWESOME Exercises For Kids

#10: Shape Monsters

Do you love doing crafts with your kids? Let’s just say I’m okay at arts and crafts. I’m not the best artist in the world, but I could even pull this craft off!

I’ve also been loving incorporating some sort of craft or sensory play activity along with my worksheets. It gets the kids more excited about completing the learning worksheets when they have something that goes along with it that’s exciting to them!

shape monsters

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: cardstock paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, buttons, glue, pom-poms, or any other loose parts that you would want to use!

* You can also grab my monster learning packet here!*

googly eyes

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2. Set-up: Cut different shapes from the cardstock paper for the body of the monster! Then, cut some pipe cleaners for the arms and legs. Have the other loose parts in a bowl for the kids to pick from.

3. Activity: Let the kids be as creative as they want when making the monsters! That was the great thing, I had no specific way I wanted them to turn out like, so they could just make them however they wanted. Talk about the shapes of the monster’s body and the shapes of the objects that you are using!

#11: Secret Shapes

The element of surprise is always exciting! Even for adults, am I right?

Secret shapes are one of my favorite activities because I always love the mix of colors that turn out on the sheet of paper.

secret shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: white cardstock paper, white crayon, a pencil, watercolors, and a paintbrush.

Road Shape Matswatercolors

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2. Set-up: draw a few vertical and horizontal lines with a pencil to separate the shapes. With a white crayon, draw a shape in each square that you created (make sure to go over it a few times with the white crayon, so it shows).

3. Activity: have your child use watercolors to paint colors on each shape to reveal which one it is! They should tell you each shape once they finish painting each one altogether!

#12: Road Shape Mats

Do you have a little one that loves cars? My son likes cars and was really into this road, shape mat activity!

Half the battle is being able to find a resource or lesson that will get your kids to sit and learn, right? Sometimes it takes some time to see what is going to work!

road shape mat

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: MY FREE Road Shape Mats printable, reusable folders, and some toy cars

hot wheels cars

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2. Set-up: print off the worksheets!

3. Activity: your little ones will use the cars to create the shape by wheeling the vehicle all around. Have them identify each shape as you go through it!

#13: Shape Writing Tray

I’m a big fan of creating writing trays for pre-writing skills. They are a fun way for kids to practice handwriting skills, and they don’t get frustrated because there are no lines for them to focus on.

Handwriting can be a tough skill for kids, adding in exciting activities like this now and then will help their confidence and give kids positive feelings towards the skill.

shape writing

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: an art tray/baking sheet, sprinkles, paintbrush, and my FREE Cut+Sort Shapes Printable.

art tray

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2. Set-up: Dump sprinkles on a tray and print off the sheets.

3. Activity: Choose one shape to work on at a time. Your little one should use the paintbrush to create the shape that they see in front of them the best they can in the sprinkles!

RELATED: 15 FUN Handwriting Activities For Kids

#14: Dot Sticker Shapes

Dot stickers are one of the supplies that I always keep on hand. They can be used for simple learning activities, they are colorful, and they are great for fine motor skills!

dot sticker shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: easel paper, painter’s tape, dot stickers, and a writing utensil.

dot stickers

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2. Set-up: Put easel paper up on the wall or tape it on the floor with painter’s tape. Draw several shapes a few inches apart from each other.

3. Activity: your kids should place the dot stickers on the drawings of the shapes that you created. Discuss each shape, how many sides it has, and you can even have them count how many stickers it took to make each shape!

RELATED: 26 FUN Fine Motor Activities

#15: Paper Towel Roll Shapes

All those toilet paper rolls may come in handy from the COVID toilet paper crisis!

This shape matching lesson is sure to be a hit with your little ones. You can do this activity with toddlers to help teach them shapes, and you can do it with older kids to teach pairing and shape building concepts!

toilet paper roll shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: paper towel rolls, a marker, and a paper towel holder.

2. Set-up: Draw a shape on a toilet paper roll. Then, cut that shape in half, so you should have two pieces for each shape that you want to do!

3. Activity: For younger ones, show them the shape together and have them identify the shape, then have them put it on the paper towel holder to match the shapes together. Older ones can be challenged to try to pair all the shapes together and build them on the paper towel holder on their own!

#16: Popsicle Stick Shape Puzzle

My kids are really into puzzles. Our puzzles have gotten so much use, but to be honest, they are bored with them since they have done them for years.

Trying popsicle stick puzzles is a new and exciting way for kids to solve puzzles again!

shape puzzles popsicle sticks

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: popsicle sticks and markers.

popsicle sticks

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2. Set-up: on a group of 3-4 popsicle sticks, draw one shape with a marker. Repeat this process for each shape that you want!

3. Activity: depending on how old your little one is, you can set just one group of popsicle sticks out for them to put together, or you can set all of them out for them to sort through to figure out!

#17: Magic Shapes

I’ve seen this fantastic paper towel trick all over the internet lately, and I knew I had to try it and turn it into a learning activity somehow!

