Learning about shapes is an important part of early childhood classrooms. That’s why I like to try to fit shape activities for preschoolers into every preschool theme. Here we have a farm themed shape activity to pair with our fall activities.
Be sure to grab your free printable from the end of this post and check out my BEST farm themed activities for preschoolers.
Shape Activities for Preschoolers to Use With a Farm Theme
How do you like to teach shapes in preschool? Do you do a shapes math unit? Do you do a shape of the week? Do you teach shapes by using shape lesson plans for preschool?
Whatever you teaching style, you can rest assured these shape mats can be used to reinforce all your best teaching strategies.
FAQ About Teaching Shapes to Preschoolers
These questions not only apply to preschoolers, but they will help you teach shapes to toddlers as well.
Teaching shapes in preschool is more than just identifying shapes. Preschoolers also need to learn shape names and how to compare shapes. They should have shape activities that teach them how to make a shape, create new shapes, and also take apart shapes.
Pattern block activities are a good choice for learning these shape skills, as well as shape tracing, and shape games for preschoolers.
The NAEYC has a fantastic article about teaching shapes to preschoolers here.
The basic shapes a preschoolers should know are circle, triangle, square, rectangle, and oval. Many preschoolers also learn the shapes heart, star, arrow, and cross, too. Shape lessons for preschool can even include more complex geometric shapes like hexagon, parallelogram, and trapezoid.
Colors are often taught in hand with shapes. Preschoolers and toddlers can learn about shapes by doing shape and color sorting activities, going on a shape scavenger hunt, doing shape crafts or playing shape gross motor games.
Shape activities are often added into circle time lesson plans, and free shape printables can be added to your preschool math centers.
Farm Theme Shape Mats
These mats carry a farm preschool theme while also teaching shapes and they work on fine motor skills, too!
They can be used for pre-k shape activities and can be added to your shape lesson plans for kindergarten. Add them to your farm centers.
- free farm shape mats
- counting manipulative
- dice (optional)
We used game pieces for our counting manipulative. I’ve been using these more and more because of how preschoolers have to use their pincer grasp to move the pieces. Here are the exact game pieces I used, plus some other counting manipulatives that would be just as fun.
The Set Up
The set up is easy peasy! Just print the mats on heavy card stock and laminate for added durability, or place in a dry erase pouch. I actually skipped this step because sometimes the plastic creates less friction which means the manipulatives move around more easily and that can frustrate preschoolers.
Just set out the mats with your game pieces (or a more popular favorite are magnetic push pins) and invite your preschooler or toddler to make some shapes with you!
Teaching Shapes to Pre K Using Shape Mats
Have your preschooler select a shape mat and begin by naming the shape. Shape identification is just one part of learning shapes. Preschoolers also need practice in creating them! Have your preschooler use small manipulatives to create the shape on the mat.
These mats feature a farm theme, which makes them a nice addition to other farm activities for preschoolers. I keep them in a scrapbook box with my other preschool farm theme printables.
To use these with your farm theme, invite your preschoolers to name the farm animals on each mat. Encourage your preschoolers to talk about what they know of the farm animals, or relate them to picture books they have heard about farms.
Since these mats focus primarily on farm animals and not other farm icons like barns, tractors and silos, these can be used with any farm animal activity, and bonus points if you encourage your preschoolers to make farm animal sounds.
Don’t Forget Farm Picture Books
Having the right farm books for preschoolers can take your farm animal learning activities to the next level. Picture books help preschoolers make themes more visual. Here are some of our favorite farm theme books for preschoolers.
More Activities to Teach Math to Preschoolers
Activities to teach shapes to preschoolers aren’t the only thing these mats are good for! Here are two more activities that also teach different preschool math skills.
Add a Die
One fun activity is to add a die and have your preschooler roll and then count the number of manipulatives to add to the shape. You can even turn it into a collaborative game between two students by having them take turns. Assign each student their own color to make it easier for them to keep track of how many pieces they have added during their turn.
Practice Pattern Skills, too
Another activity is to use these mats to practice patterns. Have your preschooler choose two colors and build the shape by creating a pattern with the manipulative as they go. More advanced preschoolers can make ABC or AABB patterns, too!
Add Some Writing Tools
Preschoolers can also practice writing skills by using traditional writing tools with these mats. They can color in the circles with crayons or attempt to draw the shape line through each of the circles. Add some playdough and have your preschooler roll a ball for each circle on the mat.
You can even make it into an art project by having your preschooler stamp the circles!
Get Your Shape Mats Here
Think your preschoolers will love these farm themed shape activities? I bet they will! Grab your free printable by filling out the form below and the pdf will arrive in your email shortly.
More Ideas for Farm Theme in Preschool
The ideas don’t stop here! Below you’ll fine free lesson plans for a farm theme as well as farm theme alphabet activities, and even a farm sensory bin.
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.