Learning about 2D shapes is such an important concept to teach in early childhood classrooms. I wanted to share some of my favorite go to, hands-on, Back to School Shape activities to do with my Kindergarten class to help introduce shapes. We do these activities all month along with reading books about shapes, singing songs about shapes, and watching fun shape videos.
I am always looking for fun and interactive ways to teach students about 2D shapes and to help build shape recognition skills. I want the learning to be playful and hands-on as they learn and explore. I came up with some activities for my kids to use that I knew would be perfect for individual math centers and even partner games! So it’s time to put away those flashcards and tracing worksheets and have some fun with shapes!
This is a great way to start introducing shapes to students. And what kids don’t love using snap cubes! They will take snap cubes and look at the code on the side, find the shape on the mat that matches, and cover it up with the snap cube! Just keep finding and matching the shapes until the mat is filled! This is perfect for independent practice during math centers!
At the beginning of the school year, we try to squeeze in as much fine motor practice as we can. Those little hands always need activities to strengthen the muscles. Clothespins are perfect for students to practice squeezing to open and close the clothespin. Students will look at the shape on the card and find the matching shape on the side and clip the clothespin to the matching shape!
Ok, please tell me I’m not the only one with a crazy huge mini eraser collection? And does anyone actually use them to erase with? Anyways, so my kids get so excited when I pull out the mini erasers and these task cards. It becomes one of their favorite math stations! Students will look at the shape in the middle, then find all of the matching shapes around the edge and cover them up with a mini eraser to mark all of the matching shapes!
Another great introduction to shapes is puzzle cards! Best part, they are self-checking! Students will look at the shape and find the matching school supply shape and put the pieces together! If the puzzle pieces fit, they made a match, if not, they keep looking for the correct matching shape! Great for independent practice and even early finisher task boxes!
This is a great way to combine shape practice and 1 to 1 correspondence counting. Students will look at all the mixed-up shapes in the box and count each shape and write the number in the box. Great way to begin teaching students how to correctly form each number!
My kids think that it is magical that you can make a spinner from just a paper clip and a pencil! Teacher magic for the win! Students will spin a shape on the spinner and find the matching shape in the box and color it. They will keep spinning and coloring until they have colored all of the shapes. Perfect for an independent math center.
Every year, my kids are always so excited to color! There are two different versions of this color by code activity, beginner and advanced. Students will look at the code on the side and find the matching shapes in the picture and color each spot to reveal the mystery image!
I am always so surprised at home many kids have never played dominoes. I used to love playing as a child. Students will look at each domino piece and try to match the shapes by making different domino trains.
This is another great activity to introduce multiple math skills. Students will pick one of the shapes and count how many they see in the box. They will then color in the graph to show how many they counted.They can look at the graph to compare and see which ones had more or less.
So, remember that mini eraser obsession that I said I may have? Yup, another great activity to use those with! Students will roll the dice and find the matching shape on their mat and cover it up with a fun mini eraser or any type of counter. They can keep rolling and coloring until they have covered all of the shapes on their board.
This is my kids’ favorite partner game! It’s always the first one picked when we stat math centers. Students will each pick their cube of snap cubes and grab 10 of the color. They will then take turns spinning a spinner and placing the cube on the matching shape. If they spin the same shape twice, they get to make a tower! But, if they spin a shape that their partner has a cube on, they can “bump their partner off the shape and claim it. But if there is a tower on it, then it cannot be bumped off. First person to use all of their cubes is the winner!
Perfect for small groups and even whole group! Each student will get a BINGO board and when a shape is called they will cover it up on their board with a counter or, yup, you guessed it, a mini eraser! Told you I love those things! When they cover up shapes in a straight line then they can call out BINGO!
I usually leave these activities out all month long so that students have plenty of time to explore each activity a few times to get a full understanding of the concept. We will play these throughout the day at different times each time to keep it fresh and fun. Sometimes they will be in math stations, then we may move them into morning bins or early finisher tubs. Often students will even ask to do them during free exploration centers! You can check them out in my Teachers Pay Teachers