Learning about shapes sets the stage for understanding geometry. For young children, this involves recognizing and naming simple shapes and their attributes. Three-year-olds are building their shape vocabulary. You can reinforce their understanding by using words like "square," "circle," "triangle," "side," "corner," "curved," "straight." To help them understand the differences between shapes, help them count sides and corners.

### Play Shape Hopscotch

This is a fun indoor game for a rainy day. Using construction paper, cut out lots of shapes, using the same color for each shape. For example, make yellow triangles, red circles, blue squares and green rectangles. Tape them to the floor in a random order. The game begins when you call out which shape your child should find and stand on. Continue to call out shapes, and he will continue to hop.

#### Chicken Blastoff

Peg and Cat are building rocket ships to send the farm animals into space. Your child can help identify and put together the correct shapes to build the perfect rocket for each set of animals.

### Easy Funny Faces Activity

Art projects are a great opportunity to explore shapes. Cut out various sizes of circles, squares, triangles and rectangles from construction paper. Using a paper plate as the face, have your child glue on the different shapes to form the eyes, ears, mouth and nose. You can make a face that is all triangles, all circles, or all squares, or a mix-and-match face that uses different shapes. Say the names of the shapes as you glue them together. This is also a fun way to make jack-o-lanterns at Halloween!

#### What's That Shape

Your child can practice identifying and drawing basic geometric shapes with this set of shape activities from Curious George.

### Go on a Shape Hunt

Shapes are everywhere! Go on a walk around your home or through the neighborhood with your child and try to find as many as you can. Start simple: look for circles, squares and triangles. If the opportunity presents itself, take a moment to consider how a two-dimensional shape can be a part of a three-dimensional shape (such as a square side of a cube).

#### Use Detective Skills to Discover Shapes

In this "I Spy" game, your child can find shapes in her environment based on shape specific clues.