You may wonder – what shapes do kindergarteners need to know? What kinds of activities can help them practice and work with shapes? Below, I’ll explain how I introduce 2D shapes in kindergarten, and some ideas for group games, centers, and more!
What Shapes Do I Teach?
Start with the most common shapes that most of your students already know – circle, square, triangle and rectangle. Then I move on to more complex shapes – oval, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, trapezoid, diamond, star, & heart.
What Do I Need to Teach About Shapes in Kindergarten?
Begin your 2D shapes unit by familiarizing your students with the names of each shape. Shape posters, poems, or flashcards are very helpful for this, as well as videos. I like to use very simple, easy-to-read flashcards like the ones below. I keep them posted on my board as we go through our shapes unit.
Some videos I enjoy:
Shapes Song for Kids by Singing Walrus
Shapes Song by Have Fun Teaching (also includes 3D shapes)
Shapes Are All Around by Pinkfong
Name the Shape Game by Jack Hartmann
La Chanson des Formes par Kids Tv Française
Apprendre Les Formes Géométriques par Les P’tits z’Amis
Your students will need to know what makes each shape unique in order to identify and describe them. This includes the number of sides and vertices.
Shapes All Around
How do shapes relate to our everyday lives? Have your students come up with and find objects they are familiar with that match shapes. This helps them to make connections.
Shapes Practice in Kindergarten
Morning Tubs or Centers
I use morning tubs when my students enter the class, giving me time for administrative tasks. Morning tubs have activities that my students can complete with no help from me – fine motor practice, or previous centers they are already comfortable with.
Here are some ideas:
- Fine motor practice with shapes – tracing, coloring in, cutting, or manipulating playdough into shapes
- Using manipulative pieces or small parts to build shapes (ex. Popsicle sticks, mini erasers, pipe cleaners, etc.)
- Sorting shapes (works on identifying similarities and differences)
- Sensory shape practice – students can create shapes with their finger in various materials (ex. Shaving cream, hair gel in a ziploc bag, colorful rice, etc.)
- Creating shape collages or art out of shapes – these can be pre-cut or traced for your students, or created on their own.
Whole Group or Morning Meeting Games
- Shape Bingo
- Finding shapes around the class – ask students to bring something back that matches a particular shape
- Shape hunt/shape walk in or outside the school
Technology To Teach Shapes in Kindergarten
If you read my fundamental guide to teaching math in kindergarten, you already know how much I love using technology to reinforce learning! My favourite teaching tool is Boom Cards™, and I have a deck all about shapes. If you’re not familiar with Boom Cards™, read more about them here.
GAMES – If you have access to devices or computer time for your class, here are some fun online games to practice shapes:
Shape match by ABCYA
Shapes Construction (matching) by ABCYA
Shapes Bingo by ABCYA
Find Shapes All Around Us by SplashLearn
Match Shapes by SpashLearn
Highlight Zone Identifying Shapes by PBS Kids)
Les formes géométriques par ieducatif
Les formes géométriques par Tidou.fr
Petit tour du monde des formes par Logiciel Educatif
J’apprends les formes par Taka t’amuser
I don’t use worksheets often in my classroom, but I find them helpful for extra practice (in class or at home) or assessment. The bundle I use has students practice finding, coloring, tracing, and drawing each shape.
Shapes Assessment in Kindergarten
For shapes assessment, I ask students individually to name all the shapes (shown one at a time, either with flashcards or on a sheet) and have a checklist to show which ones they know and which they are still learning.
Fine Motor Shapes Practice FREEBIE!
Grab these shape practice cards for free! I use them for morning tubs & centers. If I have extras printed, I keep them in our scrap paper bin and find my students pulling them out during free play to make their own creations!