The best thing about this is that it is SUPER easy to pull off, and your kids will love it so much! Isn’t it great when they don’t even realize they are learning while they play?

magic shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: a piece of paper towel, a tray of water, and markers.

trays for kids

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2. Set-up: on one side of the paper towel, draw the shapes that you would like to go over. I drew them in different colors to make it more colorful and also to help differentiate the shapes. Fold the other side of the paper towel over the shapes so they kids can’t see them.

3. Activity: Slowly drop the paper towel into the tray of water. The shapes will appear once it hits the water! Review the shapes that they see! Also, you can go over colors at the same time!

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RELATED: How to Teach your Toddler Colors

#18: DIY Scratch Off Shapes

Does anyone remember those black pieces of paper that you would scratch off, and rainbow colors would appear? I loved those as a kid! They were so much fun to make designs in!

Instead of making the sheet completely rainbow colors underneath, I created shapes for the kids to identify.

scratch off shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: black acrylic paint, packing tape, dish soap, a piece of cardboard, art tray, markers, a paintbrush, and coins for scratching.

black acrylic paint

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2. Set-up: cut a piece of cardboard into a square. With a marker, draw the shapes that you want to review (don’t use a black marker to make the shapes).  Cover the entire piece of cardboard with packing tape. Then, paint 1 coat of black acrylic paint mixed with a little dish soap all over the cardboard.

*You will have to let this dry for at least an hour before doing this activity!*

3. Activity: with a coin, have your little ones scratch off the acrylic paint. For easy cleanup, I suggest having an art tray underneath! They will reveal the shapes, and they can shout out which ones they see once they scratch the entire thing off!

#19: Salt Painted Shapes

We love salt painting over here! The colors turn out amazing.

What I love about salt painting, is that it’s relaxing. There’s just something soothing about watching the colors spread out on the salt. Then, the end result is amazing!

salt painted shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: cardboard, glue, salt, and watercolors.

2. Set-up: on the black paper, draw the shapes you want with a pencil. Then, go over the pencil marks with glue. Dump salt on top of the glue (make sure to have a tray underneath for easy clean up). Let it dry.

3. Activity: the kids should identify the shapes and use a bunch of different watercolors to color the salt!

#20: Shape Sponges

I love experimenting with new ways to paint with the kids! These shape sponges did not disappoint!

The best part about these stampers was the popsicle stick addition that I added in. It was so much easier for them to handle.

shape sponges

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: sponges, sharpie, popsicle sticks, washable paint, paper, hot glue gun and glue, scissors, and a small knife.


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2. Set-up: Draw the shapes you want on the sponge with the sharpie. Cut the shape out. Make a small slit in the middle of the shape with a knife for the popsicle to stick inside (don’t let the hole go all the way through, or it’ll not work as good). Put hot glue on each side of the popsicle stick and slide it inside the hole you created!

3. Activity: Let the kids have fun and make prints all over the paper! Review the shapes you created! To make this activity a little more complicated for older kiddos, have them create patterns with the stampers.

#21: Shape Scavenger Hunt

I specifically remember the time when we did this activity. It was March, and it was 3 weeks into the quarantine for COVID, and I needed an activity that was going to keep the kids active and excited.

So, I came up with this shape sorting scavenger hunt! This worked perfectly! So, if you have a rainy day where you’re looking for ways to keep the kids active and learning, try this one out!

shape sorting activity

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: painter’s tape

2. Set-up: create a whole bunch of shapes on the floor using painter’s tape.

3. Activity: the kids will walk, run, skip, gallop, slide around the home to grab objects of each shape. They will bring it back to the shape that it matches! They can grab anything in the house! This is an entertaining activity for kids of all ages!

RELATED: 28 ENTERTAINING Indoor Activities for Toddlers

#22: Decorating Shapes

Creating an invitation to play is one of my favorite things to do for the kids. I love using my creativity to come up with new ways to get them excited to create, make, and play!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am not a good artist. So when it comes to creating these activities for the kids, I want them to be simple, so I don’t have to do too much.

decorating shapes

How to do this activity:

1. Materials you need: cardboard, glue, and some loose parts! I grabbed some rainbow rice that we had from before, pom-poms, and cookie sprinkles. You can use whatever craft supplies you have.

2. Set-up: Draw the shapes you want the kids to decorate on a piece of cardboard. Outline them in black, so it’s easier for them to see.

3. Activity: either you or the kids can put glue all over the inside of the shape. They can use their creativity and sprinkle the loose parts all over each shape! They will love seeing their masterpiece at the end.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Shapes are one of the first concepts that we teach our kids! My play-based learning strategies are sure to be a hit with your little one to help them begin to understand what each shape is.

Included in this article are 22 active, art, and hands-on learning activities that are sure to help your child learn! 

Do you have a great activity that you do at home to help teach your little one shapes? Let our community know about your ideas! I’d love to hear what works best for your little one.

Happy Learning!

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