The following resources are great for using with younger children to help them understand shapes. These books, websites, and resources will help with shape recognition, visual discrimination, as well as matching and sorting shapes.
Books about shapes
Shapes, Shapes, Shapes written and illustrated by Tana Hoban
Each page contains a fantastic photograph of an everyday life setting, however when you look closer each page is full of shapes! Doors are shaped like rectangles, the supports on phone towers form triangles and tambourines form circles. Tana Hoban’s book of photographs helps teach children to find shapes in the world around them.
Color Zoo written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Each page of Ehlert’s book contains a different zoo animal and each zoo animal is made out of a series of cut-out shapes. As you turn the pages one shape is removed and a new animal is revealed. The bright colors and unique designs of the pictures will keep children interested and involved.
The Secret Birthday Message written and illustrated by Eric Carle
When Tim wakes up on the morning of his birthday to find a secret message reading:
“When the [semi-circle] comes up, look for the biggest [star]. Below it you’ll see a[n oval]. Behind that is the [triangle]. Go in. Look up through [zigzags] walk straight ahead to a [rectangle]. Open it. You will see a [rectangle]. Climb through it. That’s will you will find your birthday gift!”
Tim has to figure out the clues in order to find his birthday present.
Ship Shapes written by Stella Blackstone, illustrated by Siobhan Bell
This book is about the shapes on the sea. The illustrations in this book are fantastic. Every page is quilted,not drawn, giving it a different feel than other shape books. Better yet, each page is filled with shapes! It covers the basic shapes: circle, square, triangle and rectangle as well as star, semi circle, diamond, crescent, and oval.
Circus Shapes written by Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by Edward Miller
This book helps you find shapes within a circus. It introduces squares, triangles, rectangles and circles. What makes this book excellent for teaching shapes it that it goes beyond the standard square, triangle, rectangle, and circle. On the pages where shapes are introduced, the bottom left page depicts examples of that shape in various sizes and rotations.
Resources for Children
- I Spy— Find the shapes in the pictures!
- Sesame Street Shape Play— Make pictures out of shapes!
- Telly’s Shape Garden — Help Telly plant his shape garden!
- Curious George’s Day at the Beach–Create sandcastles out of shapes with George at the beach!
- Super Shape Building with Geo— Find the shapes you will need to build a submarine, helicopter or hot air balloon!
Resources for Parents and Teachers
- Everything Preschool: Preschool Shapes Theme – This website has links to games, crafts, song, printables and more for teaching preschool shapes.
- Preschool and Kindergarten Resources: Shapes – This web page contains plenty of worksheets and online activities to use with young children for teaching shapes.
- ABC Teach Geometry – This site contains plenty of excellent printables for preschool children.
- Sesame Street: Circle Salesman Video – This is a great video about shapes. Bob is visited by a salesman selling circles.