Learning shapes is a must for every early childhood classroom. I’m here to share with you my new shapes game! It’s a free printable, but I’m always offering 5+ shape activities for preschoolers using this single printable.
Fall Shape Activities for Preschoolers and Toddlers
One of the first math concepts that preschoolers learn is identifying shapes and colors.
Shapes are everywhere in your preschooler’s world. Learning shapes not only helps children identify and organize visual information, but it also helps children in cross curricula areas, too.
For example, a pre-reading skill that comes even before letter identification is shape recognition. Many letter shapes are very similar, so being able to quickly identify their subtle differences in shape means preschoolers can learn to identify their names and sounds that much faster.
The same holds true for learning the shape of numbers.
You might also like my Monster Visual Discrimination Cards or my Lady Bug Visual Discrimination Cards.
How do preschoolers learn shapes?
Preschoolers learn shapes from a young age. Through play-based activities, they naturally learn many basic shape concepts that prepare them for more advanced shape activities and formal lesson plans.
For example, preschoolers will:
- learn shape names
- build shapes
- match shapes
- differentiate shapes
- learn specific character traits of shapes
- find and identify shapes in everyday items
- manipulate shapes to create new ones
What materials are best for teaching preschoolers about shapes?
Like any preschool activity, you can get by with minimal materials for teaching shapes. In fact, you could get by on just a few sheets of construction paper.
But preschoolers also respond to variety. They like using different materials, and sometimes new life can be added to an old activity simply by switching out the manipulative being used. From pattern blocks to 3D shape manipulatives, a tiny bit of variety can be hugely helpful in the preschool classroom.
Here are some of our most popular shape manipulatives for preschoolers:
Shape Lesson Plans for Preschoolers
My Shapes Preschool Math Unit includes everything you need to teach beginning geometry and shapes in preschool math!
It gives you the lesson plans and the centers, as well as smaller daily math activities to keep your students learning.
Not only will your preschoolers learn how to identify basic shapes, but they will also develop spatial awareness skills. From matching and sorting to graphing shapes and tracing, your preschooler will gain a strong foundation in geometry with these lesson plans.
With four complete weeks of lesson plans, over 36 hands-on activities, and eight printable preschool centers, your preschooler will love math, too!
Fall Shape Game for Preschoolers
This is a really fun game that teaches so many shape skills! The added bonus to this particular game is that it can be played in multiple ways. Your preschooler might start playing one way, but after practice may need something more challenging.
This game can be played in different ways to meet different skill sets.
Here are all my best fall themed activities for preschoolers:
>>> The BEST Preschool Autumn Activities <<<
How to Play the Fall Shape Game
Play is simple, and with different variations of the game, it’s an effective way to teach shapes to preschoolers because it can target so many different skill levels.
To play, select a player to go first. Roll the dice, identify the number, and then move the corresponding number of spaces. If the player lands on a shape, they must identify it. If the player lands on a leaf shape or a blank space, nothing happens. If they land on a “bonus throw” space, they get an extra turn.
It’s as simple as that.
But be sure to read all the other ways to play this game to keep your preschooler learning about shapes, too!
Why Board Games are Good for Preschoolers
Board games have many benefits for children, including preschoolers. While I love a good hands-on shape activity for my preschoolers, board games can have extra benefits in education, which is why this fall shape game makes an extra fun supplement to my shape preschool lesson plans.
For example, board games can boost a child’s concentration and encourage social skills while developing the following skills:
- decision making
- critical thinking
- healthy competition
- spatial awareness
- improved memory
- mindset growth
- fine motor skills
These are just a few of the benefits of playing board game with your preschoolers, so when you add an “academic twist” like a shape activity, board games get even better!
Here is a particularly fun board game for preschoolers that is also a cooperative game. That means the goal is for every player to work together toward a single goal!
>>> Duck Pond Cooperative Board Game <<<
Keep reading to find even more ways for toddlers and preschoolers to learn shapes using different shape activities.
More Ways to Play This Shape Board Game
The directions above are the most basic form of how to play, but in reality, you can get so many more shape activities for preschoolers out of this one game. Here are some more ideas.
When a player lands on a shape, they then have to:
- find an object in the room of the same shape
- draw the shape on a pad of paper
- find another shape on the game board just like it
- count the number of sides
- make the shape with their body
More Shape Activities for Preschoolers
Sometimes we get all wound up in counting activities, but preschoolers need a healthy dose of shape activities, too. (My shape lesson plans make that really easy.)
Here are some other shape activities for preschoolers you might be interested in. They are the perfect cross between a math activity and an art activity. Both of these preschool shape activities are free printables, so be sure to grab your own copy in each post.
Get your Fall Shapes Game Here
Think this fall shapes game is a good one to add to your other preschool shapes activities? Answer: you bet it is! Click the image below and the PDF will be sent to your email.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.