Why is learning about shapes important?

When you look outside, while you probably don’t verbalise everything you see, you brain is processing, defining and sorting. It sees the brown, rectangular building, the yellow, triangular children crossing sign and the circles on the traffic lights. We all use shape as a way of identifying and organising what we see. Very early on, your child begins to make a connection between familiar objects and their shapes.


Children learn about shapes and their properties by playing with them. I have been having fun making animals out of basic shapes which is easy and fun to do. Creating pictures using foam shapes is enjoyable and will enable your child to enhance their space and measurement skills. They will discover and learn about the properties of shapes.

I bought a pack of four foam sheets for $2 from Big W. You can use many different mediums, paper, card, felt or anything else you can think of which you can use to draw a range of shapes in different sizes and cut them out.

You might like to begin by using some of pictures I have shown here for inspiration and then you and your child can use your imaginations to create many more well loved animals. Have a go and develop creativity and curiosity.

Activities like this one are very verbal. Including lots of discussion and conversation about the shapes will enhance the learning experience for your child.

Which shape should we use for the head of the cat?

What shape has mummy used for the dinosaur’s teeth?

The mouse has big circles for his ears and small circles for his eyes.

If you want to use some exciting shapes like an octagon, a trapezium or a pentagon for example, but don’t feel 100% confident in it’s exact properties, just use google to gain some extra inspiration and be sure to refer to these cool shapes by their names.

I have used a hexagon for the cow’s head. What else can we make with a hexagon?


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I have some magnetic tape which I will cut up and stick a strip on the back of each image to create some fun new shapeimal magnets. We’d love to hear and see the exciting ways you and your kids are playing with shapes.

Photo credit: dkshots / Foter / CC BY-NC