Shapes of All Sizes

Your child may be able to name basic 2D and 3D shapes, but does she understand shape constancy—the principle that a shape stays the same no matter which angle we view it from? To prepare for elementary school, your child should be able to recognize and name common shapes even when they are presented in a variety of sizes, colors, orientations, formats, and contexts. Here are a few activities you can try at home to support this important kindergarten readiness skill.

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Place shape blocks in a bag or under a blanket. Ask your child to name the shapes one at a time by touch only.
  • Three-year-olds—Encourage your child to make a shape collage. She can cut out various rectangles from magazines or sales papers and then glue them onto a piece of paper. Discuss how the objects are the same shape even if they have different sizes or are positioned in different directions on the paper.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Ask your child to point out two household items that are the same shape (i.e., two triangles). See if he can identify what makes both objects the same shape (they have 3 sides). How are the objects different (color, size, texture, etc.)?

Skills Supported: 2D and 3D shapes, colors, sizes, orientations