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

Learning about shapes sets the stage for understanding geometry. At age five, kids often begin to discover that shapes can be combined or broken down to make new shapes — for example, two squares make a rectangle. They can also move beyond learning about 2D shapes (circles and squares) and explore the properties of 3D shapes (spheres and cubes), as well. Don't shy away from using "big words" as you talk about 3D shapes. If a five-year-old can say "Tyrannosaurus rex," then they can also say "rectangular prism"!

Support your child's growing knowledge of shapes:

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!

I Love Shapes

In this game, your child helps Curious George catch shapes. Deciding what shapes to catch can help build your child's decision making abilities.

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Go on a Three-Dimensional Shape Hunt

Three-dimensional shapes are all around us, but they might be harder to find than their two-dimensional cousins. Go on a walk around your home or through the neighborhood with your child and try to find as many three-dimensional shapes as you can, including a cube, a sphere, a cone, a cylinder and a rectangular prism.

Go on a Shape Hunt Adventure

Go on a shape hunt adventure! Your child can identify and take pictures of shapes around the house or neighborhood, and then use the photos to make a shape book.

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Create Three-Dimensional Shapes with Playdough

Playing with clay or playdough is a great way to explore three-dimensional shapes. Work with your child to see if you can build the following shapes: a cube, a sphere, a cone, a cylinder and a rectangular prism.

Magical Shape Hunt

A mermaid has lost her jewels and it's up to Peg and Cat to help her retrieve them. While using a net to catch the jewels, your child can practice counting skills and identifying 3D shapes.

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Play with Tangram Puzzles

Tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzle pieces, and they are a great way to explore shape composition and decomposition! Print out your own here, or the next time you eat a sandwich, use it as a learning experience!

Hide and Seek With Shapes

Shape attributes can be clues in this game of shape hide and seek. Hide shapes around a room, and ask your child to find them based on the attributes you call out. Your child can also give you hints when it's your turn to find shapes.

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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 Five-Year-Old

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