Preschool Activities to Teach Shapes

Discover more than 20 engaging preschool activities to teach shapes! Low-prep, hands-on fun for little ones.

There’s no better way to teach preschool than with hands-on activities! Most of the shape activities below can be put together with things you already have around the house.

Use those supplies to create STEM challenges, busy bags, sensory bins, and more!

Preschool Activities to Teach Shapes

Kids love playdough! They can make playdough shapes to review the shapes they know. Then, you can challenge them to manipulate the playdough in different ways to form various designs of the same shape. The Preschool Toolbox

Preschoolers can work on shape and color recognition when you put together a shape-themed sensory bin for them. Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Gather up some empty toilet paper tubes. Preschoolers can use them to make some 2D shape paintings. This activity is simple enough for toddlers to do! Messy Little Monster

I love this dice game which helps preschoolers with colors, numbers, and shapes all at the same time. Kids will roll the three dice, and then draw a picture based on the shape, color, and number shown. Messy Little Monster

This quick and easy busy bag is perfect for when you need a little bit of peace and quiet. Grab some craft foam sheets, cut them into basic shapes, and you’ve got the beginning of a shape matching activity your preschoolers will love. Powerful Mothering

With a few shaped sponges and some washable paint, your kids can make some sponge-stamped shape art. If they create their artwork on a roll of butcher paper, you can turn it into homemade wrapping paper. Powerful Mothering

Make a set of DIY Shape Planes out of simple household supplies. Then, encourage some gross motor shape matching as your child’s flies his plane to its home base. Days with Grey

If you’ve got a set of pattern blocks in your preschool supply cabinet, you can use them to create some very simple shape sorting and matching games for your kids. Mama Smiles

Read Shapes That Roll with your preschoolers. Then, let your preschoolers create one-of-a-kind Shapes That Roll Monster CardsRed Ted Art

Print or draw shape cards for your preschoolers. Challenge your preschoolers to build those shapes out of toothpicks and playdough. If you aren’t a fan of playdough, they can make shapes with toothpicks and marshmallowsSchooltime Snippets

Summer is a great time to take preschool learning outside. Draw a shape maze on the driveway, and challenge your kids to make it from one end to the other jumping from shape to shape. Creative Family Fun

Head to the dollar store and grab an ice tray and some foam shape stickers to create this super simple shape sorting activity for toddlersMess for Less

One of the easiest ways to teach shapes is with wooden blocks. As your kids begin to recognize their shapes, then can begin making patterns, structures, and so much more. Natural Beach Living

This foam shape sensory bag is quick and easy to put together. While this bag uses colored rice for the filler, colored hair gel would be fun, too! Life Over C’s

Here’s another fun shape activity based on the book, Mouse Shapes. This one, however, works on shapes while helping kids learn to recognize their own name. Growing Book by Book

If you’ve got a bucket of foam beads stashed away in your craft closet, dig it out for this activity. Use them (along with some larger felt shapes) to create a foam bead sorting traySomething 2 Offer

This toothpick triangles activity is simple to put together, and it’s simple enough for kids of all ages. Little ones can work on 2D shapes while older ones can work to build 3D shape models. Premeditated Leftovers

Your little ones will adore putting together a shape fire truck. All you need is some colored paper, crayons, and a glue stick! (My firefighters preschool printable pack would be a great addition to this activity) Things to Share and Remember

 Take 3D shape building to the next level with straws and pipe cleaners! Meaningful Mama

So… tell me… Which of these fun hands-on preschool activities will you try first? 


Fill your book basket with a great collection of books about shapes. Most of these books can be found at your local library or used bookstore.

If you have a hard time finding them, you can order them through my Amazon affiliate links by clicking the images below.

Walter's Wonderful Web: A First Book About ShapesTangled: A Story About ShapesSnippets: A story about paper shapes


Walter’s Wonderful Web – A determined little spider named Walter is trying to make a sturdy web that will stand up to the blustery wind. The webs he makes at first are woven in special shapes–a triangle, a square, a circle–but they are still wibbly-wobbly. Can Walter make a web that is both wonderful and strong?

Tangled – When the neighborhood shapes go climbing on the park jungle gym the last thing they expect is a tangle. First the circle, next the triangle and then the square. One by one soon all sixteen shapes are trapped. 

Snippets: A Story About Paper Shapes – Snippets is a story that revels the power of kindness and the beauty of being unique. And it does so though the journey of two different groups of shapes (the polygons and irregular polygons)

Teaching Resources

This shape chart set makes it fun and easy to build shape awareness with a fun Mickey Mouse theme. The Disney Shape Chart includes 8 different shapes, 8 sets of hands and shoes, and a corresponding “SHAPES” title all with a Mickey theme. 

Use these fun smiling felt shapes to help your child or class learn the different shapes they will use throughout their lives. Bright, colorful and fun shapes make learning fun.

Send your little ones on a hunt for shapes with this Free Printable Shapes Scavenger Hunt!

Related Posts

 This hands-on activity not only teaches shapes for kids, but it focuses on fine and gross motor skills at the same time. Preschoolers will love it! Here's a fun shape monster sorting activity for preschoolers! It's perfect for Halloween time, and can definitely be used all year long. 

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