Math Easy Ways to Help Your Four-Year-Old Learn Shapes

Learning about shapes sets the stage for understanding geometry. For young children, this involves recognizing and naming simple shapes and their attributes. Four-year-olds are building their shape vocabulary. You can reinforce their understanding by using words like "square," "circle," "triangle," "pentagon" and "hexagon." You can help your child understand the differences between shapes by counting side and corners.

Help your child begin to identify shapes:

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.

What's That Shape

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

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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!

Telly's Shape Garden

Telly wants to create a shape garden. In this game, your child can practice shape recognition skills and learn about some attributes of squares, triangles, and ovals.

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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).

The Great Shape Race

Interacting with basic shapes can help your child learn about shape properties. In this game, collect shapes along a path and then fill in the shapes needed to complete the bridge.

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Make a Two-Dimensional Shape Book

Create a book out of construction paper. Make a page for each shape: circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, hexagons and pentagons. Then look through magazines, catalogs and photos to find examples of each shape. Cut out the shapes and glue them into your book to create a collage for each page!

Lord of the Crumbs

Cookie Monster is trying to reach his precious recipe. Your child can help Cookie Monster collect gem shapes and then listen to instructions to complete pattern and shape puzzles to find the recipe.

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Teach Words for Shapes and Sizes

Hearing spatial language helps toddlers and preschoolers develop their spatial reasoning skills. Spatial language includes references to shapes (triangle, square), sizes (tall, wide), features of shapes (corner, edge) and orientation (above, below, near, between). Help your child by using these words to describe daily activities. For example: "I see some round grapes that fell under the table. Let's put them in this bowl."

The Great Shape Race

Interacting with basic shapes can help your child learn about shape properties. In this game, collect shapes along a path and then fill in the shapes needed to complete the bridge.

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Help Your Child Learn to Love Math with Peg + Cat

Through engaging stories and comedy, Peg + Cat encourages your child to see math as exciting, accessible, and fun. The show teaches measurement, shapes and patterns, and problem-solving skills that children can use in their everyday lives.

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Activity Finder: Learn With Your Four-Year-Old

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