If you look closely at the things
around you—both inside and outside your home—you may be
surprised by how many shapes you can find. There are shapes in food,
shapes in the architectural features of buildings, and shapes in road
signs. There are even shapes in people, like round or oval faces and
eyes. Shapes are all around you!
Most objects are made
up of shapes–sometimes a single shape and sometimes many shapes
put together. A bee’s eye, for example, is made up of many
hexagons connected together. You can see shapes in many of the things
you eat. A pizza is round, and when you cut it into slices, the
slices are triangles. Brownies are often cut into squares. Fruits
like oranges and grapes are round, but a watermelon can be either
round or oval. When you are spending time with your child, point out
the shapes in everyday objects and ask your child to do the same.
geometry, shape recognition
3-6 year olds
Take It Further
Talk with your child
about the characteristics of different kinds of shapes, like how many
sides and corners they have. Focus on circles, squares, rectangles,
hexagons, octagons, and pentagons. Point out that some shapes have
the same number of sides, but they are not always the same length.
Spend time together pointing out and talking about the shapes in
everyday objects like furniture, food, road signs, and the patterns
in rugs and floors. Invite your child to look through a magazine with
you, and hunt for shapes in the pictures.
A magazine with lots of pictures
- Child-safe scissors
- Heavy paper such as construction paper or poster board
How to Do It:
- Look through the
magazine with your child and find as many shapes as you can. You'll
be surprised by how many shapes are in the pictures and decorative
elements of the magazine (e.g., circles: a picture of a cake, pizza,
or even a person’s face; triangles: a slice of pizza, a
mountain; oval: an egg, a watermelon, a football; rectangle: a
building, a box of cereal). Cooking magazines are particularly good
for this activity because they contain pictures of items very
familiar to your child.
- Cut out all the
pictures that contain shapes, and glue them onto a sheet of paper to
create a colorful shape collage.
Make a shape book. Get
five sheets of paper. At the top of each, write the name of one of
the following shapes: circle, triangle, rectangle, square, and
hexagon. Now, go on a shape hunt around your house or neighborhood.
Be sure to take a camera with you. When you find one of the shapes,
take a picture of it. Glue each picture onto the sheet of paper with
the heading that names the shape in the picture. Staple the pages
together, and create a cover for your shape book!
Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes, by Roseanne Thong; illustrated by Grace Lin
Shapes, Shapes, Shapes,by Tana Hoban
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff, by Dr. Seuss
Shape Vocabulary: circle, oval, square, triangle, rectangle, hexagon, octagon, pentagon
Play the game “Sketch-a-Mite” on PBS KIDS